Communications Department
14705 Woodforest Blvd., Houston, TX 77015

April 27, 2011
CONTACT: Bourke Meagher
(832) 386-1231

'Stang Express Earns Award of Distinguished Merit

         On April 10, 2011, North Shore Middle School's newspaper 'Stang Express, earned an Award of Distinguished Merit from the Interscholastic League Press Association (UIL). This is the Association's highest rating, and one not easily earned. The publications are judged by industry leaders who understand the intricacies of student oriented publications. The judging is so stringent, only three middle schools in the entire state of Texas qualified for this prestigious rating. Along with student publications, students may also submit entries to be judged for individual competition in a variety of categories. North Shore Middle School had some winners in the individual competitions as well: TWO-PAGE DESIGN, 1st Place - Jocelyn Ramirez; IN-DEPTH NEWS/FEATURE STORY, 2nd Place - Jocelyn Ramirez, Honorable Mention - Cindy Barrera; SPORTS ACTION STORY, 3rd Place - Octavio Hernandez, Honorable Mention - Edgar Gutierrez; ENTERTAINMENT REVIEW, Honorable Mention - Cindy Barrera; PERSONAL OPINION COLUMN, Honorable Mention - Katy McKey and Karen Camacho; SPORTS FEATURE PHOTO, 2nd Place - Karen Camacho; SPORTS ACTION PHOTO, Honorable Mention - Sarai Flores. This talented group of students is led by Journalism Instructor Ron Burke. Mr. Burke essentially began his journalism career in high school. His love of journalism led him to become a chief public affairs noncommissioned officer for the U.S. Army. Through the U.S. Army Reserves program, Mr. Burke has been a military photojournalist for 10 years, all while juggling a career as a successful instructor in public education. While it seems apparent that his experience and leadership is influencing his current journalism students, he has also reached a number of his former students. Some have left his tutelage to go on to major in journalism at their respective college. Recently Mr. Burke was honored by three of his former students at Galena Park ISD's "Dazzling Diamond Gala," an honorary banquet where the students in the top 5% of the graduating class picks the most influential teacher that contributed to their academic success. Of these three students, one is going to the University of Texas to major in journalism, and contributes his passion for journalism to Mr. Burke. As in the military, Mr. Burke expects excellence in his classroom, and his students love and respect him for it. It's exciting to think what this current group of North Shore Middle School journalism students will accomplish in the future.

NSMS Journalism

North Shore Middle School Journalism Team: (back row left to right) Mr. Ron Burke; Edgar Gutierrez; Mariana Estrada; Sarai Flores; Octavio Hernandez; Ingris Montoya; Cindy Barrera; Jocelyn Ramirez; Abigail Sanchez. (front row left to right) Tania Amaya; Carolina Hernandez; Natalie Robinson; Melany Barajas; Idalia Santos; Karen Camacho (not pictured) Katy McKey.

NSMS Journalism

Science and art work together - As the 'Stang Express staff toiled over how to creatively portray caffeine on the cover of their latest issue of the newspaper, a simple sentence, written by Jocelyn Ramirez, provided the epiphany needed to launch the team in the right direction. Jocelyn had written that caffeine is "found naturally in plants and certain beans..." That led to the discussion that caffeine is a natural compound. As they continued researching based on that newfound realization, the molecular structure became an area of focus. The 'Stang Express staff found a scientific 3D model of caffeine, which became the image they used for the cover of their newspaper.