The Arundel High School newspaper, The Spectrum, has won two national honors and a first-place award in a state competition.
The paper, published monthly, was awarded its fourth Medalist Certificate from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association for the 1989-90 school year.
It also received an International First Place Award from the Quill and Scroll Society, earning a superior rating in five categories, and came in first at the Maryland Scholastic Conference.
The Spectrum also received All-Columbian honors, scoring 976 out of a possible 1,000 points in categories such as design, coverage, display, and writing and editing.
"The students have done well," said Wanda Trimnal, an English teacher and newspaper adviser. "I'm really proud of them."
Trimnal, who has taught the newspaper class that has put out the newspaper for six years, said students "try to cover not only school news, but try to get out into the community."
One example cited by the Columbia Scholastic Association was an article on German reunification, where German students and community residents were interviewed for their reactions.
"We went to a German deli in Odenton and talked to the people there," said Terri Skocich, this year's editor. "The reporter talked about how they feel. She had a lot of news, but she had a lot of feeling. That is what made the story. She got people from around here and brought the story into view."
Columbia judges also liked the editorial page's Point/Counterpoint section, which offers divergent views on various topics, including the pressures of the National Honor Society and abortion issues.
About 17 students take Trimnal's course and most spend their afternoons typing at the Macintosh computers set up around the classroom.
"We're down here until 10:30 at night sometimes," said Skocich, a senior who wants to major in journalism at the University of Maryland in College Park next year. "If you really love it, it doesn't seem like work."
So far this year, the paper has covered such topics as co-op teachers, the proposal for year-round school, assistance for pregnant teen-agers, a crime wave in Crofton, including the Sept. 17 slaying of 42-year-old Gwyn Dixon Criswell, and car accidents involving teen-agers.
Yesterday, the writers and editors were busy putting the finishing touches on the Christmas issue, which will include a survey of drinking habits at the school and a story on the lack of buses for handicapped students.
Trimnal said the paper has had no problems in the wake of the Supreme Court's Hazelwood decision four years ago, which gave principals and other school administrators the right to censor student papers.
"The students have been able to avoid anything that would be embarrassing or would get us into trouble," she said.