SPARTA, NJ-  The literary magazine at Sparta High School, called Beginnings, received a gold medal for excellence by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association.  The book also earned the prestigious rating of "All-Columbia Honors" in three of the catagories that are judged; design, concept and literacy elements, according to English Supervisor, Mary Hassenplug.

Editor Bridget Higdon and Photography editor Steven Vocaturo were present at the Sparta Board of Education meeting, along with the advisors Christy Graham and Mary Ann Hyland, where their accomplishments were announced .   

The magazine is eighty glossy pages of poetry, prose, photos and other forms of  art created by Sparta High School students.  It is the twenty fifth edition.

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Hassenplug says, "the staff of Stephen Vocaturo, Shannon Scully, Shirley Wang, Elizabeth Smith,  Bridget Higdon, Michael Henning, Mya Lynch, Cassidy Perkinson, Daniel Rogers and Sydney Slouka deserve praise for their outstanding efforts!"

The Columbia Scholastic Press Association, a program of Columbia University in the City of New York, was established in 1925 to help improve writing through the medium of student publication.  The major service to regular members is an annual written evaluation of each member's issues from the prior school year. Each student publication is evaluated by a single adviser-judge.  Beginnings 2013 was submitted to Columbia Scholastic Press Association for a formal critique and received 982 out of a possible 1000 points.

Beginnings adviser Mary Ann Hyland adds, "We are looking forward to another "golden" publication in 2014!"