The staff of the Gael Magazine — Shelton High School’s news magazine — was recently awarded first place in a national contest by the American Scholastic Press Association. The magazine earned high points for its content, organization and design.

“I am so proud of my students,” said Gretchen Webster, the magazine’s adviser and an English teacher at Shelton High. “They work so hard, and are very talented. They’re also learning valuable career skills in graphics, technology, photography and, of course, writing.”

The staff is editors in chief Will Bronson, Christie Brumaire, Madison Mackniak and Deepthi Prakash; photo editor Brianna Johnson; opinion editor, Florian Hurlbert; fashion editor, Sophia Perry; sports editors, Jessica Foss and Ashley Kearns; business editor, Erieana Pappano; and staff writers, Zion Bennett, Allison Bonfiglio, Marissa Dias, Joseph Giovannini, Anthony Gonzalez, Hayley Harden, Kyle Heiden, Adeline Kim, Theodore Lanzaro, Gianna Loughman, Jack Neary, Tori Petrone, Alley Russell, Olivia Sampieri, Jason Wakeman, Jessica Jayakar and Jillian McNeil.

“Winning this award was an amazing feeling,” said Will Bronson, co-editor in chief. “Knowing that all the work editors and staff put into this magazine and the long months and production nights it takes to make it what it is, paid off. It’s a really gratifying experience.”

Bronson said the combination of smart writing and creative thinking by everyone in the entire journalism program is what made the magazine a national award winner.

“It’s nice to see recognition of the hard work our team has put in over the year,” said Deepthi Prakash, co-editor in chief. “All the creative processes, whether with layout, photos or stories came together perfectly to create a great quality publication. I hope we exceed expectations once again this year.”

“Working for the Gael has taught me the true meaning behind teamwork, and helped me gain experience as a leader,” added Madison Mackniak, co-editor in chief.

The magazine program does not receive funding from the Shelton Board of Education and must be entirely self-supporting, paid for by ads sold by the students, according to Webster. This year, to save on printing costs, the number of magazines published each school year was reduced from five issues to four.