We thought about 10. We considered 50. We promised we’d try to control ourselves this year, but the lowest we could go was 115.
No, we’re not talking about how low we can get our carb intake. When we start judging the applications for the “Best of Florida Schools” awards, our plans to streamline and simplify go right out the window. By the time we’ve looked through all the applications, we’ve got a lot of really great categories, reading about the best things happening at public, private, and community colleges across the state.
But it’s not just the applications—we spend the year reading newspapers and newsletters, press releases, and letters, looking for the best ideas on Florida campuses. Every year, we report on the successes, improvements, and achievements of students and educational institutions, thinking, “This will be our best issue ever.” And then here you come, with your ideas and your innovations, and we realize it’s time to get started again because there are a whole lot of new things we need to share with students, administrators, and faculty.
After 21 years as the nation’s premier publisher of student leadership magazines, you’d think we’d know you can’t streamline a “Best of Florida Schools” issue. We’ve included four new feature pages this year, giving you in-depth coverage of homecoming celebrations, cultural events, Halloween festivities, and first-year programs. In fact, we’ve got so many schools participating that we’d be endangering the rainforests if we tried to fit all the categories in the magazine, so we’re running one story from all 56 participating schools in print, with all 115 categories running in their full length on our web site, www.floridaleader.com.
And once we get the general categories decided, then the real work begins. The biggest challenge of all is choosing the top campus leaders. We’re proud to present the top Student Governments and top campus newspapers in the state for 2004. We’ll show you which SGs are doing it right, and we’ll back it up with examples you can model after at your own school. By the time we get done scrutinizing campus newspapers page by page, we can tell you who won’t be lining Florida’s bird cages. Then, we’ll turn our smudgy fingers to detailing who has the best writing, graphics, and design—and how they can improve for next year. This year, it’s all about Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the University of Central Florida. Both the soaring Eagles over in Daytona and the Knights in shining armor from Orlando swept the major categories this year, so check out the Avion and the Central Florida Future, as well as the SG coverage, and get inspired by their innovations, ideas, and efforts.
There’s never a wrong time to submit nominations for the 2005 “Best of Florida Schools” issue. Just apply at www.floridaleader.com.
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