The Owatonna Magnet student news site has won a national award for a fourth straight year. The Student Newspaper Online organization has named the Magnet as a Distinguished Site. The honor is based on earning badges in their coverage of school events and sharing that with the student body and general public through a variety of means.

Sophomore Jade Hanson is currently the editor-in-chief. She says the staff gets together for Web Wednesday to brainstorm ideas for stories to cover, but they also have the ability to jump on breaking stories. The Westboro Church demonstration and a school bomb threat were a couple of developing stories they covered. The Magnet staff assembled recently to reflect on the award and share some cake. Hanson said the family environment they enjoy is an unexpected highlight of being involved. This is her first year.

Senior Nick Sande is wrapping up his second year. He has appreciated the chance to be news editor and editor-in-chief and says the writing and editing skills he has learned will help immensely while attending Creighton University on a pre-med track.

Karson Madole, also a senior, is quite involved in the multi-media editing necessary for the print editions that come out three times a year, including a graduation issue. Online stories are posted and updated regularly and he has enjoyed covering sports stories especially. Madole knows the time management skills he has learned will help him when he goes to the University of Northern Iowa to begin studying to become a chiropractor.

Advisor Jessica Wagner told the group some of her favorite aspects of Magnet are seeing the group work together as a team, paste-up weekends to prepare for the print copies and the smiles on the faces of the students when they hand out the papers.

SNO Badges that the Magnet staff achieved include continuous coverage, excellent site customization, story and writing excellence, multi-media with videos and slideshows and social media presence.

Among the highlights of coverage during the year was a football sendoff video as the team was closing in a state championship in November, a piece Madole authored.

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