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2012 Michael S. Powell HS Journalist Award: Sherwood’s Jacob Bogage

By T.C. Cameron

Jacob Bogage has no idea where he's going to college. He's committed to just one premise: He'll be studying journalism.
The Sherwood High School senior and executive editor of Sherwood's award-winning Warrior school newspaper is the MDDC Michael S. Powell High School Journalist scholarship winner for 2012. Peter Huck, faculty adviser to the Warrior, says while Bogage's skills are already formidable, it's his passion, which sets him apart from his student peers.
"As a freshman, he almost immediately distinguished himself as a ravenous learned ... Jacob was committed to 'getting it' in a manner and degree that was different from other elite students who like to learn," Huck said in his recommendation letter. "I can only recall one other student that I have taught who seemed so destined for the journalism profession, and he's a 23-year-old staff writer for The Washington Post."
Bogage earned his first editor's position as a sophomore, taking over the Warrior's Beyond School Walls section. There Bogage began assembling skill sets in content programs such as InDesign and news gathering abilities focused on national and international news.
As a junior, Bogage was the lone Warrior staffer to hold a pair of editor-level positions. Leading the print version of the Warrior's sports section led to appointment as Editor-In-Chief (EIC) of the Warrior's burgeoning online platform. During what Huck describes as an arduous junior year, Bogage single-handedly oversaw the online transition for the Warrior to an entirely new platform, while still excelling in the traditional print management role.
"Basically, he led the effort to start over with the online publication, and it's now one of the best high school newspaper websites in the state of Maryland," Huck said.
Bogage captured Best News Story and Best Sports Story in a statewide contest held by Towson University, and before his junior year had ended, Bogage was announced as the incoming executive editor for his pending senior year. It was a post Bogage accepted as challenge to his abilities to adapt to a new level of leadership. While still penning an article or two per week, Bogage instead focused on steering decisions about editorial content and layout design as he oversaw 40 first-time Warrior staffers.
Training new staff writers to report, write and file articles was just a part of the new role Bogage embraced. He also created an assignment for the publication's staff, staging a mock interview of the county school system's new superintendent while pushing staffers to produce a news article on the interview in an inverted pyramid format.
"Jacob is the unquestioned leader and inspirational figure for his peers and staff," Huck said. "He's ready for what comes next as he pursues his aspiration to become a journalist."
Bogage has not yet come to a decision where he will attend college. The award will be conferred on Friday, April 20, 2012, at the Four Points by Sheraton BWI in Baltimore.
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