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2005 Michael S. Powell HS Journalist of the Year: St. Alban’s Dan Rasmussen

Dan Rasmussen, a senior at St. Albans School in Washington, D.C., is the MDDC High School Journalist of the Year for 2005.
Rasmussen began at the St. Albans News in his first year, was named deputy editor-in-chief at the end of his sophomore year, managing four writers and published just six eight-page issues that year. By the end of his junior year, Rasmussen’s enthusiasm and dedication revived the St. Albans News, boasting a staff of 35 writers, three cartoonists and a photographer and published 11 issues, totaling over 120 pages of content.
Rasmussen also updated the newspaper’s design, implemented a beat system for covering the different aspects of school life, and turned the newspaper into a respected voice that has affected change at the school.
Jacqueline Grazette, journalism adviser at St. Albans, says Rasmussen “has taken very seriously the responsibility of a journalist to monitor power, and as a result…has been a real voice for student and faculty concerns,” and that he has done this “sometimes, at tremendous risk to himself.”
Rasmussen also had experience working for a community newspaper. At The Georgetown Current in Washington, D.C., he parlayed an unpaid summer position into an invitation to be the paper’s first-ever high school intern to be offered a position as a paid correspondent.
Rasmussen credited his experiences at St. Albans with teaching him that “journalism, when done fairly and accurately, can have a tremendous positive impact.”
Paul Milton, executive editor at Patuxent Publishing and chairman of the MDDC Editorial Committee, said, "The selection committee was very impressed with Dan's dedication and determination to be the best journalist he can be. Even as a high school journalist, Dan has already taken on meaty topics that you don't typically find in some college newspapers, let alone high school ones. He's well on his way to a great career in journalism."
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