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1999 Michael S. Powell HS Journalist of the Year: Montgomery Blair’s Matthew Smith

Matthew Smith, a senior at Montgomery Blair High School and co-editor-in-chief of its school newspaper, Silver Chips, is the Michael S. Powell High School Journalist of the Year for 1999.
Smith, of Silver Spring, was selected from the largest pool of applicants in the award's history. The contest was expanded in 1998 to include all the high schools with journalism programs in Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia; in previous years it was limited to Maryland schools.
“The MDDC judges were very impressed with the talents shown by Matthew Smith,” said Association Scholarship Committee chairman Tom Graham, executive editor of the Patuxent Publishing. “His work for his high school paper combined detailed reporting, strong story-telling and effective writing on important topics. He also used his position as editor to take articulate stances on First Amendment issues relevant to all scholastic journalists.”
“We’re pleased that MDDC’s newly upgraded award will go this year to such an outstanding candidate,” said Graham.
Smith had been active in journalism since his sophomore year at Blair, serving as a staff photographer, writer and editor for Silver Chips before ascending to the co-editor-in-chief position.
Smith won eight awards from the Maryland Scholastic Press Association over the previous two years, including a record five individual awards. Those awards included three first-places for feature story, editorial writing and opinion page layout. Smith planned a dual major in science and journalism in college, leading to a career in print journalism.
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