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Morgan Cook, a co-editor of Wando High School’s
award-winning newspaper Tribal Tribune is the 2024 South Carolina Scholastic Journalist of the Year by the South Carolina Scholastic Press Association (SCSPA). Cook learned about the honor through a surprise presentation at school on Friday, February 16, 2024.

Cook is the ninth student from Wando to earn this honor (state record), and the fourth Tribal Tribune staff member to earn this recognition. She becomes the seventh Warrior to receive this award in the past eight years. It is the highest award a high school journalist can receive in the state, an award that has been around for 55 years.

"Morgan is an outstanding young journalist, particularly when it comes to investigation, research, and interviewing,” explained Wando’s newspaper and yearbook adviser, and English teacher, Phillip Caston. “She is also a phenomenal person and coach to her younger staff members. She exhibits empathetic and mature leadership for her staff as co-editor in chief. Morgan is steadfast in her work and fully commits to the arduous task of producing such a fine high school newspaper, all the while balancing her academic course load and being a star on
Wando's cross country and track and field teams. She is fearless, courageous, and pursues stories as any professional journalist would.”

Cook completed an online portfolio of work ranging from writing, photography, design, editing, and entrepreneurship, as well as several letters of recommendation and a personal essay. Cook’s portfolio can be viewed by clicking on this link.

"I’m so grateful to be awarded S.C. Scholastic Journalist of the Year and to work with the most incredible newspaper staff this year,” Cook said. “Being a part of Tribal Tribune has been the best part of my high school experience. I’ve met some of my best friends through this staff and I’ve grown so much as a person. Thank you to everyone who is a part of Tribal Tribune; this year has truly been special. To Caston, my parents, my coaches, and everyone else who has helped me throughout my years on staff, thank you. I truly could not have
accomplished all of this without everyone’s help."

Cook will be recognized at the SCSPA state conference in March in Columbia, then again at National Scholastic Press Association conference in Kansas City, MO on April 6, 2024. Cook’s portfolio will represent South Carolina in the Journalism Education Association’s National Journalist of the Year competition. Cook has not decided on her college plans yet, but she will study journalism. “For Wando student media, this marks another bright moment in our continued
success in the world of scholastic journalism,” added Caston. “With more SC Scholastic Journalists of the Year than any state school in history and now six in a row with Morgan's win, Wando continues to set the standard for excellence in the field."

For more information, contact Phillip Caston at