Steamboat middle school student creates campus newspaper |

Steamboat middle school student creates campus newspaper

Jackson Lewer, 13, has created The Sailor Sirens News, a new newspaper for Steamboat Springs Middle School.
Teresa Ristow

— Extra! Extra!

Thirteen-year-old Jackson Lewer is ready for the next big middle school scoop.

The Steamboat Springs Middle School student spent the spring conducting interviews and gathering information for The Sailor Sirens News, a new campus newspaper he created with help from other students and staff.

The paper publishes Tuesday at locations across the campus and online at

“I like to read the Steamboat Today and I like to write,” said Jackson, the paper’s editor-in-chief. “So I really wanted to make the student newspaper.”

Jackson came up with the idea last November, and his research included a tour of the Steamboat Pilot & Today offices before getting started on the project.

“I work on it after school, during school, basically anywhere I have time,” said Jackson, who is in the seventh grade.

The inaugural five-page issue includes an interview with retiring teacher Tracy Bye, an interview with the school’s student-run Green Team, which supports environmental stewardship, a story on plastic and the environment and fun sections about emoticons and some images.

“Any time one of our middle school students takes initiative, we try to foster that as much as possible,” said middle school Vice Principal Heidi Chapman-Hoy. “We love when they are driven.”

Chapman-Hoy said that while there had been school papers in the past created through clubs or classes, a paper had never been sustained at the middle school.

The name for the paper was dreamed up with help from SSMS teacher Mary Fankhauser, and refers to the way a siren gets people’s attention, the way Jackson would like the paper to do.

“A siren alerts people,” Jackson said.

Along with Chapman-Hoy, Jackson had help with the paper from students Rowan Sisk, Patti Love, Grace Axtell, Winter Calhoon and Aaron Peterson.

Jackson was making final edits to his paper late last week and was looking forward to the publishing date.

“It’s basically completely perfect,” Jackson said.

Next year, Jackson is hoping to get started on the paper again earlier in the year, potentially publishing it quarterly throughout the school year.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email or follow her on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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