The Notebook celebrated 15 years of publishing for quality and equality in the Philadelphia public schools June 11 with a celebration at the University of the Arts. The crowd of 250 included parents, educators, students, and local officials, among them city Chief Education Officer Lori Shorr, State Rep. Babette Josephs, School Reform Commissioners Johnny Irizarry and Heidi Ramirez, and District Chief Academic Officer Maria Pitre-Martin, Chief Business Officer Michael Masch, and Chief of School Operations Tomas Hanna.
The Notebook presented its annual awards to four student journalists: Lance Lempert of Northeast, Taron Brooker of Fels, Zachary Carduner of Central, and Huizhong Wu of Masterman. Notebook cofounder and editorial cartoonist Eric Joselyn was recognized for 15 years of volunteer service. The affair featured student musicians from the Girard Academic Music Program and caricaturists from the High School for the Creative and Performing Arts.
The event raised $36,000 from sponsors and supporters for the Notebook’s growing publishing activities, including a redesigned Web site and blog, a fall guide to high schools, and five other print editions per year.
The Notebook was cited as “notably well written” in an August New York Times Magazine article about the media landscape in Philadelphia. Writer Michael Sokolove described Notebook editor Paul Socolar as “something like the journalist of the future” for sustaining a publication that combines reporting with “dedication to a cause” in a difficult business environment. With financial support for its publishing from individuals, advertisers, and national and local foundations, the Notebook has evolved into a multimedia news service with print circulation of almost 60,000.