Coppell Student Media wins Best Website, celebrates 10 year anniversary of first win


Photo courtesy Kavitha Kadari

On Thursday, The Sidekick copy editor Pramika Kadari, editor-in-chief Kelly Wei, adviser Chase Wofford and executive news editor Christine Zacuai represented the program at The Dallas Morning News at the 28th annual The Dallas Morning News High School Journalism Day. The event allowed students across North Texas to win awards and gain recognition for their work.

Andrés Bear

On Thursday afternoon, with excitement in the air and phone notifications on high, The Sidekick staff members were greeted to Coppell Student Media being awarded Best Website in the 2018-19 Dallas Morning News High School Journalism Competition.


Coppell Student Media was launched in 2008 as a website to host media published by The Sidekick and KCBY-TV. Before the website launched, The Sidekick was a print-only publication. In 2009, Coppell Student Media won the Best Website award, followed by another win in 2011.


“The Best Website award presented to us is tangible proof of our hard work,” The Sidekick junior copy editor Pramika Kadari said. “I know many staff members who make The Sidekick their number one priority.”

“Your job [as a staff member] is to report and tell the success stories of other groups and individuals,” The Sidekick adviser Chase Wofford said “It’s neat whenever it comes back your direction and you are the story being recognized for doing something really great.””

— The Sidekick adviser Chase Wofford


At the event, junior staff writer Neha Desaraju and senior editor-in-chief Kelly Wei received recognition for placing as finalists in the annual journalism competition. Executive news editor Christine Zacuai was recognized as The Sidekick’s Most Valuable Staff Member.


In addition to being a finalist in two categories, Wei won Best News Photography for a photo of a Dallas March For Our Lives protester, from “This is what democracy looks like”.


“I do a little bit of everything on staff,” Wei said “I primarily design, but I also write. Photography is the thing I touch the least. I’d never really done journalistic photography before so it was a pleasant surprise.”


Zacuai and Wei were chosen as interns for The Dallas Morning News 2019 summer internship program. This summer marks the fourth year in a row that a Sidekick staff member has interned at the Dallas Morning News.


Best Website

Winner: Coppell Student Media


Sports Feature

Finalist: staff writer Neha Desaraju



Finalist: editor-in-chief Kelly Wei



Finalist: The Sidekick (written by editorial page editor Claire Clements)


News Photography

Winner: editor-in-chief Kelly Wei


Illustration or Cartoon Portfolio

Finalist: editor-in-chief Kelly Wei