“While we wish that the ‘Call’ may prove interesting to all our readers, we particularly desire that it may manifest the true spirit and be worthy of the school it represents.” -Original issue from 1918
The Kirkwood Call has been the official newspaper of Kirkwood High School since the first issue was printed in 1918. According to the original 1918 publication, The Call was created shortly after the Webster Groves High School paper The Echo, and was named The Call to appear-rightly so-superior to its Webster counterpart. Today, after surviving through economic depression, war, nuclear threats and St. Louis weather, The Call is now in its 99th year.
TKC is completely uncensored, and our administrators do not engage in prior review. Dr. Michael Havener, principal, was chosen for the Journalism Education Association’s 2015 Administrator of the Year award, which is presented to administrators who have shown a dedication to journalism (Havener is the third KHS administrator to receive this award). The Kirkwood High School administration frequently supports students’ First Amendment rights, reflected by the First Amendment Press Freedom Award given to KHS by the Journalism Education Association (JEA) for fourteen consecutive years. TKC and thekirkwoodcall.com has also either recieved, or been a finalist for, the NSPA National Pacemaker Award (unofficially known as “The Pulitzer Prize” for student journalism”) for the past nine years and recieved a CSPA Gold Crown in 2012 and in 2013 and 2016 for a print + web hybrid.
While the 2016-2017 TKC staff of 99 that exists today is primarily run by student editors, the paper still serves as an educational experience for students. Additionally, TKC is a free publication, supported by advertisements from local businesses and patrons from local families. Keeping TKC free has not only expanded readership, but has expanded its sense of responsibility as a body of student journalists.
The first issue of TKC has an editors’ note that reads: “In offering this first number of the Kirkwood High School ‘Call’ to the public, we are not unmindful of the fact that several years ago the school published a paper called the ‘Journal’ which had a very brief existence and a small measure of success. But since the school spirit has improved so amazingly in the last few years, a paper now should have a much greater chance to succeed. If the Student Body boosts, subscribes and contributes, failure should be well nigh impossible… While we wish that the ‘Call’ may prove interesting to all our readers, we particularly desire that it may manifest the true spirit and be worthy of the school it represents.”
The current staff seeks to uphold that responsibility and produce an honest, diverse publication. We find that the poem published in the first issue still applies:
How The “Call” Got Its Name
The Editor was throwing fits, the Staff were all distracted.
They talked and disagreed each day in meetings quite protracted,
Endeavoring to find a name to fit the High School Paper,
From such as “Gimlet,” “Funnygraf,” “Review” and “Shining Taper,”
And many more, but from the list not one could they decide on,
So often did each change his choice that none could be relied on.
At last they chose but found it met with less than scant approval
From Faculty and Students all who pled for its removal.
Another meeting then was called but few cared to attend it
Nor cared what name was picked so long as they need not commend it.
Six editors and teachers two, another list acquired,
And all the old impossibles were soon completely fired.
And if the “Call” you do not like that rose from out the wreck, oh,
You just must watch, my Student friends, that Webster High School “Echo.”