A dozen members of Millard West High School's newspaper staff craned their necks as they watched a "one-time only" edition of their school paper roll off a five-story-tall press Thursday in The World-Herald's Freedom Center.
"It's like watching my baby be born," said senior Kassidy Arena, the editor-in-chief. "We worked so many snow days and weekends for this and now it's happening. I'm very excited."
The printing of 1,000 copies of "Pawprint" — the school newspaper — will allow the journalism students to enter competitions for newspaper layout and design. Typically, the paper is published only in a digital format, said adviser Lisa Lukecart.
"This was supposed to be a legacy project for Kassidy last year, but we didn't get it done," Lukecart said. "I wanted to make this dream come true for her and I thought of the Omaha World-Herald."
The job of layout, design and graphics for the 24-page edition fell on the shoulders of junior Corey Hadfield. Lukecart gave Hadfield the responsibility without warning and he never blinked, she said.
"I had to make everything from scratch because I'd never done design before," said Hadfield. "I taught myself by looking at the Wayne State College paper and The World-Herald. It was a lot of work getting the print, pictures and text just right."
A not-so-well-kept secret naround school, Lukecart said, is that the print edition will be distributed Tuesday. The 1,000 copies will have to be shared among approximately 2,700 students.
Arena, who plans to attend the University of Missouri, said she is excited to bring the students something different.
"Digital is so easy to delete or do over," she said. "Print is forever. Print is right in your hands."