State College Area High School senior Casey McCracken is the 2013 recipient of the Bill Welch Award for Excellence in Journalism.
McCracken, editor-in-chief of the Lions’ Digest at State High and a volunteer writer for the State College-based newspaper Voices, was selected for the award by the high school’s journalism faculty. The honor is named for late State College Mayor Bill Welch, who was a reporter and executive editor of the Centre Daily Times. It was created by the Young Writers of America, of which Welch was a longtime member.
The daughter of Janet McCracken and Jeff Hayes, Casey McCracken also is the the treasurer of the LEO Club at State High. A lifelong State College resident, she hopes to attend Ithaca College, to major in journalism or documentary studies. A guitar player, she also enjoys mountain biking, backpacking, camping and running. She has two brothers, Joe and Kyle.
McCracken formally received the award in a recent ceremony held at the Allen Street Grill in State College. In addition to a plaque, she was presented with a book on journalism specially selected by Nadine Kofman, wife of the late mayor. McCracken’s name has been added to a plaque that hangs in the high school.
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As Welch awardee, she will undertake an internship at the Centre Daily Times, gaining firsthand experience under the mentorship of the newspaper staff.