Cape Tech Student Magazine Earns National Honors

by Jennifer Sexton-Riley
The cover of the award-winning 2023 edition of “The Collection.” The cover of the award-winning 2023 edition of “The Collection.”

The 2023 edition of “The Collection,” Cape Cod Regional Vocational Technical High School’s arts and literary magazine, has been named a Superior Magazine by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). It also received a first place award from the American Scholastic Press Association (ASPA).

Middle schools, high schools and institutions of higher education in 46 states and five countries nominated 375 student magazines for the NCTE competition. The ASPA, too, received hundreds of entries for its annual competition.

The 2023 edition of “The Collection” is the fifth volume of collected works by Cape Tech students. The annual magazine features original short stories, poems, essays and song lyrics, as well as artwork across a wide spectrum of mediums, including photography, acrylics, oils, pen and ink, digital and multimedia.

Scott Dalton, an English teacher and advisor to “The Collection,” is proud of the students’ hard work and achievements.

“It is an affirmation of the hard work of the dozens of students who contributed to it,” Dalton said. “Some of them contributed their artwork, and others shared their stories and poems. Then there are the people who helped edit and arrange the magazine. It is truly a team effort.”

Dalton said the contributing students’ stories, poems and artwork showcase their creative talents, as does the editing work by the staff of “Tech Talk,” the school newspaper. Dalton explained that the staff of “Tech Talk” serve as the collective editors of “The Collection.” They proofread the material and discuss which of the submitted works should appear. Some of the staff members of “Tech Talk” also submit their own work to “The Collection.” Dalton said the magazine enjoys the strong support of both the faculty and administration.

Dalton recalled the inspiration and creation of the first edition of “The Collection.”

“Six years ago, Hannah Capra, who was then a senior in what is now called design and visual communications (DVC), asked if she could create an arts magazine for the school,” Dalton said. “She worked with teachers in DVC to develop a design for the publication. She also worked with them to solicit artwork from students. I worked with the other members of the English department to encourage students to submit their stories, poems, and essays. Hannah then took all of that material and turned it into something wonderful. She really set the template for the next several years.”

Dalton said this year another senior in DVC, Isadora Campos, is taking over the design aspect. She is in the process of putting her own stamp on what the 2024 edition will look like, and Dalton is excited to see what she comes up with.

Dalton said that school magazines and newspapers serve different but similarly important roles.

“A school magazine should, in my mind, be an outlet for the creative talents of all students. It provides a place for them to showcase creative endeavors that do not always find a home in the day-to-day curriculum,” Dalton said. “Although much of the artwork comes from students in DVC, we also regularly see many contributions from students in the 14 other shops at Cape Tech, whether it is in the form of a poem, a song, or a piece of artwork. For many of them, this is the first time that they have seen their work in print, and there is a great sense of pride in that accomplishment.”

The school newspaper also provides a forum, Dalton said, but more for ideas than art.

“It reflects what is on the minds of students,” Daltons said. “As advisor to ‘Tech Talk,’ I always tell my students that long after they graduate, there will be only two documents that capture what life was like at Cape Tech during the time they were here. One of those is the yearbook, which I consider to be like a photo album of memories. The newspaper provides insight into what was important to the students at this school at that particular time — a snapshot of what was happening in their lives. It is a chance to explore difficult issues, and to learn the value of research, listening, and balanced reporting. It is also the official record — the history of the school in written form. I consider that a sacred trust, and I hope my students feel the same way.”

Cape Tech students are currently at work on the 2024 edition of “The Collection.”

Digital copies of the winning 2023 edition of “The Collection” may be viewed on Cape Tech’s website, under the Community tab. For more information about the American Scholastic Press Association, visit For more information about the NCTE’s REALM Program, please visit to-recognize-in-student-literary-magazines/.