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The News Website for Glendale High School


The News Website for Glendale High School


2023 Lancaster Prize Winner Announced!

Melinda Khechumyan, Diana Khachatryan, Edita Melkumyan, Maria Bagumian, Kristina Kugaevskaya, Jimmy Kimmel, Araksya Harutyunyan, and Erica Mae Valdellon. Not pictured: Samantha Verduzco

The Lancaster Prize was founded in 2021 to recognize excellence in the field of school journalism for seniors at Glendale High School. It was named in honor of Mr. Patrick Lancaster, the legendary teacher, coach and athletic director, who retired from GHS in 2020 and had been the Explosion advisor at our school since 1993.

Seniors who have written for our Explosion website submitted up to three articles for consideration for this year’s award. Their submissions fell under four categories: Features, Opinion, Reviews, and Spotlight. 

A panel of GHS teachers then read these submissions, and they ranked them based on the quality of their writing, the clarity of their reporting, and a list of other criteria.

Ultimately, there was a finalist, and two semi-finalists, chosen for each category. Then our teacher panelists, along with our entire Explosion staff, read and ranked the four finalists, leaving us with our winner for the 3rd Annual Lancaster Prize.

Here are the results:


2023 Lancaster Prize Winner

Kristina Kugaevskaya

“Let’s Stop Resisting a Rest”

Category: Opinion


2022 Lancaster Prize Finalists

Araksya Harutyunyan

“The Truth About Domestic Violence”

Category: Features

Kristina Kugaevskaya

“Review: Avatar: The Way of Water

Category: Reviews

Edita Melkumyan

“Mrs. Sarhadian Came to GHS by Fate”

Category: Spotlight


2023 Lancaster Prize Semi-Finalists


Kristina Kugaevskaya

“More Like a Fairy Fail…”

Maria Bagumian

Rita Malallah and Narek Avetisyan Are Taking Huge Steps to Success



Araksya Harutyunyan

The Misinterpreted Concept of the American Dream

Melinda Khechumyan

“Throwing Hands at the Oscars”



Erica Mae Valdellon

“Review: Wednesday

Samantha Verduzco

“Review: Gloria, Sam Smith”



Diana Khachatryan

Mr. Gang Is a Long-Timer Who Has Finally Come Home

Samantha Verduzco

“Jonathan Guasch Is a Proud President”


Congratulations to all of our finalists and semi-finalists. We hope that future writers for our news website are inspired by your achievements.

Thank you to our panel of GHS teachers who read and ranked our submissions: Crystal Caban, Kristina Carbajal, Holly Ciotti, Holly Donohue, Peter Gebeshian, Lisa Keefer, Cheryce Kurtz, Amy Mkrtchian, and Chris O’Malley. 

Thank you to the members of our 2022-23 Explosion staff, who continue to impress me with the quality of the work they produce every day. I have learned more from them than they could possibly have learned from me.

Thank you to Patrick Lancaster, for his continued friendship, support and guidance throughout the years.

And a special thank you, once again, to retired English teacher and administrator, Patricia Livingston, who is an avid reader and supporter of our news website.


Previous Lancaster Prize Winners


Rafyeal Hovhannisyan 

In honor of his indelible contribution to the Explosion website during the COVID-19 pandemic


Angela Ter-Martirosyan

Don’t Look Up

Category: Reviews

About the Contributor
Jon Livingston, Advisor
Mr. Livingston is the Explosion advisor at Glendale High School. He is also the ASB advisor and the advisor for Stylus, the GHS yearbook. He is currently in his 24th year of teaching, and he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, watching movies, cheering on the UCLA football team and playing disc golf (poorly).
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