Silver Chips Online is an independent student newspaper of Montgomery Blair High School (www.mbhs.edu) in Silver Spring, Maryland. Silver Chips Online is run entirely by students and works closely with its print counterpart Silver Chips. Silver Chips Online, Silver Chips and individual staff members have won numerous awards, many of them at the national level. Student editors make all content decisions. Silver Chips Online is a forum for community expression. For more information on our writers and other staff, please visit our staff page.
Silver Chips Online (SCO) is dedicated to representing, defending, informing and entertaining the Blair community. SCO publishes all newsworthy stories that pertain to the Blair community as well as seeks letters to the editor. SCO provides a forum for student expression and strives to represent Blair's vast diversity in the content of its paper.
Silver Chips Online strictly follows its mottos of nullae morae (no delays) and nullae rationales (no excuses). No delays. SCO is accessible to readers at all times. SCO staff is always there to report on whatever happens, as it happens. Without detracting from writing quality or adherence to journalistic standards, stories are written and posted as quickly as possible. No excuses. Newspapers work on deadlines. If deadlines are not met, chaos ensues. To avoid chaos and to create a good paper, deadlines are absolute. Stories and other work must be turned in on deadlines regardless of circumstances.
Silver Chips Online was founded by Dan Zytnick during the 1998-1999 school year as an online list of Silver Chips print edition stories, though "online only" news and sports stories and web-updates became common soon after.
Since its inaugural year, Silver Chips Online has greatly expanded its staff and mission. In the 2000-2001 school year, under Editor-in-Chief Daina Klimanis, Silver Chips Online had six staff members and began writing more of its own stories instead of simply posting the latest print edition. Under Editors-in-Chief Joe Howley and Robert Day during the 2001-2002 school year, the site received a major redesign and began to produce many more "Online Only" stories. In 2002-2003, Silver Chips Online, headed by Editors-in-Chief Kevin Chang and Jeanne Yang, added a large number of new reporters and the content of the site became dominated by "Online Only" stories.
Editors-in-Chief Branden Buehler and KC Constanzo led Silver Chips Online in launching a new site design during the 2003-2004 school year. That year, Silver Chips Online was given the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) Pacemaker award, an honor that identified it as one of the three best online high school newspapers in the nation. Buehler and Costanzo, along with Managing Editors Cori Cohen and Robin Hernandez, attended the NSPA Conference in San Diego, California, that year to receive the award. The site was also given the 2004 Marylander Award by the Maryland-DC Scholastic Press Association.
During the next school year, Silver Chips Online doubled in size to a staff of 45 writers and editors. That year brought an expansion of site features, including the College section, the Foreign Desk section, the Ask Chips column and numerous site specials, such as Homecoming and Election 2004 coverage. Under the leadership of Editors-in- Chief, Vivek Chellappa, Allison Elvove, Ely Portillo and Katherine Zhang and Technical Director Jeffrey Dunn, the site was once more awarded a Pacemaker.
The following year brought another Pacemaker award under Editors-in-Chief Christopher Consolino, Jeremy Goodman, Grace Harter and Alex Mazerov and Technical Director Erik Li. The site expanded to include a Food section and Back Page, and continued to provide excellent coverage of local events – including President Bush's 2005 visit to Montgomery Blair. The site won the 2006 Marylander award as well.
Online Managing Editors Meaghan Mallari and Tasha Prados created an Online Spanish Section during the 2006-2007 school year to further diversify the site. In addition to serving as the Editors-in-Chief of the Silver Chips Online Spanish Section they wrote the Spanish page for the Print edition. In Spring of 2007, Editors-in-Chief Merlyn Deng, Eve Gleichman and Payal Patnaik introduced MyChips, a new feature designed to e-mail updates to 5 Silver Chips Online, 2012-2013 subscribers. That same year, Silver Chips Online became a part of Google News and attracted attention from local media for its coverage of the controversial color-coded ID policy that had been implemented and was again awarded the Marylander award.
In the 2007-2008 school year, Editors-in-Chief Priyanka Gokhale, Pia Nargundkar and Rachita Sood and Technical Director David Dunn launched a complete site redesign, adding a 3-0-1 weekend section and Blair Connection to the website. The site was given the Marylander Award that year and the next, under Editors-in-Chief Sophie Schwadron and Kiera Zitelman. 2009 also saw the introduction of various specials, such as Blair Pair, Obama's First 100 Days and coverage of the March Madness and the Super Bowl.
In 2009-2010, Editors-in-Chief Deepa Chellappa and David Tao and Technical Director Wylie Conlon redesigned the site in the fall of 2009, building a new logo and stylesheets.
In the 2010-2011 school year, with only five senior editors on board, Editor-in-Chief Ava Wallace maintained the site and created a Twitter account, jumpstarting the site's presence in the social media world. The following year, Editors-in-Chiefs Melodi Anahtar and Marjorie Fuchs continued this trend by creating a Facebook page for the site.
Brittany Cheng and Langston Taylor served as co-Editor-in-Chiefs during the 2012-2013 school year. During their tenure, Cheng and Taylor redesigned the front page, incorporated live tweeting into SCO's repertoire, added Print Archives to the site via Issuu, and expanded the SCO's use of multimedia elements by teaming up with Blair Network Communications to produce video pieces. In the process, SCO won the 2013 Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) Gold Crown Award in the Hybrid category.
Aanchal Johri and Jack Estrin served as co-Editor-in-Chiefs during the 2013-2014 school year. During their tenure, Silver Chips Online was the only high school newspaper invited to cover the State of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Address. Johri and Photo Staff Editor Emma Howells represented Silver Chips Online at the White House for this event.
From 2014 to 2017, some of Silver Chips Online's projects included an extensive social media campaign, expanded blog categories, and a #Blazers section. With continued coverage of the school and its surrounding area, the paper continued to uphold its rank as one of the best in the nation and increase its ability to report on all Blair events and other information of interest to the Blair community. Its editors-in-chief included Zoe Johnson and Dylan Ahunhodjaev (2014-15), Max Foley-Keene and Eleanor Linafelt (2015-16), and Eleanor Cook and Randima Herath (2016-17).
Starting in 2016, Silver Chips Online collaborated with the Montgomery Blair Sysops to completely redevelop and redesign its website. The effort was undertaken with an eye on future maintenance and flexibility, promoting content visibility and accessibility, and a freshened, modern, streamlined user experience and look-and-feel. A team of Sysops, led by Noah Singer ('18) and including Ian Rackow ('19), Mark Jung ('19), Noah Kim ('18), Simon Chervenak ('20), and Liam DeVoe ('20), replaced the old PHP website with a completely new, open source, Python/Django platform. They worked with editors-in-chief Mehana Daftary and Amy Forbsacka (2017-18) and Nobline Yoo and Rebecca Wessel (2018-19), who hope that the new website will help them restructure Silver Chips Online to better serve the Blair community.
To contact other staff members individually, please visit our staff page.