The Pony Express earned a second place award for General Website Excellence from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA.) The awards were presented at the TIPA Convention in Fort Worth on April 4-6.

Editor Joshua Renfro won a second place award for his critical review of the movie “Bernie.” Renfro, a freshman from Cushing, attends Panola College on a communication scholarship. He was photographer and editor for the Cushing High School yearbook, and earned academic scholarships to attend Panola College.

Editor Madison McGowan won a third place award for her news story on the importance of being an informed voter. McGowan, a sophomore from Tatum, edited her high school yearbook. While still in high school she won journalism awards in UIL competition. McGowan will earn her associate’s degree from Panola College in May, and will transfer to the University of Texas at Arlington in the fall of 2013.

Jackson Herod earned a third place award for a sports column on NFL bounties. Herod, a Carthage High School graduate, was a broadcast journalism student at CHS.

Olivia Beck, a Carthage High School graduate, has worked on the Panola College Pony Express for two years. She has completed her training to be a Certified Nurse’s Aide, and plans to attend nursing school at Panola College.

Renfro, McGowan and Beck worked with Teresa Beasley, adviser, to convert the Pony Express from its previous online format to a new and improved version.

“We chose School Newspapers Online to host our website,” said Beasley. “We were able to customize the site the way we wanted it, and we have been so pleased with the customer support this organization provides.” The website is online at

TIPA was founded in 1909 and is the oldest collegiate press association in the nation, representing both two-year and four-year colleges and universities. Fred Stewart of Texas A&M – Commerce, serves as TIPA Executive Director.