Gazette Chicago wins Apex for EduHAM coverage
September 6, 2019

Gabriella Valentino.

Gazette Chicago reporter Gabriella Valentino’s coverage of the Hamilton Education Program (EduHAM) has won an Award of Excellence from Communications Concepts in the feature writing category in the organization’s Apex 2019 competition.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the Rockefeller Foundation, and producers of the play Hamilton created EduHAM to help schools incorporate studies of Alexander Hamilton and the founding era into their curriculum.

The article appeared in the July 6, 2018, edition of Gazette Chicago.

Communications Concepts is a journalism and communications think tank based in Alexandria, VA. This year’s Apex competition was the 31st annual.

“Apex Awards are based on excellence in graphic design, editorial content, and the ability to achieve overall communications excellence,” said Ken Turtoro, executive editor of the Apex Awards. “With over 1,200 entries, competition was exceptionally intense.”

“The play Hamilton has really captured the imagination of the public,” said Mark J. Valentino, editor and publisher of Gazette Chicago. “Gabriella’s coverage highlighted EduHAM, a way to not only bring the play and the information it is based upon to youngsters in Title I schools—those with high percentages of children from low-income families—but to encourage them to participate by composing a song, rap, or spoken word piece on the founding of America. She did an excellent job in bringing the story of EduHAM to Gazette Chicago’s readers.”

“Pieces like Hamilton are important because they allow youth to channel their inner creative outlet,” Gabriella Valentino said. “A play featuring someone as complicated as Alexander Hamilton is important for youth to see because it allows them to think critically and not see events, people, things as just black and white.

“I encourage youth across the city to explore art as an outlet, no matter what that looks like to them,” she added. “Try new things even though you think you might fail, go to art shows, listen to activists speak, consider the other point of view, be mad about what’s going on in the world around you, and create amazing art from those feelings.”

Gazette Chicago has won 71 journalism and publication excellence awards since 1993.

“Our most recent Apex award shows once again the quality of writers who contribute to Gazette Chicago each issue, and the types of articles that our readers have found compelling each and every month for the past 37 years,” added Mark Valentino.

The international Apex 2019 awards competition featured winners from Canada, India, the Netherlands, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Awardees came from numerous companies and organizations, including the American Bankers Association, Boy Scouts of America, Ford Motor Co., Medill School of Journalism, National Football League, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Michigan, University of Texas, and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

For more information on Apex Awards of Excellence and Communications Concepts, log on to

To read Gabriella Valentino’s award winning article, go to Click on the E-Edition tab and search the archives section for the July 2018 issue.

—William S. Bike