HHS Publications staff wins big at annual NISPA Conference

Staff writers of The Voice pose at the NISPA Conference. (@huntleyvoice)

Staff writers of The Voice pose at the NISPA Conference. (@huntleyvoice)

Madeline Moffett

[metaslider id=19289]On Friday, April 21, the HHS Publications staff attended the annual Northern Illinois School Press Association Conference held at College of DuPage. NISPA is a collection of high schools across the northern counties of Illinois that submit their newspapers, websites, and yearbooks for contests.

To start off the day, HHS Newspaper Adviser and NISPA President, Dennis Brown, made opening remarks before introducing the key note speaker, Charlie Meyerson. Meyerson has made a career for himself in the world of blogging and online journalism. He was instrumental in the creation of the Chicago Tribune’s online footprint, then worked for many years in radio, and finally started his own blog, called Chicago Public Square. Meyerson’s address revolved around the idea that anyone can be a journalist, and money should not deter anyone from believing so; he started his blog for about $66.

As the key note address concluded, about 585 students and advisers attended two breakout sessions of their choice. Some of these sessions included “Dropping the Journalistic F-bomb: Tips of How to Use the Freedom of Information Act,” “Covering Sports the Right Way,” “How to be the Person Everyone Wants on Their Staff,” and “Turning the Page: College, Internships.” These courses were led by a mix of high school newspaper and yearbook advisers, college professors, and professional journalists.

“My favorite session was ‘Investigating Reporting in the Times of Trump’,” opinion editor Maggie McGee said. “It was really interesting to hear about the real stories that people write about.”

After a break for lunch, students and advisers packed back into the auditorium to await the announcement of award winners. Awards could be won individually or as a staff.

The following awards were won by staff members and staff as a whole:

-Mawa Iqbal: Gebhart Scholarship Winner, Blue Ribbon News Writing

-Tyler Lopez: Honorable Mention Blog

-Natalie Trzeciak: Blue Ribbon Sports Writing

-Courtney Thomas: Blue Ribbon Editorial Writing, Honorable Mention Advertising Design, Honorable Mention Individual In-depth Writing

-Emma Kubelka and Alex Landman: Honorable Mention Blog

-NISPA Newspaper Silver Certificate

-NISPA Golden Eagle (most points from newspaper and yearbook contests)

“I’m really proud of all of our kids,” Brown said. “They’ve worked hard all year, and to see that they’re being rewarded now makes it all worth it.”

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