FHSD Journalism Students Continue to Make the Cover

Posted on 11/18/2016
FHSD Journalism Students Continue to Make the Cover

Several Francis Howell School District (FHSD) students were among the many attendees from around the country at the Journalism Educators Association (JEA)/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Nov. 10-13. Awards were taken home by students, further validating the outstanding publication departments at all three high schools in FHSD.

Francis Howell North alone had 21 student staffers attend the convention, where they picked up more tips and tricks from their counterparts around the country. “We had a pretty great trip,” FHN Director of Student Media Aaron Manfull said. “The staff got a lot out of the sessions they attended.” And if awards and top ten finishes are any indication, the publication crews at FHSD schools are newsworthy.

FHN’s newspaper, “The North Star,” was honored again with a Newspaper Pacemaker Award, the fourth in school history. FHN has set a (black and) gold standard for student journalism in Missouri as it continues to make headlines on the NSPA awards list. The Pacemaker is the top award a staff can get in scholastic journalism. Yearbook Pacemakers are named and honored in the spring. For the Online Pacemaker, both FHNToday.com and FHCToday.com were winners, two of only fourteen. These are student-run news websites and both have a professional-level look and style of writing. FHN staff also took home a fifth place Best of Show finish for their “Excalibur” yearbook, and Francis Howell High School’s (FHHS’s) “Howelltonian” yearbook finished third. The Howelltonian scored all 500 possible points in the NSPA All-American Rating, their tenth All-American Rating in eleven years.

Eleven FHN staffers were honored for their individual work in Journalism Education Association (JEA) write-off competitions at the convention. Earning Honorable Mentions were Anthony Kristensen in Feature Writing; Taylor Sheridan in Broadcast Newswriting; Kelsey Decker in First-Year Photo; Rebecca Purcell in Copy/Caption: Student Life; Madison Meers in Yearbook Copy/Caption: Clubs; and Aimee Clive in Yearbook Copy/Caption: Academics. Earning Excellent ratings were Bryce Fletcher in Yearbook Cover and Endsheets, and Ryanne O’Donnell in Yearbook theme. Finally, earning the top spot of Superior in their categories were Noah Slaughter in News Editing/Headline Writing, Maddie Mitchell in Graphic Design: Infographics, and Aly Doty in Newsmagazine Layout.

FHHS staffers also won JEA recognition. Kane Katubig earned a Superior rating in the Broadcast PSA category.
 Alyssa Juris earned a Superior rating for her work on the “Howelltonian,” in the Yearbook Copy/Captions – Sports category. Shelby Odle received an Excellent rating in the Yearbook Copy/Captions – Clubs category. Kayla Peterson was given an Excellent rating in the Feature Writing category, and Daniel Willbrand was scored Excellent in Sports Action Photography. Brook Watkins also got an Honorable Mention for Yearbook Copy/Captions – Student Life.

For Broadcast Story of the Year, three FHSD students made the final cut.

  • For the Broadcast News category, Autumn Todd, a 2016 graduate of FHN, earned tenth place with this piece: The Golden Knight Steppers
  • For the Broadcast Feature category, two FHSD students were finalists. Alyssa Barber of FHN won tenth place for this humorous piece: Promposal. Senior Taylor Tinnes of FHC earned a ninth place finish for this fascinating story about former Spartan, Tristan Ratterman, in this video: The Man Behind the Xylophone

In other categories, FHC graduate Morgan Brader electrified judges and earned seventh place in the Newsmagazine Cover Design category with her cover of the “Central Focus” headlined "Unplugged.”

FHN graduate Brandon McCarty’s Newspaper Page/Spread was a truly outstanding design, earning him third place in that category.

Though guided by outstanding teachers, such as Aaron Manfull and Jordyn Kiel at FHN, Matthew Schott at FHC, and Michelle Dunaway at FHHS, these are mainly student-run publications. It says a lot about these students and the program that they continue to be noticed and honored by national judges who work in the media. As FHN Yearbook Adviser Jordyn Kiel said, “The students don’t do what they do for awards, but it’s certainly something to celebrate.”

Keep checking back at FHCToday.com, fhhstoday.com, and FHNToday.com, and see how FHSD students are making the cover. 

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