J&C wins big at JEA/NSPA journalism convention in Dallas, Texas


The students and teachers who attended the NSPA convention in Dallas walk away from their hotel. Photo by Phoebe Monsour.

Phoebe Monsour

Several members of the Journalism and Communications (J&C) magnet won awards at the Journalism Education Association (JEA)/National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) Fall National High School Journalism Convention awards ceremony in Dallas, Texas, on Nov. 18.

Lucy Calderon (11, J&C) shows J&C teachers and students On the Record’s Best in Show award. Photo by Phoebe Monsour.

On the Record won first Best in Show for news magazine, One Blue Wall won eighth Best in Show for literary magazine and Manual RedEye won third Best in Show for news website.

On the Record’s former member Harper Carlton (Class of 2017) won first place for Story of the Year in the news category with her article “You’re testing my limits,” and On the Record’s Lucy Calderon (11, J&C) won an honorable mention in Story of the Year in the opinion category for her article “Break Your Silence.”

“It’s one thing to think that the people around you think that you’re good at what you’re doing and for you to think yourself that you’re good at what you’re doing and being proud of something,” Calderon said. “Having national recognition just confirms even more that ‘Wow, I’m actually a good writer. I could actually go somewhere with this,’ especially from some [organization] as prestigious as the NSPA.”

Emma Stephens (Class of 2017) won for NSPA Design of the Year in the Illustration category with her artwork for One Blue Wall’s Opalescent magazine.

The Manual RedEye staff won honorable mention in Multimedia Story of the Year for the article “Red/White Week 2016.”

For the JEA write-offs, competitions in which students base their content on the same prompt as all other competitors in a certain category, Claire Johnstone (10, J&C) received the highest rating, “superior,” for her literary magazine layout.

Kathryn Minor’s (12, J&C) logo design received a rating of “excellent,” the second best rating.

Students in J&C have usually attended the NSPA convention twice a year since 2011, participating in competitions such as the National Journalism Quiz Bowl, which J&C students last won in 2014.

Three journalism teachers and 12 students from J&C attended the convention, which lasted from Nov. 16-19.

During the trip, the J&C teachers and their students attended various lectures on journalism, press law and ethics, multimedia and design.

In the place of grades for their regular journalism classes, students on the trip filled folders with what they learned at sessions during the convention.

“I loved the trip because it gave me the chance to sharpen a lot of my skills, and I just felt very in my element being surrounded by journalists, people who love writing as much as I do and people who have excelled in the industry,” Calderon said.

The NSPA and the JEA are non-profit organizations that help student journalists and their advisers with journalism education.