Student Publications receive several national honors at virtual Fall Convention


Cece Beckmann, Staff Reporter

Though they usually travel out of town each fall to attend the National High School Journalism Convention (NHSJC), the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Nov. 19-21 event that was supposed to be held in Orlando, Florida to go all virtual.

Still, members of Lafayette’s student publications staffs, spent a couple of days online attending workshops and competing in a variety of areas. Overall, the staffs earned 12 individual awards and one staff recognition.

In the convention’s Best of Show competition, the November edition of the Image newsmagazine was entered into the Specialty Magazine category and was awarded 10th place.

The following students won awards in the National Student Media Contests sponsored by the Journalism Education Association. 

Honorable Mention: Yearbook Layout/Inside Pages-senior Rachel Brown, Literary Magazine/Poetry-sophomore Juli Mejia
Excellent: Sports Action Photography-senior Sophia Scheller, Yearbook Layout/Theme-junior Anusha Singh,
Broadcast Sports Story-sophomore Joey Weaver 

Singh said she was very excited to be recognized.

“I had about a week to work on the page I had to design. Usually, when I make pages I have a lot more time than that, so it was a little stressful. I had a lot of creative freedom, so it was hard picking from all of the ideas I had,” Singh said.

When Weaver produced his award-winning story about fall sports players and how they were coping with COVID-19 restrictions this year, he didn’t expect to place in a competition.

“It didn’t cross my mind that it could actually win a national award. It felt really good to win because as a journalist there are times where you work really hard on projects and then you post it and there is not much feedback and praise, so to win a national award and to see my work pay off makes me feel really good,” Weaver said. 

Alex Vancil’s award-winning cartoon.

Work from last year’s publications was also entered in the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) individual contests. The following students were recognized as national awards winners:

Alex Vancil, Class of 2020, received first place nationally for Editorial Cartoon.

Jack Weaver, Class of 2020, received Honorable Mentions for Broadcast Feature Story, Broadcast News COVID-19 Coverage and Sports Action Photo.  Chloe Baker, Class of 2020,  and sophomore Juli Mejia won an Honorable Mention in the Podcast category.

Fourth Place honors went to Scheller for Broadcast Sports Story and to Baker for Sports Story.