Joliet West Journalism competes at national convention


Ms. Maribel Diaz

The 2019 Joliet West High School advanced journalism students and their teacher Ms. Galloy at the White House in Washington D.C. on November 21.

Haley Maser, Views Editor

On November 20, the Joliet West Journalism team boarded a bus headed to the country’s capital, their sights set on winning competitions at the national level. This year, the National High School Journalism Convention took place in Washington D.C., and for the first time, West students were contenders in a variety of contests. The young journalists took the challenges head-on, creating videos, designs, and a variety of other media, with two students competing for on-site in timed writing competitions. Ten students, ranging from sophomores to seniors, comprised the team, bringing expertise from both newspaper and yearbook. The convention also presented opportunities to improve skills and learn from professionals. The hard work and creativity the students poured into the convention and its’ contests were apparent in the results.

Despite being the first time Joliet West has ever competed at the national level or attended a convention of this magnitude for that matter, four students were recognized for their accomplishments. The winners include Kiersten Jordan, who was ranked as excellent in the Graphic Design: Logo category, Madison Horvat, who received an honorable mention in Advertising, and Megan Krok and Haley Maser, who worked as a team to acquire an honorable mention in Broadcast Commercial/PSA. There were 2,126 competitors in the contests and only 864 students received awards. “I am so proud of this win knowing Haley and I were up against so many other talented people in our category,” Megan Krok stated. “Getting this honor just shows how much our work paid off at the national level.”

Besides competitions, the National Journalism Convention gave every student the chance to learn from professionals and their peers. The event kicked off with a keynote address from journalist Chuck Todd, who is widely known for his work on Meet the Press. Additionally, attendees took part in sessions led by notable experts in the journalism field throughout the four-day convention. “Getting to listen to successful journalists and teachers speak was really interesting,” journalism student Kelly Rappaport said. “Professionals know what they’re doing, and hearing about how people make it work is super cool. Chuck Todd especially had a really fascinating perspective on journalism and its role in society.” Also, in the downtime between sessions, students were able to browse the exhibit hall which featured college representatives and yearbook experts. As a whole, the convention allowed Joliet West students to be recognized for their journalistic work and gain a wealth of knowledge from speakers and the overall experience.

“The entire experience was amazing and I can’t wait to attend in Orlando next year,” said adviser Ms. Jenn Galloy. “Students attended workshops, met with professionals, networked, and toured D.C. to round out their trip.”