Journalism team racks up awards at virtual SPC Conference

Conor Sukel, staff writer

Joliet West High School journalists brought home a 3rd Place Team Award after competing February 19 and 20 in the 2021 SPC Journalism Championship.

During the virtual competition, West journalists placed in 12 of 16 categories, winning 14 awards with 11 Tigers placing. Tiger journalists also earned three 3rd, 5th, and 6th place finishes and one 7th place finish. 

Senior Kailey Staniszewski, a mainstay for TNN, along with senior Trevor Gould, TNN Editor, placed first in Video News  “It was nice to finally compete after not having sectional or state competitions last year. As a senior I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy all the experiences this amazing program has offered, and I hope to win state again this year with my partner Trevor Gould in Video News. Competing virtually wasn’t as easy, but I’m happy that all the events are taking place,” commented Kailey. 

Senior Louie Mendoza earned top three finishes in three categories, including 1st  place in Infographics, and 3rd place in Yearbook Layout Double Spread and Yearbook Theme Development. Reflecting on his four years of competing at the SPC Journalism Competition, Louie said, “It felt like a full circle moment. As a freshman, I placed in one event; So, to have placed in three different categories was a special moment for me. It would have been nice to experience the moment in person, but I guess it’s just a sign of the times.”

Megan Krok, a junior writer for Tiger Tales, competed in two categories and placed 3rd in Feature Writing. Megan spoke with an appreciation for being able to compete again and said, ”I felt like the content of this year’s competition didn’t differ much from last year’s. However, the major difference this year was writing my pieces completely remote. Surprisingly, I found that this made writing my article easier. Even though I had the pressure to get an article done in a short period of time, it was less stressful getting to work in my own environment and not in a tense classroom with my competitors where I would typically feel rushed.” 

Reflecting on the results from the competition, Galloy said, “I am always extremely proud of all students who compete for us, whether they placed or didn’t, it takes a lot to put yourself out there and I’m grateful to the students who do. It’s not just about winning, but getting the exposure to writing under time constraints, using the feedback to improve, and networking with your peers from other schools to ultimately help our own program continue to grow.”

Additional conference placers include juniors Haley Maser for 1st in Headline Writing and 6th in News Writing). In the Photo Storytelling category, sophomore Holley Law and senior Emily Vayda finished 6th and 7th respectively. Seniors Kiersten Jordan finished 5th in Infographics and Editorial Cartooning, Madison Horvat received 5th place in Advertising, Kelly Rappaport placed 1st in Yearbook Copy, and Jordyn Bew placed 6th for her entry in Editorial Writing. 

The Joliet West journalists continue to practice and fine tune their writing skills as they prepare for the Sectional Competition on April 10th.  From there, the journalists hope to advance to state on April 24th. Both competitions are held virtually but the team hopes to compete together at the school.