Joliet West Journalism team breaks multiple records after advancing to State


Emma Athern, Copy Editor

After placing as sectional champions for the first time in ten years, the Joliet West Journalism team was set on continuing their winning streak. The state competition, held at Heartland Community College in Normal, Illinois, was full of eager student from 69 different schools, determined to take a state title home.

At state this year, 12 students who advanced from sectionals to state, competed in 11 different categories out of 18.

Although they normally go unrecognized, the Joliet West Journalism team placed 5th in the state at the IHSA State Finals. This is the first time in Joliet West history that the Journalism team has placed as a team at the state level. At state, six students in four different categories placed in their respective category, and two of the students took home state champion titles.

The winners include Geraldine Jimenez, 1st place in Info graphics; Ian Duda, Trevor Gould, and Kailey Staniszewski, 1st place in Video News; Alita Stukel, 4th place Review Writing; and Val Villaflor, 5th place in Broadcast News. “I am extremely proud of our team,” advisor Jenn Galloy said, “we continue to grow and improve each year and that is what this competition is all about.”

This year was the first year that Joliet West has taken home a state title, let alone two. Gould said, “When they called our name, I was shocked. I never expect to win state and am so proud of how we did.” His teammate, Duda said, “It was a really great experience and placing 1st was definitely a surprise. I loved the time that we all got to spend down there, with the event, and going to ‘Hawkapalooza’ at Heartland.”

Editor-in-Chief and Senior Alita Stukel said, “This was a really good experience. I’m proud of myself and how far I’ve come over the past few years. After this year I plan on going to college to be a Mulitmedia or English teacher so this is a memory I’ll hold onto forever.”

Jimenez, a three time state qualifier explained the experience as unreal. “I’m glad to be leaving with one of my biggest accomplishments. I know they’ll continue to do great next year.”

The 2018-2019 year in Journalism has been the most noteworthy trip to state Joliet West has ever seen. The team is wrapping up this school year by finishing spring supplement to the yearbook and are already planning for next year.