Fall National High School Journalism Convention 2014


Trinity Cline-Smith, Reporter

Members of the SHS Anchor and Journal staffs traveled to Washington D.C. on Nov. 6 to attend the Journalism Education Association/ National Scholastic Press Association convention. There were a total of 23 students who went, 18 of which entered contests while there, according to the Journal adviser Mr. Mike Klopfenstein.

“Each student can be in one of them, (and) each school can have one student in each competition, so students couldn’t compete in more than one competition,” Klopfenstein said.

Four students won awards at the convention, two from the newspaper staff and two from yearbook. Seniors Victoria Updike and Maddison Bethel-Brown received excellent awards for copy editing / caption and headline writing, and photography portfolio, respectively. In addition, seniors Vanessa Abplanalp and Nathan Cooper received honorable mention awards for editorial writing and yearbook copy/caption sports.

“I competed in yearbook copy captions for academics…..I just sat down and did it…I got an excellent,” Cooper said.

Two of the students that attended the convention on behalf of the newspaper team were Rachel Gray and Riley Childers. Gray and Childers entered a competition while in D.C. that involved them interviewing strangers in the Smithsonian Zoo.

“It was quite hard because in the middle of our competition we were told that we were unable to interview staff of the zoo. So we ended up interviewing a lesbian couple,” Gray said.

Aside from competitions, and the convention, the students and chaperones got to “live the lifestyle of people that live in (D.C.)” by riding the metro, or subway, in Washington D.C. to the convention. They also visited many monuments, including the Washington Monument, World War II Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and more, according to Klopfenstein.

“On Saturday, we also had time to go to the Newseum, which is a fantastic museum that’s dedicated to journalism and the history of news in America,” Klopfenstein said.

Gray and Childers also say that they were able to see a piece of the Berlin Wall while in Washington D.C. They asked two girls who were also journalism students to take a picture of them, but first explained what they were doing.

“They told us that we couldn’t touch (it)…we smelt it because (Mr. Nathan Fishel) always tells us ‘smell the history,’” Gray said.