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‘Aspiring Young Journalist’ to be honored by JEA in November

PARKER – Next month Chaparral freshman Breanne Hunter will be on her way to Washington, D.C. to be honored as a rising star in student journalism.

Recently the Journalism Education Association (JEA) named Hunter as the 2014 Aspiring Young Journalist. The award was created to celebrate the amazing work of junior high and middle school students. Only one national winner is named by the JEA every year.

While she is now on the yearbook staff at Chaparral High School, the award recognizes her work at Sierra Middle School. The school has become a journalistic powerhouse, annually competing with high schools around the nation.

READ MORE: Sierra journalism teacher receives national honor

DCSD wins several national student-journalism awards

Despite Sierra’s success, Hunter says she did not think she would win, when her journalism advisor, Jed Palmer, approached her about the award.

 “I kind of just blew it off, but he really pushed me to apply for it.  I put together my portfolio and sent it in,” Hunter said. “One day at lunch he called me. He told me I had won and it came as such a surprise to me. I was just so happy. It really just amazed me.

She credits Palmer with her success.

“He is really an amazing advisor. He gave us all the tools and taught us so much. He was so passionate about it. It is so neat to learn from him,” Hunter said.

One of the goals of the Aspiring Young Journalist Award is to encourage students like Hunter to continue their study of journalism in high school.

Hunter says she certainly plans to continue forward with the yearbook, in part because it makes her feel good and because of the opportunities journalism opens to students.

“I love getting to be on the sidelines at sporting events and take pictures, to learn about other kids and to write stories about them, and to dive deeper and to get the chance to see what other students might not see,” Hunter said.

Hunter will be honored during the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention, Nov. 6-9, 2014 in Washington, D.C.

 Learn more about the Aspiring Young Journalist Award at

October 7, 2014 | By rmbarber | Category: High School Education, Middle School Education, Schools

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glowing purple lights hover over trays of seedlings in a dark room

It may look like a plain, white shipping container was just parked on the backyard grounds of Mountain Vista High School. The contents of the container are anything but plain, though. Walking inside the container, different colors of ambient lighting glow, futuristic-looking equipment and tall towers are suspended from the ceiling, and the humidity level is set to 70 percent. The container has been recycled into a new kind of learning opportunity for students.