National journalism convention lands in Denver, connects students with peers
DENVER – Student journalists and their teachers from Douglas County had the opportunity to network with their peers and professionals recently at national journalism convention held in Denver.
Sponsored by the Journalism Education Association (JEA) and the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA), the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention hosted 2,700 attendees at the Sheraton Denver Downtown, April 16-19. JEA President Mark Newton who is also a journalism adviser at Mountain Vista High School, valued the opportunity for local teachers and students.
“More than anything, it's access,” said Newton.
This close access gave future journalists in Douglas County a chance to interact with some of the nation's leading journalists, compete against the nation's best, and share experiences with their peers. It wasn’t only the students that gained a wealth of information from the conference, but their advisers as well.
“Learning new skills, ideas, concepts, etc. is the norm, not the exception, at this convention,” explained Newton.
The convention proved to be especially memorable for one family. Declan Palmer, a middle school student at Sierra Middle School, received the Aspiring Young Journalist Award from JEA. His proud father, Jed Palmer, looked on not only as a parent, but also as Declan’s yearbook teacher. (pictured)
“There is a great sense of pride that my wife and I both feel. We know how hard he works at journalism and all of his other academics. It is great that he has received an external recognition for that hard work,” Palmer expressed Palmer about his son’s recognition.
Some middle school students might be horrified by the thought of having their father as their teacher, but Declan didn’t seem to be bothered in the least. “Working with my dad doesn't really feel like everybody thinks it is. It isn't very different than [having] any other teacher would be. He pushes me like anyone else, and I succeed. It isn't that complicated,” said Declan.
Sierra Middle School was also honored with two Best in Show awards for their yearbook and newspaper publications.
Rock Canyon High School's Kristi Rathbun was also recognized at the conference as a Distinguished Adviser for her work with the students who create the school's yearbook.
“I'm fortunate that my students let me push them to work hard and achieve their best, so much so that they make me look good,” said Rathbun.
The judges were also impressed by the work of Rock Canyon students, naming the school's yearbook a Pacemaker Finalist and third place winner in the Best in Show category.
“For our students, the convention provided a place to learn and compete with [yearbook] staffs that share their passion and push to be better both at what they do and how they do it,” Rathbun said.
The following students and programs were recognized at the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention.
|Castle Rock Middle School||9th Place Best in Show Yearbook|
|Castle View High School||Honorable Mention, Newswriting||Jett Goldsmith|
|Honorable Mention Feature Writing||Jolene Martinez|
|Legend High School||Yearbook, Pacemaker Finalist|
|9th Place Best in Show Yearbook|
|Excellent Yearbook Copy/Caption||Vanessa Campuzano|
|Excellent Review Writing||Jason Burke|
|Excellent Yearbook Copy/Caption||Becca Garbrick|
|Excellent Yearbook Copy/Caption||Emily Smith|
|Mountain Vista High School||9th Place Newspaper Special Edition|
|Superior Yearbook Copy/Caption||Amy Huang|
|Excellent Feature Writing||Conner Davis|
|Honorable Mention, Newswriting||Lexi Weingardt|
|Honorable Mention, Press Law and Ethics||Cesco Viola|
|Rock Canyon High School||Yearbook, Pacemaker Finalist|
|3rd Place Best in Show Yearbook|
|Rocky Heights Middle School||5th Place Best in Show Yearbook|
|5th Place Broadcast Program|
|Sierra Middle School||Aspiring Young Journalist||Declan Palmer|
|2nd Place Best in Show Newspaper|
|3rd Place Best in Show Yearbook|