2019 Newspaper Pacemaker finalists announced

NSPA honors 49 scholastic print news publications for journalistic excellence

MINNEAPOLIS — Honoring the nation’s best, the National Scholastic Press Association has named 49 scholastic student newspapers and newsmagazines as finalists in its prestigious Pacemaker competition.

“The Pacemaker is the association’s preeminent award,” executive director Laura Widmer said. “NSPA is honored to recognize the best of the best.”

These Pacemaker finalists will be recognized and the Pacemaker winners will be announced at the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention, Nov. 21-24, 2019, in Washington, D.C.

The NSPA Pacemaker Award has a rich tradition, and the association started presenting the award to high school newspapers a few years after NSPA’s founding in 1921. Through the years, yearbooks, magazines, online sites and broadcast programs were added to the competition.

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The 49 Pacemaker finalists represent 16 states and the United Kingdom. California, Missouri and Texas set the pace with eight finalists each.

In all, 220 student news publications from 33 states entered the Pacemaker competition. 

Two teams of three judges devoted two days to the judging. They studied every entry and discussed its strengths and weaknesses. 

In the first round of the competition, the news publications competed against those of similar types — tabloid newspaper, broadsheet newspaper, newsmagazine, specialty magazine and junior high/middle school.

When the process was finished, the 49 Pacemaker finalists were named. From that group, 19 will earn the Pacemaker award placing those publications in the top 9 percent. 

Insights and observations from the judges about the Pacemaker-winning newspapers will be posted when the Pacemaker winners are announced, along with the names and professional bios of the judges. The judges have provided written specific summaries about each Pacemaker winner, as well as video comments about the process and the entries.

In addition to demonstrating excellence in key areas including coverage, writing, editing, design and photography, the winning newspapers took risks and served as a strong voice for its student audience.

“The best newspapers and newsmagazines delivered relevant coverage that resonated with student readers and the school community with appropriate sourcing, abundant student quotes and consistent journalistic style,” said Gary Lundgren, associate director and coordinator of the competition. “The Pacemakers represent the best in verbal and visual storytelling.”

Even in a digital age, print publications are thriving in high schools across the country, Lundgren said. Most print news publications have shifted to more in-depth coverage and now report breaking news on companion websites.

In this competition, only the print news product was judged. A separate NSPA 2019 Online Pacemaker competition recognized 44 online news sites in April. Several schools earned Pacemaker honors for both their print and online products.

Finalists in alphabetical order by state.

Middle school/junior high finalists

The Sequoyah Scribe
John Sevier Middle School
Kingsport, Tennessee
Editors: Ella Miller, Balu Pushkas
Adviser: David Flanary

The Scroll
The American School in London-Middle School
London, United Kingdom
Editors: Staff
Adviser: Colin Bridgewater

High school finalists

The CS Press
Cactus Shadows High School
Cave Creek, Arizona
Editors: Brook Bowman, Kassidy Wheeler
Advisers: Robert Adamson, Lori Hart

El Estoque
Monta Vista High School
Cupertino, California
Editors: Rana Aghababazadeh, Roshan Fernandez
Adviser: Julia Satterthwaite

The Boiling Point
Shalhevet High School
Los Angeles, California
Editors: Lucy Fried, Clara Sandler
Adviser: Joelle Keene

The Campanile
Palo Alto High School
Palo Alto, California
Editors: Leyton Ho, Waverly Long, Ethan Nissim, Kaylie Nguyen, Ujwal Srivastava
Advisers: Esther Wojcicki, Rodney Satterthwaite

Palo Alto High School
Palo Alto, California
Editors: Asia Gardias, Ashley Hitchings, Bridget Li, Angela Liu
Adviser: Paul Kandell

The Broadview
Convent of the Sacred Heart High School
San Francisco, California
Editors: Cece Giarman, Josephine Rozzelle
Adviser: Tracy Anne Sena

Bear Witness
Branham High School
San Jose, California
Editor: Michaela Edlin
Adviser: Fitzgerald Vo

Winged Post
The Harker Upper School
San Jose, California
Editors: Prameela Kottapalli, Katherine Zhang
Adviser: Ellen Austin

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle
Harvard-Westlake School
Studio City, California
Editors: Sophie Haber, Jenny Li
Adviser: Jim Burns

The Eagle Eye
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
Parkland, Florida
Editors: Hannah Kapoor, Rebecca Schneid
Adviser: Melissa Falkowski

Red & Black
Hillsborough High School
Tampa, Florida
Editor: Marin Fehl
Adviser: Joe Humphrey

U-High Midway
University of Chicago Laboratory High School
Chicago, Illinois 
Editors: Jacob Posner, Priyanka Shrijay, Emma Trone
Adviser: Logan Aimone

Carmel High School
Carmel, Indiana
Editor: Carson TerBush
Adviser: Jim Streisel

The Little Hawk
Iowa City High School
Iowa City, Iowa
Editors: Phoebe Chapnick-Sorokin, Maya Durham
Adviser: Jonathan Rogers

West Side Story
Iowa City West High School
Iowa City, Iowa
Editor: Deniz Ince
Adviser: Sara Whittaker

The Black and White
Johnston High School
Johnston, Iowa
Editors: Obsee Abbajabal, Andrew Maresca
Adviser:  Leslie Shipp

The Budget
Lawrence High School
Lawrence, Kansas
Editors: Macy Landes, Connor Schmaus, Gary Schmidt
Adviser: Barbara Tholen

The Express
Blue Valley Northwest High School
Overland Park, Kansas
Editor: Anna Cowden
Adviser: Jim McCrossen

The Booster Redux
Pittsburg High School
Pittsburg, Kansas
Editor: Nicole Konopelko
Adviser: Emily Smith

The Harbinger
Shawnee Mission East High School
Overland Park, Kansas
Editors: Emily Fey and Lizzie Kahle
Adviser: Dow Tate

The Pylon
Salina Central High School
Salina, Kansas
Editor: Madeline Paradis
Adviser: J.D. Garber

The Northwest Passage
Shawnee Mission Northwest High School
Shawnee, Kansas
Editors: Jake Ditto, Annalissa Houser
Adviser: Susan Massy

Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School
Wichita, Kansas
Editors: John Biehler, Hannah Harpel, Thomas Searl
Adviser: Elaine Robinson

On the Record
duPont Manual High School
Louisville, Kentucky
Editor: Audrey Champelli
Adviser: Liz Palmer

The Lion’s Roar
Newton South High School
Newton, Massachusetts
Editors: Jennifer Wang, Dina Zeldin
Adviser: Ashley Chapman

The Communicator Magazine
Community High School
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Editors: Abigail Gaies, Ava Millman, Henry Schirmer, Cammi Tirico
Adviser: Tracy Anderson

Fenton High School
Fenton, Michigan
Editor: Ellie Bennett
Adviser: Pam Bunka

St. Louis Park High School
St. Louis Park, Minnesota
Editors: Marta Hill, Dani Orloff 
Adviser: Lori Keekley

The Messenger
Marquette High School
Chesterfield, Missouri
Editor: Kavya Jain
Adviser: Emily Jorgensen

Clayton High School
Clayton, Missouri
Editors: Michael Bernard, Jacob LaGesse
Adviser: Erin Sucher-O’Grady

The Rock
Rock Bridge High School
Columbia, Missouri
Editors: Ann Fitzmaurice, Ji-Sung Lee, Emily Oba, Katie Whaley
Adviser: Robin Stover

Central Focus
Francis Howell Central High School
Cottleville, Missouri
Editor: Liz Baker
Adviser: Matthew Schott

Le Journal
Notre Dame de Sion High School
Kansas City, Missouri
Editors: Cecilia Mohásci, Ava Rawson
Adviser: Alison Long

The Kirkwood Call
Kirkwood High School
Kirkwood, Missouri
Editors: Logan Crews, Bridget Killian, Jack Rintoul
Adviser: Mitch Eden

North Star
Francis Howell North High School
Saint Charles, Missouri
Editors: Heeral Patel, Hannah Wilson
Adviser: Aaron Manful

Ladue Horton Watkins High School
St. Louis, Missouri
Editors: Hannah Suffian, Anya Tullman
Adviser: Sarah Kirksey

Lakota East High School
Liberty Township, Ohio
Editors: Katey Kruback, Lauren Maier
Adviser: Dean Hume

The Dispatch
James Bowie High School
Austin, Texas
Editors: Cianna Chariez, Abby Ong
Adviser: Michael Reeves

The Sidekick
Coppell High School
Coppell, Texas
Editor: Kelly Wei
Adviser: Chase Wofford

St. Mark’s School of Texas
Dallas, Texas
Editors: Nathan Han, Christopher Wang
Adviser: Ray Westbrook

St. Mark’s School of Texas
Dallas, Texas
Editor: Kamal Mamdani
Adviser: Ray Westbrook

Eagle Edition
The Episcopal School of Dallas
Dallas, Texas
Editors: Anastasia Sotiropoulos, Madison Willox
Adviser: DiAngelea Millar

The Review
St. John’s School
Houston, Texas
Editors: Sophie Caldwell, Iris Chen
Advisers: Chuy Benitez, David Nathan, Shelley Stein

The Edge
Pleasant Grove High School
Texarkana, Texas
Editors: Katie Hutcheson, Avery Jensen, Sophia Tuttlebee
Adviser: Charla Harris

Tiger Times
Texas High School
Texarkana, Texas
Editors: Lindsey Egger, Jhovany Perez
Advisers: Rebecca Potter, Clint Smith

The A-Blast
Annandale High School
Annandale, Virginia
Editors: Kimberly Laura, Jude Nanaw, Casey Nguyen
Adviser: Alan Weintraut

The Highlander
McLean High School
McLean, Virginia
Editors: Maren Kranking, Maria McHugo, Jack Stenzel
Adviser: Lindsay Benedict