2021 Online Pacemaker finalists

2021 Online Pacemaker finalists announced

NSPA honors 43 high school news sites for journalistic excellence

REGISTER to watch the live awards ceremony, at 1 p.m. CT Saturday, April 10.

WATCH the NSPA Live! presentation of the finalists from March 19, 2021.

March 15, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS — Honoring the nation’s best, the National Scholastic Press Association has named 43 scholastic news sites as finalists in its prestigious Pacemaker competition, a significant increase over the previous year.

While the judges have named the Pacemaker finalists, the Pacemaker winners have not been selected. In 2020, 28 finalists were recognized.

 “The judging teams will now continue to study the sites named as Pacemaker finalists on a frequent basis,” said Gary Lundgren, associate director and coordinator of the Pacemaker competition. “The Pacemaker winners will be selected shortly before they are named in April, so for the 43 schools we are naming as finalists today, the competition is still happening in real time.”

Pacemaker winners will be announced at 1 p.m. Central Saturday, April 10, as part of the virtual JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention. 

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

The NSPA Pacemaker, one of the oldest awards for scholastic journalism, has a rich tradition. The association started presenting the prestigious award to high school newspapers soon after the organization was founded in 1921. Throughout the years, yearbooks, magazines, online sites and broadcast programs were added to the competition.

The 43 Pacemaker finalists represent 17 states and the United Kingdom. California led with nine finalists, followed by Texas with six and Missouri with four.

To select the Pacemaker finalists, judges carefully studied approximately 160 sites submitted from 30 states and three countries. The number of entries dropped slightly from 2020 when approximately 180 sites completed. 

Lundgren noted that while the number of entries dropped slightly, the quality of the sites was dramatically stronger. 

“Because of the logistical challenges of producing and distributing print news publications, with so many students learning remotely during the pandemic, many staffs really focused on their online products and delivered very strong content,” he said.

The online sites competed in two different categories based on school population. Two teams of three judges studied every entry, analyzing its strengths. The status of each entry was agreed upon by at least two of the three judges.

In this competition, only the online news product was judged. The news sites were either digital companions to print newspapers and newsmagazines or online-only products. In all, 98 sites were companions to print newspapers and newsmagazines and 62 were online-only products.

A separate NSPA 2020 Newspaper/Newsmagazine Pacemaker competition recognized 55 print news publications in November. In all, 14 schools earned Pacemaker recognition for both their print and online products. 

Written comments from the judges about each of the Pacemaker-winning news sites will be shared in May as part of an NSPA Pacemaker Master Class. The webinar will include an interview with the judges.

NSPA awards ceremony

1 p.m. Central
Saturday, April 10, 2021

Pacemaker Award winners for 2020 yearbooks and literary magazines and 2021 online will be announced at this ceremony, as will winners in the convention’s Best of Show competition.

To view the virtual ceremony, register for the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention.

2020 Yearbook Pacemaker Award finalists
2021 Online Pacemaker Award finalists
2020 Literary Magazine Pacemaker Finalists

Past award winners
Awards information
Contest information

Enter NSPA’s newest competition, Clips & Clicks.

Spring 2021 contest information
Fall 2020 results

2021 Online Pacemaker Award finalists

Finalists listed by state

M-A Chronicle
Menlo-Atherton High School
Atherton, California
Editors: Brynn Baker, Isabelle Leak, Sathvik Nori, Violet Taylor, Cole Trigg
Adviser: John McBlair

Scot Scoop
Carlmont High School
Belmont, California
Editor: Natalie Doud
Adviser: Justin Raisner

Berkeley High Jacket
Berkeley High School
Berkeley, California
Editor: Clara Mizock
Adviser: Peter Rodrigues

El Estoque
Monta Vista High School
Cupertino, California
Editors: Ayah Ali-Ahmad, Oishee Misra
Adviser: Julia Satterthwaite

The Current
Bear River High School
Grass Valley, California
Editor: Annabelle Owyoung
Adviser: Christina Levinson

Portola Pilot
Portola High School
Irvine, California
Editors: Helena Hu, Simrat Singh
Adviser: Brianna Rapp

The Oracle
The Archer School for Girls
Los Angeles, California
Editor: Lola Lamberg
Adviser: Kristin Taylor

Harker Aquila
The Harker School
San Jose, California
Editors: Varsha Rammohan, Anna Vazhaeparambil
Adviser: Ellen Austin

The Chronicle
Harvard-Westlake School
Studio City, California
Editors: Hannah Han, Ethan Lachman
Adviser: Jim Burns, Max Tash

Coral Gables Senior High School
Coral Gables, Florida
Editors: Chase Bagnall-Koger, Maia Berthier
Advisers: Patricia Passwaters, Ana Suarez

Hagerty Journalism
Hagerty High School
Oviedo, Florida
Editors: Charlotte Mansur, Zoey Young
Adviser: Brit Taylor

The Southerner Online
Henry W. Grady High School
Atlanta, Georgia
Editors: Katherine Esterl, Anna Fedorova, Kamyrn Harty, Tyler Jones, Kiki Soto, Charlotte Spears
Adviser: Delbert Ellerton

U-High Midway
University of Chicago Laboratory High School
Chicago, Illinois
Editors: Ella Beiser, Amanda Cassel, Nicky Edwards-Levin
Adviser: Logan Aimone

Metea Media
Metea Valley High School
Aurora, Illinois
Editors: Alexandra Guckel, Leland Pan
Adviser: Adam Page

Carmel High School
Carmel, Indiana
Editor: Da-Hyun Hong
Adviser: Jim Streisel

The Megaphone
Cathedral High School
Indianapolis, Indiana
Editors: Ava Amos, Ashlynn Bakemeyer
Adviser: Tony Willis

The Little Hawk
Iowa City High School
Iowa City, Iowa
Editors: Julianne Berry-Stoelzle, Jesse Hausknecht-Brown, Henry Mildenstein
Adviser: Jonathan Rogers

West Side Story
Iowa City West High School
Iowa City, Iowa
Editor: Alex Carlon
Adviser: Sara Whittaker

The Harbinger
Shawnee Mission East High School
Prairie Village, Kansas
Editors: Riley Atkinson, Lauren West
Adviser: C. Dow Tate

Mill Valley News
Mill Valley High School
Shawnee, Kansas
Editors: Steven Curto, Anna Owsley, Ben Wieland
Adviser: Kathy Habiger

Manual RedEye
duPont Manual High School
Louisville, Kentucky
Editor: Payton Carns
Adviser: James Miller

The Harbinger
Algonquin Regional High School
Northborough, Massachusetts
Editors: Catherine Hayden, Gabriela Paz-Soldan
Advisers: Lindsay Coppens, Michelle Sheppard

Wayland Student Press Network
Wayland High School
Wayland, Massachusetts
Editors: Meredith Prince, Ellie Tyska
Advisers: Mary Barber, Brian Keaney

Knight Errant
Benilde-St. Margaret’s School
St Louis Park, Minnesota
Editors: Jackie Bucaro, Connor Rahill
Advisers: Tiffany Joseph, Kari Koshiol

St. Louis Park High School
St. Louis Park, Minnesota
Editors: Talia Lissauer, Maddie Schutte
Adviser: Lori Keekley

Rubicon Online
St. Paul Academy and Summit School
St. Paul, Minnesota
Editor: Melissa Nie
Adviser: Kathryn Campbell

Parkway West High School
Ballwin, Missouri
Editors: Tyler Kinzy, Kathryn McAuliffe, Fatema Rehmani
Adviser: Debra Klevens

Francis Howell Central High School
Cottleville, Missouri
Editors: Tea Perez, Kayla Reyes, Natalie Walsh
Adviser: Matthew Schott

The Kirkwood Call
Kirkwood High School
Kirkwood, Missouri
Editors: Amara Harper, Amelia Hurley, Tom Muller
Adviser: Mitch Eden

Francis Howell North High School
Saint Charles, Missouri
Editors: Taylor Hill, Ashlynn Perez, Emily Zhang
Advisers: Jordyn Kiel, Aaron Manfull

Southwest Shadow
Southwest Career and Technical Academy
Las Vegas, Nevada
Editors: Julia Jauregui, Gurleen Swaich
Advisers: Matthew LaPorte

Pascack Valley High School
Hillsdale, New Jersey
Editors: Spencer Goldstein, Ellie Kim
Adviser: Bill Rawson

The La Salle Falconer
La Salle Catholic College Preparatory
Milwaukie, Oregon
Editors: Maddie Khaw, Carlie Weigel
Adviser: Miles Kane

The Uproar
North Allegheny Senior High School
Wexford, Pennsylvania
Editors: Lucie Flagg, Kristen Kinzler
Adviser: Dave Morris

The Hawk Eye
Hebron High School
Carrollton, Texas
Editor: Yasmin Haq
Adviser: Steven Jones

Coppell Student Media
Coppell High School
Coppell, Texas
Editor: Sally Parampottil
Advisers: Irma Kennedy, Chase Wofford

Liberty High School
Frisco, Texas
Editors: Aaron Boehmer, Trisha Dasgupta
Adviser: Brian Higgins

Review Online
St. John’s School
Houston, Texas
Editors: Laney Chang, Fareen Dhuka
Advisers: Chuy Benitez, David Nathan, Shelley Stein

The Red Ledger
Lovejoy High School
Lucas, Texas
Editors: Lily Hager, Madeline Sanders
Adviser: Kara Simon

Tiger Times Online
Texas High School
Texarkana, Texas
Editors: Addison Cross, Anna Grace Jones, Molly Kyles
Adviser: Clint Smith

Harrisonburg High School
Harrisonburg, Virginia
Editor: Oziel Valdez
Adviser: Valerie Kibler

Prince George High School
Prince George, Virginia
Editors: Maclay Cerny, Emily Hannuksela
Adviser: Chris Waugaman

The Standard
The American School in London
London, England
Editor: Emily Forgash
Adviser: Louisa Avery