2021 Pacemaker Awards in Newspaper/Newsmagazine and Specialty Magazine

NSPA names top newspapers, magazines

Pacemaker competition names 29 publications
as the ‘best of the best’

Nov. 13, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS — Honoring the nation’s best, National Scholastic Press Association has named 29 scholastic student newspapers, newsmagazines and specialty magazines as prestigious Pacemaker winners.

The 2021 winners, plus the 2021 Broadcast Pacemaker Award winners, were announced virtually during the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention, presented virtually Nov. 13, 2021.

In October, 66 newspapers, newsmagazines and specialty magazines were named Pacemaker finalists. The finalists represented 18 states and the District of Columbia as well as the United Kingdom. California and Texas set the pace with 12 finalists, followed by Missouri with eight.

“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 award has a rich tradition and the association started presenting the award to high school newspapers a few years after the organization was founded in 1921. Throughout the years, yearbooks, magazines, online sites and broadcast programs were added to the competition.

In all, 150 student news and specialty publications from 31 states, the District of Columbia, South Korea and the United Kingdom entered the Pacemaker competition, representing a slight drop from the previous year.

Two teams of three judges worked remotely judging and studying every entry discussing its strengths and weaknesses. 

The  publications competed against those of similar types — tabloid newspaper, broadsheet newspaper, newsmagazine, specialty magazine and junior high/middle school.

Insights and observations from the judges about the Pacemaker winning publications will be posted after the Pacemaker winners are announced along with the names and professional bios of the judges. 

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. 

“With the pandemic impacting schools across the country, many of the papers and magazines submitted for the competition were produced with student journalists working under very challenging situations,” Lundgren said.  “The high-quality journalism these publications provided, against all odds, is remarkable.” 

In this competition, only the print news product was judged. A separate NSPA 2021 Online Pacemaker competition recognized 43 online news sites in April. Several schools earned Pacemaker honors for both their print and online products.

Middle School/Junior High

The Town Crier

Paul Revere Middle School
Los Angeles, California

Editors: Arik Kraft, Casey Scaduto, Nico Troedsson, Amanda Wexler, Lily Williamson

Adviser: Eric Wechsler

High School Newspaper/Newsmagazine

El Estoque

Monta Vista High School
Cupertino, California

Editors: Ayah Ali-Ahmad, Oishee Misra

Adviser: Julia Satterthwaite


Palo Alto High School
Palo Alto, California

Editors: Avery Hanna,
Laura Malagrino, Antonia Mou, Ishani Raha, Myra Xu

Adviser: Paul Kandell

The Campanile

Palo Alto High School
Palo Alto, California

Editors: Shiva Mohsenian, Kristopher Risano, Benjamin Stein, Andrew Toteda, Adora Zhang

Adviser: Rod Satterthwaite

High Tide

Redondo Union High School
Redondo Beach, California

Editors: Sarah Falahahwazi,
Alexis Mesa, Lorraina Scolaro

Advisers: Mitch Ziegler,
Kerri Eastham

The Mirror

Van Nuys High School
Van Nuys, California

Editors: Andre Rodas,
Ani Tutunjyan

Adviser: Ron Goins


Carmel High School
Carmel, Indiana

Editor: Rhea Acharya

Adviser: Jim Streisel

West Side Story

Iowa City West High School
Iowa City, Iowa

Editor: Marta Leira

Adviser: Sara Whittaker

The North Star

Blue Valley North High School
Overland Park, Kansas

Editors: Ellianna Cierpiot,
Yasmeen Saadi

Adviser: Diana Manglos

The Express

Blue Valley Northwest High School
Overland Park, Kansas

Editor: Emma Johnson

Adviser: Jim McCrossen

The Harbinger

Shawnee Mission East High School
Prairie Village, Kansas

Editors: Catherine Erickson,
Rose Kanaley

Adviser: Dow Tate


Mill Valley High School
Shawnee, Kansas

Editors: Hannah Chern,
Tatum Elliott, Tanner Smith,
Ben Wieland

Adviser: Kathy Hill Habiger

The Northwest Passage

Shawnee Mission Northwest
High School

Shawnee, Kansas

Editors: Rory Dungan,
Ella Kuffour

Adviser: Susan Massy


St. Louis Park High School
St. Louis Park, Minnesota

Editors: Talia Lissauer,
Maddie Schutte

Adviser: Lori Keekley

The Kirkwood Call

Kirkwood High School
Kirkwood, Missouri

Editors: Amara Harper,
Amelia Hurley, Tom Mueller

Adviser: Mitch Eden

North Star

Francis Howell North High School
St. Charles, Missouri

Editor: Sydney Ellison

Aaron Manfull, Jordyn Kiel


Ladue Horton Watkins
High School

St. Louis, Missouri

Editors: Hugh Chan, Grace Hu, Ethan Willick

Adviser: Sarah Kirksey

The Catalyst

Millard West High School
Omaha, Nebraska

Editor: Emma Baker

Adviser: Mark Hilburn


Lakota East High School
Liberty Township, Ohio

Editor: Abbie Westendorf,
Shiloh Wolfork

Adviser: Dean Hume

The Dispatch

James Bowie High School
Austin, Texas

Editors: Cade Spencer,
Faith Lawerence

Adviser: Michael Reeves

Eagle Edition

Episcopal School of Dallas
Dallas, Texas

Editors: Blair Batson,
Evelyn Zhao

Adviser: Ana Rosenthal

The ReMarker

St. Mark’s School of Texas
Dallas, Texas

Editor: Robert Pou

Adviser: Ray Westbrook

The Edge

Pleasant Grove High School
Texarkana, Texas

Editors: Delia Tuttlebee,
Alex Norton, Delaynie Keeney

Adviser: Charla Harris

Tiger Times

Texas High School
Texarkana, Texas

Editors: Cate Rounds, Peyton Sims

Rebecca Potter, Clint Smith


Thomas Jefferson High School
for Science and Technology

Alexandria, Virginia

Editors: Stuti Gupta,
Sonia Kanchan, Pratika Katiyar

Adviser: Erinn Harris

Specialty Magazine

Backcountry Review

Springfield High School
Springfield, Oregon

Editor: Niamh Houston

Adviser: Ivan Miller


St. Mark’s School of Texas
Dallas, Texas

Editor: Cristian Pereira

Adviser: Ray Westbrook

Scientific Marksman

St. Mark’s School of Texas
Dallas, Texas

Editors: Tamal Pilla, Varun Travedi

Adviser: Bonnie Flint