2024 Innovation Pacemaker finalists

NSPA honors innovation

Six scholastic media programs named
Pacemaker finalists

March 1, 2024

MINNEAPOLIS — Student media programs from six high schools have been honored by National Scholastic Press Association as finalists in its Innovation Pacemaker competition.

Pacemaker finalists will be honored and will receive plaques during the opening ceremony of the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 4, in Kansas City, Missouri. 

Pacemaker winners will be announced for the first time at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at the convention’s awards ceremony.

The Innovation Pacemaker is designed to encourage out-of-the-box thinking and reward student media for the courage to take chances to improve service to their customers, readers and communities.

“Student media is rapidly changing and top programs are finding innovative ways to deliver content to their readers while building unified and converged teams,” associate director Gary Lundgren said. “Print is now just one component — there is far more to a successful student media program than publishing the campus newspaper and yearbook.”

“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.

JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention

April 4-6, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

NSPA awards ceremonies

7 p.m. CT Thursday, April 4, 2024

Pacemaker finalists recognized
Literary Arts Magazines

3:30 p.m. CT Saturday, April 6, 2024

Pacemaker winners announced
Literary Arts Magazines

2024 Innovation Pacemaker finalists

listed by state

The Prospector

Apache Junction High School
Apache Junction, Arizona

Student leadership: Tiffany Hutcheson, Ragan Stoltz

Adviser: Jason Davis

The Image

Dos Pueblos High School
Goleta, California

Student leadership: Brigid Finney, Sienna Valentine, Amelia Vander May

Adviser: John Dent

NCHS Live!

North Central High School
Indianapolis, Indiana

Student leadership: Janie Akers, Heath Kizer, Patrick McPherson, Luke Routt

Adviser: Tom Gayda

FHN Media

Francis Howell North High School
St. Charles, Missouri

Student leadership: Brianna Dunham, Payton Johnston, Eashaan Patel

Advisers: Jordyn Kiel, Aaron Manfull

Ladue Publications

Ladue Horton Watkins High School
St. Louis, Missouri

Student leadership: Mac Huffman, Rory Lustberg, Annie Zhao

Advisers: Abigail Eisenberg, Sarah Kirksey


Lincoln Southwest High School
Lincoln, Nebraska

Student leadership: Staff

Adviser: Brandi Benson