2024 Online Pacemaker finalists

NSPA names ‘best of the best’

Pacemaker competition recognizes 26 high school news sites for journalistic excellence

Feb. 28, 2024

MINNEAPOLIS — The nation’s top scholastic news sites were recognized today by National Scholastic Press Association, which announced 26 finalists in its annual Pacemaker competition.

While the judges have named the Pacemaker finalists, the Pacemaker winners have not been selected.

 “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 26 schools we are naming as finalists today, the competition is still happening in real time.”

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

The 26 Pacemaker finalists represent 14 states. California led with six finalists, followed by Illinois and Texas both with three finalists.

To select the Pacemaker finalists, judges carefully studied approximately 132 sites submitted from 30 states. and two countries.

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, 82 sites were companions to print newspapers and newsmagazines and 49 were online-only products.

A separate 2023 NSPA Newspaper/Newsmagazine Pacemaker competition recognized 24 print news publications and specialty magazines in November. In all, three schools earned Pacemaker recognition for both their print and online products.

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 Online Pacemaker finalists

listed by state

M-A Chronicle
Menlo-Atherton High School
Atherton, California
Editors-in-chief: Natalie Fishman, Sonia Freedman,
Dylan Lanier, Cleo Rehkopf, Sarah Weintraut
Adviser: John McBlair

Scot Scoop
Carlmont High School
Belmont, California
Editor-in-chief: Gabrielle Shore
Adviser: Justin Raisner

The Wildcat
Brea Olinda High School
Brea, California
Editor-in-chief: Ellen Kim
Adviser: Alex Koers

The Oracle
The Archer School for Girls
Los Angeles, California
Editor-in-chief: Audrey Chang
Adviser: Kristin Taylor

The Mirror
Van Nuys High School
Van Nuys, California
Editors-in-chief: Angelina Gevorgyan, Daimler Koch
Adviser: Ron Goins

The Foothill Dragon Press
Foothill Technology High School
Ventura, California
Editors-in-chief: Olivia Mowad, Tessa Shinden
Adviser: Yiu Hung Li

The Blueprint
Hagerty High School
Oviedo, Florida
Editor-in-chief: Nadia Knoblauch
Adviser: Brit Taylor

Eagle Eye News
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
Parkland, Florida
Editor-in-chief: Rayne Welser
Adviser: Melissa Falkowski

The Southerner
Midtown High School
Atlanta, Georgia
Editors-in-chief: Shalin Bhatia, Shea Edwards, Carolyn Harty, Abby Hyken, Stella Maximuk
Adviser: Delbert Ellerton

Sequoit Media
Antioch Community High School
Antioch, Illinois
Editor-in-chief: Claire Policht
Adviser: Madelynn Soberano

U-High Midway
University of Chicago Laboratory High School
Chicago, Illinois
Editors-in-chief: Audrey Park, Katie Sasamoto-Kurisu, Sahana Unni
Adviser: Logan Aimone

Wildcat Chronicle
West Chicago Community High School
West Chicago, Illinois
Editor-in-chief: Sasha Baumgartner
Adviser: Leslie Fireman

Carmel High School
Carmel, Indiana
Editors-in-chief: Royce Brown, Grace Guo
Adviser: Jim Streisel

The Harbinger
Shawnee Mission East High School
Prairie Village, Kansas
Editors-in-chief: Aanya Bansal, Maggie Kissick
Adviser: Dow Tate

Mill Valley News
Mill Valley High School
Shawnee, Kansas
Editors-in-chief: Emma Clement, Alonnah Gage, Anna Zwahlen
Adviser: Kathy Habiger

The Gator
Brimmer and May School
Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
Editor-in-chief: Amelia Bowman
Adviser: David Cutler

Wayland Student Press Network
Wayland High School
Wayland, Massachusetts
Editors-in-chief: Nadya Chase, Talia Macchi
Adviser: Sarah Lee

The Communicator
Community High School
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Editors-in-chief: Addison Hinesman, Anjali Kakarla,
Ailish Kilbride, Sana Schaden
Adviser: Tracy Anderson

The Rubicon
St. Paul Academy and Summit School
St. Paul, Minnesota
Editor-in-chief: Clara McKoy
Adviser: Kathryn Campbell

Francis Howell Central High School
Cottleville, Missouri
Editor-in-chief: Colin Nichols
Adviser: Matthew Schott

Francis Howell North High School
St. Charles, Missouri
Editor-in-chief: Chase Pray
Advisers: Aaron Manfull, Jordyn Kiel

Southwest Shadow
Southwest Career and Technical Academy
Las Vegas, Nevada
Editor-in-chief: Ayma Malik
Adviser: Matthew LaPorte

Coppell Student Media
Coppell High School
Coppell, Texas
Editor-in-chief: Sri Achanta
Advisers: Irma Kennedy, Chase Wofford

Liberty High School
Frisco, Texas
Editors-in-chief: Rin Ryu, Maya Silberman, Haley Ward
Adviser: Brian Higgins

The Rider Online
Legacy High School
Mansfield, Texas
Editor-in-chief: Blake Hinerman
Advisers: Rachel Dearinger, Leland Mallett

The Highlander
McLean High School
McLean, Virginia
Editors-in-chief: Zakareya Hamed, Sarah Soltani
Adviser: Lindsay Benedict