NSPA 2009 Scholarship Winners

Four NSPA-member publication staffers are scholarship recipients courtesy of the annual NSPA Journalism Honor Roll Scholarship and the Wikoff Scholarship for Editorial Leadership contests.

The 2009 Wikoff Scholarship for Editorial Leadership is awarded to Laney Scarlett of Wynne High School in Wynne, Ark. Scarlett’s entry was chosen from 65 total applications for the scholarship. Scarlett will receive a $1,000 award and will be recognized at the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Phoenix in April.

Judge Michael Koretzky of Florida Atlantic University provides the following comments on the scholarship contest:

“About a dozen entries took strong stances on issues within the applicants’ own schools. This was crucial for me — leadership is easy when you take easy popular stances or chastise people far away. It’s much tougher for a high-schooler to call out adults they may see in the hall or in their hometown.

“What made Laney the winner was a combination of her clips that raised First Amendment issues, her strong GPA, and especially her adviser’s recommendation, which cited many facts and figures, instead of just high praise. It seems Laney has not only exhibited editorial leadership, she’s made it contagious in her newsroom.”

Bernadette Myers, Assistant Editor of The Harbinger newspaper at Shawnee Mission East High School, is the 2009 Journalism Honor Roll Scholarship winner. Myers was chosen from 55 applications for the $1000 prize to be applied to her collegiate journalism studies.

Chris Poore, adviser to The Kentucky Kernal newspaper at University of Kentucky, judged the entries and said the following of Myers’ application:

“During tough times in our industry, it’s altogether satisfying to read a student essay that captures the heart of what journalism means to so many of us who practice it or teach it. Bernadette Myers obviously knows and appreciates the value of storytelling. Students like Bernadette make me feel confident about the future of journalism.”

Two runners-up were chosen to receive $500 each: Rebecca Kelliher of Convent of the Sacred Heart High School in San Francisco, Calif. and Paige Xu of Granite Bay High School in Granite Bay, Calif.

NSPA awards the Honor Roll Scholarships annually to graduating seniors pursuing a career in journalism. The NSPA Honor Roll of Student Journalists honors students who have worked on an NSPA member publication staff for a minimum of one year and have maintained a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.75 on a 4.0 scale. Publication advisers have nominated these students for the honor.