Top scholastic broadcast programs announced

NSPA names 15 broadcast news shows as Pacemaker finalists

MINNEAPOLIS — The nation’s top scholastic broadcast news programs were recognized today by the National Scholastic Press Association, which announced the 15 finalists in its annual Pacemaker Award competition.

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

Pacemaker finalists will be recognized and the Pacemaker winners will be announced at the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention, Nov. 21-24, 2019, in Washington, D.C.

The NSPA Pacemaker Award has a rich tradition that started just after the organization was founded in 1921. The Pacemaker was added for broadcasting in 1996 to reflect its growing importance at the high-school level.

Each school entered three programs from the 2018-19 school year. A team of three judges from College Broadcasters Inc. viewed each entry and discussed its strengths and weaknesses.

“The winning entries stood out for not just their technical quality, but in the stories being covered,” Gary Lundgren, associate director and contest coordinator, said. “The writing, editing, hosting and the willingness to tackle relevant topics make these exceptional newscasts from start to finish.”

2019 Newspaper Pacemaker finalists announced
Registration now open for fall convention

Shows were divided into live and pre-recorded categories. The frequency of the broadcast was also considered, with daily shows competing in a category and weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or less-frequently in another. 

The 15 Pacemaker finalists included schools representing six states. Texas led with four broadcast programs named as finalists. California and Florida each have three finalists. Overall, three of the finalists produced live broadcasts and five aired daily shows. 

Of the 15 Pacemaker finalists, eight will be named Pacemaker winners. There were 50 entries, the same number of entries as last year.

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

Finalists in alphabetical order by state.

Carlsbad High School
Carlsbad, California
Editors: Katie Cruz, Rylee Fels, Jillian Jordan, Connor MacGray, Maddie Ward
Adviser: Doug Green

Joseph Gregori High School
Modesto, California
Editors: Cesar Flores, Diego Gonzalez
Adviser: Jim McCarthy

Whitney High School
Rocklin, California
Editors: Hailey Best, Lofton Lechner, Perri Nguyen, Bethany Oh, Alyssa Pearce, Julie West
Adviser: Ben Barnholdt

Christopher Columbus High School
Miami, Florida
Editors: Victor Arechavaleta, Christopher Gomez
Advisers: Omar Delgado, Christina Insua

The Voyage
Christopher Columbus HIgh School
Miami, Florida
Editors: Joseph Fernandez, David Perez
Advisers: Omar Delgado, Christina Insua

Oviedo High School
Oviedo, Florida
Editors: Blair Brown, Nevada Cullen
Adviser: Kevin Patterson

Plymouth North High School
Plymouth, Massachusetts
Editors: Staff
Adviser: Shelley Terry

Tiger Broadcast
Lee’s Summit High School
Lee’s Summit, Missouri
Editors: Michael Cadwell, Kierstin LaRue, Emma Oesterly
Adviser: Elaine McDonald

HTV Magazine
Hillcrest High School
Springfield, Missouri
Editors: Staff
Adviser: Dave Davis

Richland Northeast High School
Columbia, South Carolina
Editors: Jamie Collins, Caleb Daniels
Adviser: Andrew Chambers

The Buzz
Fort Mill High School
Fort Mill, South Carolina
Editors: Ethan Miller, Courtney Smith
Adviser: Karin McKemey

Kealing Middle School
Austin, Texas
Editors: Evie Barnard, Alice Scott, Asa Shepard
Advisers: Laurie Pena Brooks, Kristen Scott

Coppell High School
Coppell, Texas
Editors: Fernando Cornejo, Landon Flesher, Shania Khan, Kelsey Leffingwell, Vinny Vincenzo
Adviser: Irma Lazos-Kennedy

Leopard Spotlight
Lovejoy High School
Lucas, Texas
Editor: Sylvia Hansen
Adviser: Corey Hale

McKinney High School
McKinney, Texas
Editors: Sydney Beck, Marybeth Plaster, Samantha Richards, Ally Tauber
Advisers: Alyssa Boehringer, Curtis Christian