Area Journalism Team Wins Record Number of Awards
Huntley High School journalism students brought home a record-number of local, state, regional and national awards this school year.
At the start of the school year, Huntley High School teacher Dennis Brown knew he had a talented group of students in his yearbook and newspaper classes.
But even he hadn’t anticipated the success his young writers, editors, layout designers and photographers would achieve this year.
Student staff members for Huntley High School’s monthly newspaper, The Voice, and yearbook, The Chieftain, took home a record number of awards from various local, regional, state and national competitions. To see a full list of these awards, visit the LITH Patch HHS awards information page.
“It’s just amazing what these students have done,” Brown said. “We have never gotten this many awards. And we have two students who won national writing awards. To have all this happen in the same year is just unbelievable.”
Students Garner National Awards
One of those national award winners is 18-year-old senior Seth Boster of Huntley.
Boster’s feature, Sammy’s Story, was named Sweepstakes Winner last month in the Quill and Scroll International Writing and Photo Contest. Quill and Scroll is a journalism honor society based at the University of Iowa.
Boster’s story was selected from more than 400 articles submitted, Brown said.
Meagan Flynn, 17, of Algonquin, also received national recognition.
The National Federation of Press Women recently awarded Flynn first place for feature writing for her story, Three Left. Earlier this month, Flynn was one of eight students named to the Illinois Journalism All-State Team. For that honor, she will attend a banquet on June 4 in Springfield.
Journalism Team Places Second at State
Perhaps the biggest highlight for Huntley High’s journalism students came on May 6 when the school’s journalism team captured second place in the Illinois High School Association State Finals competition. The competition was held at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.
Huntley’s team won a total of 22 points, and finished second to Homewood-Flossmore High School, which garnered 24 points, Brown said.
Students also earned six individual awards for writing, editing, and design. Team members credited their success to their passion for their school newspaper and yearbook.
"It's great to represent the school in this way," Boster said. "I think we all take a lot of pride in what we do. We really care about the stories we write."
Brown Credits Students Hard Work
Brown credits the students for their unprecedented achievements. They are talented, self-motivated, driven, problem solvers, he said.
"I just train them, and get out of the way," Brown said. "They do everything on their own: problem solving, management, photography, copywriting, editing."
One frequent award winner throughout the year was senior Amanda Svoboda, of Lake in the Hills. Svoboda served as editor-in-chief for The Voice this year. She won first-place for copy editing at the state tournament.
“Amanda is probably the best copy editor I’ve ever had,” Brown said. “She is like a human dictionary. She’s very aggressive, a smart report and just an outstanding kid to have on our staff.”
Awards and More Awards
Throughout the year, Huntley High’s journalism students were honored with awards for news, features, sports writing and layout design. Their work was entered in contests held by the Illinois Women’s Press Assoc., the Northern Illinois School Press Assoc., the Illinois Journalism Education Assoc., Quill and Scroll in addition to the state tournaments.
Other student standouts include: Aaron Bengtson, Taylor Tado and Tyler Davis of Algonquin; Grace Borhart, Hailey Davis, Michael Geheren, Sydney Hellgeth, Ashley Knipp, Mollie Murk and Bailey Poczos of Huntley; and Ana Botezatu, Jordan Geigle and Brendon Urban, of Lake in the Hills.
To see the full list of award winners visit the Lake in the Hills Patch HHS Journalism awards information page.