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Publications, staffs honored at 2018 JEA/NSPA Spring Convention

The annual JEA/NSPA national journalism convention hosts 4,500 attendees from 525 schools from 40 states, including teams from Canada and China attending the convention, April 12-14. Students traveled to San Francisco to attend the convention in the Marriott Marquis Hotel.

Sam Cross | The Feather Online

Students attend the 2018 JEA/NSPA Spring Convention, April 12-14.

Over 400 sessions and workshops, seminars, discussion groups, and keynote speakers provided attendees with opportunities to improve their individual and collective skills. There were also special workshops and sessions for advisers and administrators as well for yearbooks, newspapers, broadcast, news magazines, and online newspapers.

Staffs and advisers sat in anticipation as NSPA and JEA officials presented individual and team awards, April 14. In February, The Feather and it’s staff were nominated as a Pacemaker and received a plaque for the honor.

According to NSPA’s website, the Pacemaker serves as scholastic journalism’s “preeminent award” in which publications who submit to the competition are judged on quality of content produced, photography, leadership, among other details.

Of the 42 Pacemaker finalists, judges awarded 22 finalists a Pacemaker award. The Feather congratulates all Pacemakers winners on their achievement:

The Boiling Point, The Oracle, The Paly Voice, The Chronicle, BoonePubs, Odyssey Media Group, HiLite Online, The Harbinger, Wayland Student Press Network, Echo, Rubicon Online, The Globe, FHNtoday, The Leaf, The Shield Online, The Eagle’s Tale, Coppell Student Media, Wingspan, The Rider Online, Tiger Times Online, HHS Media, TRNWired.

First year Feather journalist, Addison Schultz, ‘21, shares her struggle with writing for the paper, but looks forward to returning to write for The Feather next year.

“As a freshman coming into the Feather, I’m proud of the awards we’ve won,” Schultz said. “To win 4th place out of over 500 schools is an awesome accomplishment especially coming back from last year. Entering the Feather as a freshman was really tough. I didn’t know what I was doing or how to write and article or do an interview.

“It was hard to learn how everything worked,” Schultz continued. “Now seeing the awards, it’s proof that we did a great job, despite challenges along the way. I’m excited to write for the Feather next year and see what we can accomplish.”

The convention hosts a 24-hour judging period during the convention which selects publications for their Best of Show award. Awards were distributed in 15 different categories of publications. The Feather competed in the Website Small School section and placed fourth in the competition. The Feather also congratulates all who placed in Best of Show:

  1. Beverly High Lights, Beverly Hills High School, Beverly Hills, California
  2. Pathfinder, Parkway West High School, Ballwin, Missouri
  3. Echo, St. Louis Park High School, St. Louis Park, Minnesota
  4. The Feather Online, Fresno Christian High School, Fresno, California
  5. Mill Valley News, Mill Valley High School, Shawnee, Kansas
  6. Wayland Student Press Network, Wayland High School, Wayland, Massachusetts
  7. Knight Errant, Benilde-St. Margaret’s, St Louis Park, Minnesota
  8. The Oracle, The Archer School for Girls, Los Angeles, California
  9. SCHS Flightline, Skutt Catholic High School, Omaha, Nebraska
  10. Le Journal Live, Notre Dame de Sion High School, Kansas City, Missouri


Feather editor-in-chief, Mariana Fikse, ‘18, expresses her appreciation for the staff she worked with. Fikse graduates in May and will miss the team as she leaves for college.  

“I am really proud of The Feather staff this year,” Fikse said. “I think we all did an amazing job, not just during this semester, but during the first semester as well. The photojournalists really stepped up this year and I think they are a huge part of the reason why we won the CSPA Gold Crown. The freshmen staff members also surprised me. They improved so much during the year and I am excited to see what they will be able to do in the future. It was an honor to be an editor this year and I will miss the staff so much next year.”

Feather writer, Matthew Sue, ’18 appreciates the the experiences he has had this year in the Feather. Sue will miss the community and comradery of the Feather but hopes to apply the skills he learned to college.

“I made so many great memories this year,” Sue said. “I wish we would have won the Pacemaker but I still believe that we made some awesome progress as a team this year. I’ve had some really great experiences in the places I have gone and the people I’ve interviewed. I also feel that I have learned a lot in this class. This is my last year in the Feather and I’m really going to miss it.”

Congratulations to all publication staffs who were recognized and awarded for their efforts during the 2018 NSPA/JEA Spring Convention!

The Feather will continue to publish and cover community and school at more relaxed pace.

Sam Cross can be reached via Twitter and via email.

For more of Cross’s convention coverage, read Join the Discussion: JEA/NSPA Spring Convention 2018 and Humans in Union Square: Commuters, tourists share insight. For more articles, read Teens reflect on strategies to improve society and PROFILE: Wyatt Koop takes charge on court.

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