FHN Journalism Program Earns Multiple Honors in Seattle

Posted on 04/26/2017
FHN Journalism Program Earns Multiple Honors in Seattle

The Francis Howell North (FHN) High School journalism staff travelled to the National High School Journalism Convention on April 6-9 in Seattle, WA. The staff did some site-seeing, attended learning sessions, competed in competitions…and brought home a few awards.

FHNgameday.com Editor Jacob Lintner brought back the group’s highest honor (click here to read more), having been named the Missouri State High School Journalist of the Year by the Journalism Education Association (JEA) in February. Lintner’s portfolio moved on to the national competition, where he was named one of six runners-up for National Journalist of the Year, and was honored with a certificate and $850 scholarship. “I couldn’t be happier for someone than I am for Jacob,” Director of Student Media Aaron Manfull said. “He has worked so hard the past four years, building the sports journalism and livestream broadcasting presence the program has, and he’s constantly pushing himself to take his work to the next level.”

Lintner is the school’s seventh Missouri state High School Journalist of the Year and third FHN student to place in the national competition, joining Daniel Bodden in 2015 and Kelsey Bell in 2012. "It is incredible to think that I was named one of the top high school journalists in the country," Lintner said. "My freshman self, with his oversized blazer and sports reporting dreams, would never have believed that I could come this far in scholastic journalism. The recognition of FHNgameday.com and FHNTodayLive, though, serve as a constant reminder that I could not have earned this award without the support and backbreaking work of my fellow staffers. I am confident that their journalistic skills…will allow the extensive sports journalism program at FHN to live on. That is the greatest honor that I could receive." Click here to read more about Lintner.

On a school level, the department was recognized as a First Amendment Press Freedom Award winner, because of the school’s commitment to First Amendment freedoms for the student press. FHN was one of 11 schools recognized nationally for this distinction, the eighth straight year the school has earned it.

A few staffers were honored for their work in write-off competitions at the convention. Earning honorable mentions were Jacob Lintner, Joel Boenitz, and Dominic Hoscher in the Online News Package competition, and Alex Row took home the top spot of “Superior” in the General/Spot News Photography competition. 

As a whole, FHN staffers nabbed three places in different categories in the Best of Show competition for those schools that attended. In the Newspaper Special Edition category, the North Star placed second. The Excalibur yearbook brought home a sixth place finish in its category, and the North Star placed third in the Newsmagazine category. FHN’s “Excalibur” yearbook was recognized as a Pacemaker finalist by the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA), and their FHNtoday.com website was named a finalist in the Online Pacemaker category. Staff members Carolynn Gonzalez, Alex Rowe, Jacob Lintner, and McKayla Bogda qualified for the National Quiz Bowl event and represented FHN at the convention, as well. Finally, yearbook adviser Jordyn Kiel was honored at the convention by the JEA for being named a 2017 Rising Star (click to read more).  

“It was a great few days in Seattle,” Manfull said. “I think the students enjoyed getting out and seeing a bit of the town, and they learned a lot in the sessions they attended. I can’t wait to see what kind of ideas they bring to the table to keep the publications moving forward.”

The program’s student editor-in-chiefs who oversee production of the media are: junior Carolynn Gonzalez (North Star newspaper), seniors Ryanne O’Donnell and Maddie Mitchell (Excalibur Yearbook), seniors Michal Basford and Chase Meyer (Digital Media) and junior Alex Rowe (Photography). The journalism program at FHN is led by Aaron Manfull and Jordyn Kiel. They oversee the 100 members on staff and 300 students who run through the program each year.

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