- Community High School District 94
Wildcat Chronicle awarded at Northern Illinois Scholastic Press Association conference
Seven reporters for West Chicago Community High School’s student newspaper, the Wildcat Chronicle, took home awards at the Northern Illinois Scholastic Press Association (NISPA) conference on Friday, March 24.
Managing Editor Sasha Baumgartner was awarded the blue ribbon, NISPA’s top individual award, for her profile entitled “Behind Every Student, There is a Story: Here is Lucia’s”. This was the Wildcat Chronicle’s first article published in both English and Spanish, and centered around a student who crossed the notoriously dangerous Darien Gap.
Baumgartner was awarded an honorable mention in profile writing last year, and received the blue ribbon for her column on mental health, “Unqualified Advice with Chacha”. She is a two-time Best of SNO (Student Newspapers Online) winner as well.
The Wildcat Chronicle’s editorial team also received a blue ribbon for their article “Excessive Social Media Use: Dangerous for Teenagers”. The piece was described as one that “gives students a chance to reflect themselves and digital media usage.” Section Editors Dhanveer Gill and Savannah Epperson, as well as reporters Michael Birdsell and Charlotte Boorsma, contributed to the editorial, which included extensive poll data.
The blue ribbon for multimedia went to reporter Sofia Tamayo for her photo essay “Beyond the Green Light: Backstage at WEGO’s The Great Gatsby”. Tamayo attended drama rehearsals to capture a side of the theater others rarely see.
Two reporters also brought back honorable mentions for their work: Epperson’s article “Kerr McGee: Is the Danger Over?” and Senior Reporter Jonathan Saucedo’s feature “West Chicago Home to 400-Year-Old Oak Tree” were recognized at the conference as well.
The Wildcat Chronicle received the Silver Award for overall website excellence.
The student-run newspaper is in its second year under the advisership of English teacher Leslie Fireman and has approximately 52 students on staff, including those enrolled in Journalism or Journalism Production, and those who participate on a freelance basis.
“Our staffers have worked hard to build a newspaper they can be proud of, and one that truly serves as a student-centered publication. I am so proud of the dedication and talent of the NISPA winners, and all of our reporters. They deserve recognition,” Fireman said.
Now, the Wildcat Chronicle looks to the Illinois Journalism Education Association (IJEA) competition, for which they submitted entries earlier this month, and the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Sectional tournament on April 1.
Opinions Editor Dhanveer Gill and reporters Michael Birdsell and Charlotte Boorsma won the blue ribbon for their editorial “Excessive Social Media Use: Dangerous for Teenagers”. Not pictured: News Editor Savannah Epperson.
Sofia Tamayo received the blue ribbon for her photo essay “Beyond the Green Light: Backstage at WEGO’s The Great Gatsby”.
Managing Editor Sasha Baumgartner also earned a blue ribbon for her article “Behind Every Student, There is a Story: Here is Lucia’s”.
Jonathan Saucedo received an honorable mention for
his feature article “West Chicago Home to 400-Year-Old