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Holt senior wins honors for editorial writing

Paige Pieper

Holt senior Paige Pieper has earned an exceptional distinction at the semiannual National High School Journalism Convention, co-sponsored by the Journalism Education Association (JEA) and the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA).

She received an “Excellent” rating in the Editorial Writing category of the highly competitive JEA Write-off competition.

Each entry in the competition, which was held in Chicago last month, was judged by a minimum of two qualified experts in the field.

“It was very competitive,” Holt journalism advisor Sydney Swanson said. “I helped judge a Caption Writing Write-off contest, and more than half of them received no award. Paige’s category required her to go into a room, analyze three articles, receive a prompt and write an editorial in two hours.”

“My work with the journalism team has made me see the world in a new way and has made me think critically about things I normally would have only given a passing glance to,” said Pieper. “This allowed me to look at the contest topic in a unique way. I have gotten a lot of practice writing over the past few years through the Holt program, which helped me calm my nerves so I could do what I love to do. My journalism teachers, Ms. Swanson and Mrs. Mills, have been a huge part of my decision to pursue journalism and I am thankful for the time and effort they have put into making me the best possible journalism student I can be.”

With attendance of more than 4,000 delegates from across the U.S. and abroad, the JEA/NSPA convention is the largest gathering of student journalists in the country. The convention lasted three days, and over that time students and advisors had the opportunity to attend learning sessions with top broadcast, digital and print journalists. The fall conference’s keynote speaker was Pete Souza, an American photojournalist, and former Chief Official White House Photographer for U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama.

“I think being a student journalist at this time is important,” Pieper said. “We learn about the journalism process and ethics which helps us in everyday life. I plan on attending college to get a journalism degree so I am grateful for the opportunity to ‘get my toes wet’ and get an idea of what I want to spend the rest of my life doing.”

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