LION and Menagerie place nationally at journalism conference

Students win variety of journalism awards


LION Newspaper staff poses with ‘Best in Show’ certificate at the National High School Journalism Convention (photo courtesy of Kirsten Manthei).

Reagan Pohl, Photo Editor

Earlier this month, ten LION students attended the Fall National High School Journalism Convention, held from Nov. 10-13 at the Grand Marriott in St. Louis, Mo. The event has been sponsored by both the Journalism Education Association (JEA) and National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) for more than 40 years, according to This semiannual contest is the nation’s largest collection of high school journalists and journalism advisers. 

The convention features hundreds of educational presentations and symposiums led by prominent national journalistic writers. The JEA hosts media competitions and announces many individual awards winners, as well as the prestigious Pacemaker Awards on behalf of the NSPA. Additionally, the NSPA hosts a contest called “Best in Show,” which honors recent student media productions.

The LION was admitted into the NSPA Pacemaker 100 at the convention, making it one of the top 100 high school publications to receive awards during the NSPA’s 100-year existence. In addition, the LION Issue #2 for the year (dated Nov. 10, 2022) came in 10th place in the “Best in Show” category for newspapers published at schools of 1,800 students or more.

Five LION students (out of the 10 that took part) were recognized for their work at the conference in the JEA National Student Media Contests this year. Those students include Evelyn Kowalski ‘23: Commentary Writing, Superior, Sydney Wolf ‘23: Sports Feature Photography, Honorable Mention, Maddie Gee ‘23: Review Writing, Honorable Mention, Nicholas Barbera ‘23: Sports Writing, Honorable Mention, and Cooper Anderson ‘23: Feature Writing, Honorable Mention.

“Winning not only an individual award but awards to take home for the paper as a whole makes me so proud to be a part of the LION,” said Kowalski. “It shows that our staff is truly the best of the best and [that] our hard work has paid off.” 

Additionally, the Menagerie issue from last year placed second in the convention’s “Best in Show” competition for literary magazines. Natalie Hess ’23, one of this year’s co-Editor-in-Chief’s of Menagerie, expressed her satisfaction with their achievements. 

“I am always so impressed by the awards Menagerie wins each year.” said Hess. “Last year’s edition was the first post-COVID-19 [issue], so I’m glad that we could have everyone in a room together again, and that the edition got recognized for all that hard work.”