LION staff attends NISPA Conference

Students qualify for awards based on journalism throughout year


LION staff stands outside of College of DuPage with awards from NISPA 2023 conference (photo courtesy of Kowalski).

Mckinley Huffman, Reporter

On March 24, the staff of the LION Newspaper attended a conference for high school journalists hosted by Northern Illinois Scholastic Press Association (NISPA) on the campus of College of DuPage. This event is typically annual, but was put on hiatus due to COVID-19 until this spring. The last in-person conference was in April of 2019, though awards were still given online in 2020 and 2021.

NISPA is an organization dedicated to highlighting the accomplishments and education of high school journalists throughout Northern Illinois. At their annual conference, both students and advisors can attend workshops related to journalism, and receive awards based on their work throughout the school year. Bronze, silver, and gold certificates were awarded in a variety of categories, and Golden Eagle trophies were given to the best entries of the year.

“Attending conferences is important for LION as we as a staff get to hear presentations from highly qualified speakers and get to engage with other newspaper students,” managing editor Scarlett Lestina ‘23 said. “It is not often that we get to be surrounded by so many accomplished people in the field of journalism.”

The LION won a gold medal distinction in the overall Newspaper category, based on three issues from fall 2022, as well as a gold medal distinction in the overall Web category. Eleven students personally received awards: 

  • Evelyn Kowalski ‘23 with a Blue Ribbon in News Writing for “In Memoriam: Julian Urbina-Medina.” 
  • Sydney Wolf ‘23 with a Blue Ribbon in Sports Feature Writing for “Sloche gains popularity.” 
  • Molly Burke ‘23 with a Blue Ribbon in Photography for her girls wrestling photo.
  • Jeanne Mardegan ‘23 with an Honorable Mention in Editorial Writing for “Compliments to College, Career Center.”
  • Kathryn Lazich ‘23 with an Honorable Mention in Editorial Cartooning for her Ticketmaster cartoon.
  • Nicholas Barbera ‘23 with an Honorable Mention in Video for his staff parody song
  • Lazich, Cooper Anderson ‘23, Myrna Cross ‘23 and Matthew Klos ‘24 with an Honorable Mention in Team In-Depth for their coverage of holiday traditions.
  • Anderson, Cross, and Catherine Crousore ‘24 with an Honorable Mention in Graphics for their coverage of self care.
  • Jaclyn Cummings ‘24 with an Honorable Mention in Breaking News for “NC hosts blood drive” and in Review Writing for “Vines and Vinyls sets down local roots.”
  • Klos with an Honorable Mention in Photography for a photo in the “Varsity football concludes memorial season” slideshow.

“I am really proud of the entire staff,” Kowalski said. “Not only did we take home a plethora of individual awards, but we also won as a staff. Everyone contributed and had something to be proud of.”