Rolla High School's ECHO newspaper Editor-In-Chief junior Katie Williams and Opinion Editor junior Gage Scurlock returned from the co-sponsored Journalism Education Association and National Scholastic Press Association's spring journalism convention in San Francisco, Calif. as winners.
Williams received the rank of "Honorable Mention" in Feature Writing and Scurlock scored "Excellent" in Commentary Writing in the National Write-Off Competition.
There were nearly 5,000 student journalists from all 50 states present at Nationals with 1,482 competing in the write-off competition. In this competition, students attend a presentation about a topic or issue followed by a press conference-style question and answer session.
Upon completion of the presentation, the journalists are given roughly an hour to compose a story following Associated Press style rules for the category in which they are entered. The entries are then judged and the top 25 percent in each category receive recognition with the sequence being "Superior" (top award) "Excellent" and "Honorable Mention".
Williams and Scurlock were the only students from a Missouri school to win any honor in their respective categories.
At a similar event at the state level competition held on the University of Columbia campus on April 10, Webmaster senior Nicholas Wilsdorf won second place in Newswriting and Copy Editor senior Lacey Raper won third place in Feature Writing.
Raper, Williams, and staff writer senior Abbie Darnell also earned "Superior" rankings for work that has been published in the school newspaper this year. Senior Emily Selberg won a "Superior" ranking for student life design for the school yearbook.
ECHO newspaper and its online companion www.rhsecho.com both earned "Superior" overall rankings from the state judges. Williams received the award for the print publication and Wilsdorf accepted on behalf of the online site.
The publications also competed at the regional level held at Webster University on March 11. Raper won "Best of Show" the top honor in the senior write-off competition. Scurlock won "Best of Show" for feature writing for a piece that was published in the September issue of ECHO. Raper and Darnell each earned an "Excellent" award for stories that they wrote and were published in ECHO this school year.
Selberg, and senior yearbook staff members Andrea Zalis, Josie Dickey, Kiersten Sandquist, and Megan Falkenhain each earned "Honorable Mention" awards for yearbook design. The ECHO print publication received an overall "Excellent" ranking while the online site and yearbook each earned "Honorable Mention" awards.