The 2015 Illinois Journalist of the Year is Ashley Yong!

The Hinsdale South yearbook editor-in-chief and all-around journalism standout is this year's recipient of IJEA's highest student honor.

March 7, 2015

Congratulations to 2015 Illinois Journalist of the Year Ashley Yong of Hinsdale South High School, and her adviser Jim Kelly. JEA’s East Region Director Stan Zoller and Illinois State Director Brenda Field made the announcement at the high school Monday, March 2.

Hinsdale South senior Ashley Yong (second from left), with her adviser, Jim Kelly (far left), after she received the news that she was named the 2015 Illinois Journalist of the Year. The bearers of those good tidings were IJEA board members Stan Zoller (second from right) and Brenda Field. Zoller is national JEA's East Region director, and Field is JEA's Illinois state director.
Hinsdale South senior Ashley Yong (second from left), with her adviser, Jim Kelly (far left), after she received the news that she was named the 2015 Illinois Journalist of the Year. The bearers of those good tidings were IJEA board members Stan Zoller (second from right) and Brenda Field. Zoller is national JEA’s East Region director, and Field is JEA’s Illinois state director.

According to Kelly, the future of journalism is in good hands with Yong. In his nomination letter, Kelly said Yong will “no doubt” be a leader in the field.

“[She] can tell stories with her writing, which she takes seriously, and is a student of ‘old-school’ journalism,” he said.

But he added that she is also a “champion of the infographic … and a rising star in video and Internet journalism.”

At Hinsdale South, Yong has been “the face of the journalism program.” Indeed, Yong served as editor-in-chief of the Vespa yearbook, web and ads editor of The Stinger newspaper and was one of the founding members and executive producers of HSTV, the school’s Internet TV station. She also contributed to her school’s publications as a photographer. Oh, and she was the IHSA state champion in yearbook layout design.

Kelly added: “It’s hard to put all of Ashley’s journalistic accomplishments into one letter: yearbook editor, newspaper editor, IHSA journalism sectional and state champion, Quill & Scroll and NSPA honor roll student, Medill cherub …. In between all of this, Ashley is also seen as not only the ambassador of our journalism program, but of the English department, and even our school. She is a great journalist and an even better human being.”

Ashley plans to study journalism at the University of Missouri in the fall. We’re excited to see what the future holds, and we’re delighted to have this opportunity to honor Ashley Yong’s contributions to scholastic jouranlism.

Runner up for the award is Michael Glick of University of Chicago Laboratory High School. His adviser is Logan Aimone. He was also advised by Wayne Brasler, who retired in January.

As editor-in-chief of the U-High Midway student newspaper, Glick has primary responsibility for the publication’s content and overall direction. Not only is Glick a leader of his peers, but since January he has helped new adviser Logan Aimone make the transition as successor to scholastic journalism legend Wayne Brasler.

Both Yong and Glick will receive their honors at a luncheon in June in Springfield. Congratulations to all the nominees.

As Illinois’ representative, Yong will now move onto the national level.

Her portfolio will be judged at the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention, and winners will be announced at the convention’s concluding awards ceremony. Scholarship funds — $3,000 for the top winner, and $850 each for runners-up (up to six runners-up awards are usually given) — are released to the student after the winners are announced. Good luck, Ashley, from IJEA!

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