Meet the Winners: IJOYs and All-State Team honored at annual IPF/IJEA Luncheon

Student honorees represent the best of scholastic journalism in Illinois

Keynote speaker Jamey Dunn-Thomason spoke to student journalists, their advisers and families during the annual IPF/IJEA Luncheon to honor the Illinois Journalists of the Year and All-State Team in Springfield.

Keynote speaker Jamey Dunn-Thomason noted that it was so good to see so many great student journalists. It gave her hope for the future of journalism.

All of the advisers, parents, and student journalists likely came away with the same impression after the annual Illinois Journalism Education Association All-State Journalism Team and Journalist of the Year Luncheon on June 4, 2016. Hosted by the Illinois Press Foundation and held for the second time at the State Journal-Register in Springfield, the 19 students honored were indeed inspirational for what they have done and what they will do in scholastic media.

Dunn-Thomason, a Mattoon High School, Lake Land College, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and University of Illinois Springfield alumni, talked about her varied and at times challenging experiences as Statehouse Bureau Chief for Illinois Issues magazine. She was instrumental in moving the publication to a digital paradigm, which she said was a tough decision. However, she also encouraged the student journalists in the room with the realization that good journalism will always be important and comes in many forms.

The 2016 Illinois Journalists of the Year

The Illinois Journalists of the Year were then honored for their excellent contributions to scholastic journalism during the 2015-2016 school year. The candidates submitted comprehensive portfolios of their work in news gathering, writing, editing, design, multimedia, photojournalism, web, law/ethics, leadership, team building, entrepreneurship, and news literacy. Winners reflected on their own work and were asked to talk about the impact journalism can have on readers and the wider community.

IJEA State Director Brenda Field speaks about 2016 Illinois Journalist of the Year Hannah Boufford along with IJEA President Brad Bennewitz.
IJEA State Director Brenda Field speaks about 2016 Illinois Journalist of the Year Hannah Boufford along with IJEA President Brad Bennewitz.

Hannah Boufford, a senior at Libertyville High School, was named Illinois Journalist of the Year. According to Boufford, from the first weeks on the Drops of Ink staff with adviser Michael Gluskin, she knew instantly that journalism was what she wanted to do.

“This year, stepping into the role of editor-in-chief brought a whole new level of journalism to my attention,” Boufford said. “While I was a staff member last year and worked hard to produce the best stories I could, I had no idea of all the work that the editors and Mr. Gluskin did behind the scenes. I found that out the hard way when I met with Mr. Gluskin multiple times to create plans for the staff and publication in the coming school year.”

IJOY Runners-Up this year included Taylorville High School senior Hope Johnson, and Danielle Tuchman of Glenbrook South High School.

IJEA State Director Brenda Field presents the award for IJOY Runner-Up and later the IJEA Inspiration Award to Taylorville's Hope Johnson, along with her adviser Stephen Steele
IJEA State Director Brenda Field presents the award for IJOY Runner-Up and later the IJEA Inspiration Award to Taylorville’s Hope Johnson, along with her adviser Stephen Steele.

Johnson was the editor-in-chief of her school’s award-winning yearbook and copy editor for the newspaper. She also won three medals at the IHSA Journalism State finals. After attending an Illinois House Committee hearing for the Speech Rights of Students Journalists Act (HB 5902) in Springfield earlier this spring and delivering an impassioned testimony about student journalism, she was also given the IJEA Inspiration Award. Her adviser is Stephen Steele. 

Tuchman is editor-in-chief of the NSPA Pacemaker-winning The Oracle newspaper, executive producer of her own weekly in-school TV program, and host of a weekly show on the school’s radio station. Her adviser is Marshall Harris, and she was unable to attend the luncheon.

The 2016 All-State Journalism Team

The All-State Journalism Team’s purpose is to recognize students who have proven themselves as indispensable to their school media. These students are the “most valuable players” on a staff — who exhibit leadership, energy, dedication and expertise to make their publications meaningful and possible.

Learn more about the 16 members of the 2016 All-State Journalism Team:

The IJEA 2016 All-State Journalism Team
The IJEA 2016 All-State Journalism Team

Senior Grace Anderson of U-High Midway is one of three editors-in-chief for the newspaper. She takes a leadership role in ensuring photo assignments are assigned and completed since the staff works with a separate photo staff with a separate adviser. She has also assumed the informal role of pushing for more visuals in the newspaper, a response to last year’s NSPA critique, which listed that as a deficient area. She is the engine that drives her team. Her adviser is Logan Aimone.

Senior TillieAnn Boliard is the EIC for the Meridian High School yearbook, the Meridian Moments, the EIC for the online newspaper, Meridian Daily, and provides most of the package/show editing for the broadcast, District 15 News. She assigns, edits, creates yearbook spreads, she sells and produces print and digital advertising, she proofs all online articles and she completes most of the editing for the broadcast. She practices copyright, marketing, video editing, recording, etc. Her adviser is Sheila Moore.

Senior Sydney Czyzon of Joliet West is the Editor-in-Chief of the Tiger Tales print and digital newspaper and one of the EICs of the Alpha Omega yearbook. She has had to balance many kinds of assignments and tasks as she has led those staffs, setting the tone for quality and production. Her samples ranged from a piece on sexual assault on college campuses to one on the role of physical education in the curriculum to one on the differences between the two Democratic candidates. Her adviser is Jenn Galloy.

While there are no formal titles on the Marist newspaper, The Sentinel, senior Solomon Davis is truly the editor-in-chief. In addition to doing his own reporting, writing and editing, he helps other staff members fulfill their responsibilities, and he takes photographs. He is a great motivator and morale booster. He also has published two feature-length articles as part of the Columbia College’s Links program, one on human trafficking and one on mental health issues. His adviser is John Gonczy.

Senior Meagan Hanley of Richwoods High School is editor-in-chief of the Excalibur yearbook. She designed the layout of the book and delegated responsibilities to her staff members, selecting students involved in certain activities to layout the page for that activity as well as assigning photographers to different sports and events to make sure there were enough photos to represent everyone. Her adviser is Dan Kerns.

Senior Evan Hatfield is co-Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper, The Guardian, at Elk Grove High School, and he is the webmaster of the Guardian webpages. His samples included a story on the school-wide impact of the state’s decision to replace the ACT with the SAT and one that highlighted the concerns of students and administration as the school district considered changing the yearly schedule and daily start times, possibly to allow for finals before winter break. His mentor is Mary Larson.

Senior Darien Harvey is co-editor-in-chief of the MHS Riddle yearbook at Mattoon High School. She completes advertising quotas, writing, photography, captions, and design for her own spreads each season, as well as sets the design and templates for the book., including divider and reference pages. She does team-building activities for the staff and holds staff accountable for deadlines. She also works with individual staffers regularly basis regarding photography and content. Her adviser is Amanda Bright.

Senior Devin Kane is the co-EIC of the Claw/Tiger Times Online at Edwardsville High School. She manages the organization of each publication’s budget, and plans and assigns sections to fellow staff for layout. She is also responsible for the sports section. Also as chief photographer for the Tiger yearbook, she plans photo coverage for school events, assigns them and shoots many events herself. Devin is also responsible for the @Sports_EHS Twitter account. Her adviser is Amanda Thrun.

Senior Devin Martin is a staff writer for the Voice newspaper and at Huntley High School. He is responsible for writing one print article (three drafts) and two web articles a month. He also has to shoot photos for his online work if needed. He also serves as Arts/Entertainment Editor; in that role Devin oversees the planning, writing, editing and layout of the pages. He also posts articles on the website and oversees the photo/art for the print magazine. His adviser is Dennis Brown.

Junior Kelly McCarthy is on the editorial board of the Correspondent, the student newspaper at John Hersey High School. Her duties involve working closely with page editors and managing the page, working closely with both stories and layout. She also writes some of the stories that need the most attention. Her samples included a piece on the first day of school, the resurgence of Crocs as a high school fashion statement and the end of the girls’ basketball season. Her adviser is Janet Levin.

Senior Madeline Mohatt oversees all aspects of news production and design for Kaneland Krier and Krier online at Kaneland High School. Her samples demonstrated excellent design skills and news judgment, and some human interest, including a story on Dunkin’ Donuts and a review of a Taylor Swift concert. She also updated the website throughout the summer, finding stories of interest to the student body. She has also overseen several major online projects. Her adviser is Kimberly Reese.

Senior Brileigh Noble is a copy editor, event planner, Student Council representative, and Student Life Editor for The Echo at Cisne High School. While most shied away from taking pictures, she either volunteered or only had to be asked once. And Brileigh sold more than $1,000 in advertisements for the yearbook. Her samples included spreads of action packed images, a fashion module of homecoming outfits and a spread on community service. Her adviser is Trudy Hurd.

Junior Abbe Murphy is the Editor-in-Chief of the Omega, Downers Grove North’s newspaper. She manages the editorial staff, creates content for the web and print publications, facilitates communication between editors, uploads and manages the publication website, speaks on behalf of the staff regarding controversy, ensures content is newsworthy and accurate, promotes the publication but in school and around the community, and helps educate editors on the ethics and writing styles of journalism. Her adviser is Liz Levin.

Senior Shreya Thakkar is Editor-in-Chief of the Prospector newspaper at Prospect High School, where she edits numerous stories each issue, coaches and conferences with peers about their stories, writes important news and feature stories, designs pages and makes ultimate editorial content decisions. She also writes stories for the website. Her adviser is Jason Block.

Junior Ivy Truong is the Editor-in-Chief for the Belleville East High School newspaper, The Lancer. She oversees the story assignments, layout, and overall planning for the monthly editions. Ivy has also been an integral part of educating new newspaper staff members. She manages the Twitter account associated with our school newspaper. She has done an excellent job keeping up with important announcements concerning campus activities. One of her tweets was featured on our local news station during our Homecoming week activities. Her adviser is Jaime Mannino.


The advisers of the 2016 IJEA All-State Journalism Team
The advisers of the 2016 IJEA All-State Journalism Team