Congratulations to our 2023 All-State Journalism Team!

May 16, 2023

The Illinois Journalism Education Association is proud to announce the members of the 2023 All-State Journalism Team. The 12 students selected for the honor were nominated by their advisers in recognition of the indispensable contributions they made to their publications during 2022-23:


Junior, Barrington High School, editor-in-chief, The RoundUp news magazine


Senior, Oswego East High School, design editor, Wolf’s Eye yearbook


Senior, University of Chicago Laboratory High School, photojournalism managing editor, U-Highlights yearbook & U-High Midway newspaper


Senior, St. Charles North High School, editor-in-chief, The Stargazer news publication


Junior, Downers Grove South High School, copy editor-in-chief, Blueprint newspaper & news site


Senior, Prospect High School, editor-in-chief, ProspectorNow news site


Senior, Prospect High School, editor-in-chief, The Prospector newspaper


Senior, Huntley High School, editor-in-chief, The Voice newspaper & HuntleyVoice news site


Junior, University of Chicago Laboratory High School, managing editor, U-High Midway newspaper & news site


Senior, McHenry High School, head of broadcast coverage & lead news anchor, The Warrior Weekly broadcast news program


Senior, McHenry High School, managing editor, The McHenry Messenger newspaper & news site


Senior, Kaneland High School, advertising and business executive & design executive, Kaneland Krier news magazine

In addition to being nominated by their advisers, the students also submitted work samples, reflective essays and other supporting material for consideration by a panel of judges. For more information about each of our 2023 team members, please scroll down to the section titled “Meet Our Honorees for 2022-23.”

About the IJEA All-State Journalism Team

The first All-State Journalism Team was announced in the spring of 2005, after the IJEA recognized a need to honor those students who have proven themselves indispensable to their respective school media, including but not limited to yearbook, print or online newspaper, print or online newsmagazine or broadcast media.

The students named to the All-State team are considered by their advisers and fellow publication members as “most valuable players” — those students whose leadership, energy, dedication and expertise not only make their publications possible, but whose main contributions often occur behind the scenes.

This award elevates student journalists who’ve put their publications ahead of themselves. They’re the ones who are willing to sacrifice their spare time to make sure other people’s stories are well edited. They’re the ones who make sure a publication’s pages are smartly designed, the headlines witty, the photos well composed, the website up to date and easy to navigate, the videos smoothly produced and the information in every story accurate. They’re the ones who don’t seek recognition but deserve it most of all.

To be eligible for the honor, students must be nominated by their respective publication advisers. A panel of judges consisting of experienced journalism educators makes the final selections.

Congratulations to all who were named to this year’s team — and to all who were nominated!

Meet Our Honorees for 2022-23

Neha Doppalapudi

Barrington H.S. | Barrington, Lake County | Laura Minerva, adviser

Neha DoppalapudiJunior Neha Doppalapudi is editor-in-chief of The RoundUp, the print news magazine at Barrington High School in Barrington.

Said her adviser, Laura Minerva: “As an editor, Neha is a triple threat: she can write, design, and lead. (She’ll tell you that she isn’t the best designer, but she gets the job done.) She also works as a teaching assistant for my introductory journalism students.

“My favorite part about watching Neha mentor new students is that she is endlessly enthusiastic about writing. She’s also incredibly kind and patient. Though Neha would never admit it, she’s, well, really smart. And yet, she makes every student feel good about their work. Furthermore, Neha understands that other people learn at different speeds. Although she probably doesn’t know it, she’s a natural teacher: she can break down complex concepts and cater to her audience. She makes everyone around her better.”

Ashley Duddleston

Oswego East H.S. | Oswego, Kendall County | Colleen Calvey, adviser

Ashley DuddlestonSenior Ashley Duddleston is design editor of the Wolf’s Eye yearbook at Oswego East High School in Oswego.

Said her adviser, Colleen Calvey: “Ashley has been a member of the Wolf’s Eye yearbook staff for two years. Her dedication to the book went above and beyond her assigned role this year.

“She devoted most of her spare time to make sure our book was cohesively designed, deadlines were met, stories were covered in-depth, and other students fell included.

“As Design Editor, Ashley was responsible for creating a mod library, designing theme pages, and teaching design. She excelled at these duties. She led design meetings by offering constructive criticism and asking questions. She followed up with students to help them make revisions. She asked questions, offered feedback, and made sure she had time to help. She made first-year staff members feel part of the staff by creating relationships.”

Patrice Graham

University of Chicago Laboratory H.S. | Chicago, Cook County | Jayna Rumble, adviser

Patrice GrahamSenior Patrice Graham is managing editor of photojournalism for the U-Highlights yearbook and the U-High Midway newspaper and news site at the University of Chicago Laboratory High School in Chicago.

Said his adviser, Jayna Rumble: “Patrice entered my photojournalism class last year, and he impressed me quickly with his maturity and willingness to take on new and challenging assignments, even as a beginner. Before long, Patrice had gotten the attention of his older editors, who began to realize they could rely on him to follow through with his work and to continually find ways to improve.

“It was an easy decision to make Patrice an editor for his senior year on staff, and Patrice greatly exceeded my expectations. Patrice is by far one of our most enthusiastic shooters, taking on multiple assignments per week.…He’s continually setting the bar higher and higher for his peers. What’s more is that Patrice’s fun personality and approachable demeanor means that those peers want to emulate Patrice’s work ethic and professionalism in class.”

Addie Grimm

St. Charles North H.S. | St. Charles, Kane County | Alice Froemling, adviser

Addie GrimmSenior Addie Grimm is editor-in-chief of The Stargazer news publication at St. Charles North High School in St. Charles.

Said her adviser, Alice Froemling: “Addie is one of the strongest journalists we’ve ever had. As a leader, she’s grown immensely and leads meetings with ease. Her dedicated enthusiasm as editor-in-chief has kept our after-school club thriving. Addie led recruitment at the beginning of the year (visiting English classrooms, hanging posters, etc.), and she continues to lead staff retention and development efforts.

“Additionally, Addie seeks feedback on her own skills; she isn’t afraid to ask her advisers how to best help a new writer, how to consider editorial decisions, and how to address conflicts. Ultimately, these decisions are hers, but she recognizes the tools available to help her make an informed decision.

“Her feedback on the content of stories is helpful for her staff because she offers clarity on what the writer is currently doing/conveying and the suggested direction to go for revisions. Her feedback for her staff has been integral in not just getting edits made for a story, but also for transforming each staffer into a stronger journalist. She’s extremely modest and always looks to shine the limelight on others’ successes, even while she quietly does amazing things herself.”

Maya Homberg

Downers Grove South H.S. | Downers Grove, DuPage County | Mary Long, adviser

Maya HombergJunior Maya Homberg is copy editor-in-chief of the Blueprint newspaper and news site at Downers Grove South High School in Downers Grove.

Said her adviser, Mary Long: “Maya’s role is important to the success of our paper, yet much of her work goes unnoticed and underappreciated. There are four copy editors in the class, and she is in charge of their workflow. She personally is responsible for copy editing opinions and features articles for both the print and online content. She also subs in when other copy editors are out sick, and she helps them when they are unsure how to fix something in an article. She checks in with them and supports them with their grammar and AP style needs.

“However, the part of her job that is most tedious comes the night before the pages go to the printer. She takes all the pages home and does one last read before they are submitted. She takes great pride in finding the errors and making our publication as clean as possible. It should be noted that Maya doesn’t just look for comma errors. She also flags content that is not balanced or has ethical issues. Though she is more reserved, she is not afraid to stop an article from being published if it is not up to Blueprint standards.

“Finally, Maya is well-respected for her feedback and editing. When students are writing a piece they are really proud of, they always ask her for feedback.”

Emma Letzig

Prospect H.S. | Mount Prospect, Cook County | Jason Block, adviser

Emma LetzigSenior Emma Letzig is editor-in-chief of the ProspectorNow news site at Prospect High School in Mount Prospect.

Said her adviser, Jason Block: “I was lucky enough to meet Emma her freshman year when she took my Introduction to Broadcasting course, and she immediately made an impression on me as someone who would make a huge impact on our student media program.

“Despite never having taken a journalism course before, Emma jumped into the deep end with both feet, fearless in her willingness to try new storytelling methods. Regardless of the assignment, I knew that Emma would put forth the kind of effort that would leave me and her peers in awe. She would always talk to one more source, ask one more follow-up question, get one more creative shot of b-roll … all in her endless quest to take her already great stories to the next level.

“I truly have never seen anything like the passion that Emma Letzig puts into everything she does, and that is precisely the type of journalist who deserves to be recognized with a spot on the All-State team.”

Ella Mitchell

Prospect H.S. | Mount Prospect, Cook County | Jason Block, adviser

Ella MitchellSenior Ella Mitchell is editor-in-chief of The Prospector newspaper at Prospect High School in Mount Prospect.

Said her adviser, Jason Block: “No matter the topic, Ella finds a way to bring her unique voice to the story. Sure, most writers can put a little piece of themselves into their opinion pieces, but Ella is that unique writer whose personality shines through even when she is churning out an objective news or feature piece. It’s just not possible for Ella to write something that is boring or bland; she doesn’t have it in her.

And that gift combines beautifully with her ability to generate unique story ideas, most memorably an entire spread on milk — of all things — as well as a somehow hilarious piece on Daylight Savings Time. I have to admit that I was skeptical about us running stories on many of the topics Ella has pitched over the years, but she has proven time and again that she can entertain and engage an audience when she is writing about pretty much anything, and there is no greater testament to her writing ability than that.

“She is the leader that everyone wants to work with, as she is as patient as she is passionate, always finding the time to pull up a chair and coach a peer through a story or page. She takes her leadership role very seriously, always considering the implications of what we are covering by thinking about the way it will be perceived by our audience. She is thoughtful, intelligent, and responsible — the absolute perfect combination for a student leader, and for a member of the all-state team.”

Abby Panier

Huntley H.S. |Huntley, McHenry County | Dennis Brown, adviser

Abby PanierSenior Abby Panier is editor-in-chief of The Voice newspaper and HuntleyVoice news site at Huntley High School in Huntley.

Said her adviser, Dennis Brown: “Abby is basically the boss of our publications. While we have three editors in chief, Abby is the person who sets the tone and runs the show.

“The Voice has three editors in chief because we have three classes, each with its own editorial board. Given her experience, however, it was clear to me that Abby would be the ‘alpha’ of our editors this year (and I don’t mean that in a bad way). From the start, Abby took her experience as managing editor and began to make preparations, starting in the summer. She ran meetings, and took the lead on templates and the planning for the Voice from day one. Throughout the school year, everything has been organized and smooth because of the work Abby has done. Sure, the other two editors in chief are quality staffers and leaders in their own right; but in the end, Abby is the queen bee because of her hard work, strong sense of responsibility, and natural leadership ability.

“Some kids in the class are what I call ‘hoop jumpers,’ kids who are only worried about their grades and doing what they need to do. But Abby isn’t like that. She’s passionate about the Voice and making sure that it lives up to expectations. It’s been a pleasure watching her go from this eager young staffer I interviewed on Zoom over two years ago to a poised and strong leader and I have no doubt she’ll be successful down the road.”

Audrey Park

University of Chicago Laboratory H.S. | Chicago, Cook County | Logan Aimone, adviser

Junior Audrey Park is managing editor of the U-High Midway newspaper and news site at the University of Chicago Laboratory High School in Chicago.

Said her adviser, Logan Aimone: “Tenacious, independent and reliable, Audrey Park has an instinct to discover and share compelling stories. Through challenging assignments, she has grown to become one of the team’s most versatile writers who can tackle any topic with maturity.

[As managing editor] Audrey has the difficult challenge of being chief taskmaster for the team: assigning stories and page layouts, establishing deadlines and ensuring on-time publication. The role requires diplomacy and inevitably becomes awkward — it’s no fun holding peers accountable — yet Audrey successfully navigates complicated situations.

“Last fall, she represented the U-High Midway to collaborate with the Scholastic Press Association of Chicago and Northwestern’s Medill School to create a citywide teen survey about the municipal election, and used the data to show public school students’ concerns. Meanwhile, she’s established a comfortable daily routine publishing stories online, watching tutorial videos to improve and promoting stories via social media.

“A standout leader who thrives telling important stories with sensitivity, Audrey is a model journalist and editor in print, online and on social media.”

Cooper Ten Bruin

McHenry H.S. | McHenry, McHenry County | Mitch Stengel, adviser

Cooper Ten BruinSenior Cooper Ten Bruin is head of broadcast coverage and lead news anchor for The Warrior Weekly broadcast news program at McHenry High School in McHenry.

Said her adviser, Mitch Stengel: “Not only skilled in written and photography work, Cooper has become a master of Broadcast Journalism principles and leadership over the past two years. Beginning as an Introduction to Journalism student her freshman year, Cooper took the opportunity to get published in our school newspaper, The McHenry Messenger, and completed this task three times in one semester during her first year in high school. From there, she became our Head of Broadcast Coverage for her junior and senior year as a part of The Warrior Weekly, our Broadcast News channel for the school.

“She is simply one of the most decorated students that MCHS Journalism has ever had. Cooper will be competing as part of the IHSA Sectionals competition as an anchor for the Video News category, and is one of the most wonderful and driven students I’ve ever gotten to work with. Last year, she competed in the IHSA State competition as the only non-senior to participate. Our school’s Broadcast class is in its second year, and I can attest that this class and the culture we’ve manifested would not be possible without her.”

Kennedy Tetour

McHenry H.S. | McHenry, McHenry County | Dane Erbach, adviser

Kennedy TetourSenior Kennedy Tetour is managing editor of The McHenry Messenger newspaper and news site at McHenry High School in McHenry.

Said her adviser, Dane Erbach: “I met Kennedy not in a journalism class but in her English I Honors class. I was her teacher and, after ten years of advising the school’s yearbook, was tasked to relaunch McHenry High School’s student newspaper. In a career research paper for our English class, Kennedy expressed interest in taking photos, so I asked her help take pictures for the McHenry Messenger that year.

“By her sophomore year, Kennedy was not only shooting photos for the Messenger regularly, but also became the newspaper’s arts and entertainment editor, fine-tuning her reviewing ability and maintaining a three-year column called ‘Groovy Movies.’ Maybe more importantly, Kennedy stepped up to be our artistic director, where she handed out assignments to photographers and illustrators and picked up slack wherever she could. During this time, Kennedy worked magic from home, taking photos during lockdowns and remote learning. If our newspaper published daily during the peak of COVID-19, it was because of Kennedy.

“During Kennedy’s junior year, she stepped up to play a number of roles — part-time arts and entertainment editor (we didn’t have a big enough staff to have one full-time) and managing editor. Since then, Kennedy has pretty much steered the entire McHenry Messenger, maintaining a publishing schedule to post stories, pitching and approving stories, working with editors to get stories in a timely manner, making final edits, and making the tough decisions that editors make every day.”

Ashley Vanderhoff

Kaneland H.S. | Maple Park, Kane County | Dominic Bruno, adviser

Ashley VanderhoffSenior Ashley Vanderhoff is advertising and business executive and design executive for the Kaneland Krier news magazine at Kaneland High School in Maple Park.

Said her adviser, Dominic Bruno: “Ashley is both our Advertising and Business Executive and our Design Executive. As our Advertising and Business Executive, she is responsible for overseeing our funds. She comes up with fundraising initiatives, designs the content and appearance of the advertising manual that all Journalism 1, 2, and 3 students receive at the beginning of the year, creates video tutorials about how to sell advertisements, handles all of the money that comes in and all of the bills that need to be paid, manages subscription sales, speaks with business owners on a regular basis, and designs advertisements for customers who seek her assistance.

“In her Design Executive role, Ashley works with the Editor-in-Chief of Print to develop a plan for what our print newsmagazine should look like. She develops specifications for the print issue and makes sure staff members adhere to those rules. She helps second-year editors come up with creative design ideas. She oversees every step of the publication process, from initial brainstorming to final production. She puts in countless hours before school, after school, on weekends, and during school breaks to continue working on our production. She trains first-year journalists on the basics of InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator with a combination of video tutorials, typed instructions, slideshow presentations, and classroom visits. She coaches each page editor throughout every step of the production cycle and offers daily feedback on their designs.

“Beyond those responsibilities, though, she also stands out as my best writer. She takes on some of the most challenging, thought-provoking stories, and she demonstrates unique versatility in her abilities to write any story type. She also has conducted some of the best interviews with some of the highest profile individuals in our school and surrounding community, and she is held in the highest regard by everyone in our building.”

IJEA All-State Journalism Teams Since 2004-05

Our 2023 honorees join a long line of distinguished high school journalists who have earned All-State recognition since the competition began during the 2004-05 school year. Congratulations to all of our past winners, and we look forward to honoring many more outstanding scholastic journalists in the years to come!

2023 Team (2022-23 school year)

2022 Team (2021-22 school year)

• 2021 Team (2020-21 school year)

2020 Team (2019-20 school year)

 2019 Team (2018-19 school year)

 2018 Team (2017-18 school year)

 2017 Team (2016-17 school year)

 2016 Team (2015-16 school year)

 2015 Team (2014-15 school year)

 2014 Team (2013-14 school year)

 2013 Team (2012-13 school year)

 2012 Team (2011-12 school year)

 2011 Team (2010-11 school year)

 2010 Team (2009-10 school year)

 2009 Team (2008-09 school year)

 2008 Team (2007-08 school year)

 2007 Team (2006-07 school year)

 2006 Team (2005-06 school year)

 2005 Team (2004-05 school year)


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