• • IJEA membership is now open for the 2024-25 school year! Use our online form or fillable PDF to join for only $25.
  • • Our 2024 Yearbook Contest is now accepting entries through Oct. 15 — get recognition for your students' great work!
  • • Save the date! Our 2024 Fall Conference will be held Friday, Sept. 20, at Illinois State University — more info on the way!
  • • High school seniors! Get your portfolios ready for the 2025 Illinois Journalist of the Year Contest! Entries will be due Feb. 15.
Illinois Journalism Education Association, 2501 Chatham Road, Suite 200, Springfield, IL 62704

Illinois JEA

Illinois Journalism Education Association, 2501 Chatham Road, Suite 200, Springfield, IL 62704

Illinois JEA

Illinois Journalism Education Association, 2501 Chatham Road, Suite 200, Springfield, IL 62704

Illinois JEA

2014 All-State Journalism Team

Meet Our Honorees for 2013-14


Gabrielle Abesamis
Niles West News online site
Niles West High School
Adviser: Evelyn Lauer

Holly Baldacci
The Voice newspaper
Huntley High School
Adviser: Dennis Brown

Nicholas Boose
Kaneland Krier newsmagazine
Kaneland High School
Adviser: Kimberly Reese

Nabi Dressler
The Prospector newspaper
Prospect High School
Adviser: Jason Block

Sarah Foster
Managing editor
The MHS Mirror newspaper
Mattoon High School
Adviser: Amanda Bright

Michael Glick
Editor-in-chief, sports editor, sports columnist
U-High Midway
University of Chicago Laboratory High School
Adviser: Wayne Brasler

Mackensie Harrison
Copy editor
The Echo yearbook
Cisne High School
Adviser: Trudy Hurd

Jessica Lynk
The Correspondent newspaper
John Hersey High School
Adviser: Janet Levin

Rachel Mueller
Timepiece yearbook, Launch Pad newspaper
Okawville Jr./Sr. High School
Adviser: Dana Donovan

Walker Post
The Warrior
Lane Tech College Prep High School
Adviser: Seth Johnson

Kelly Reilley
Equus yearbook
Belvidere North High School
Adviser: Mike Doyle

Katarina Weber
The Guardian newspaper
Elk Grove High School
Adviser: Alissa Prendergast

2014 Team picture
Members of the 2014 IJEA All-State Journalism Team were honored in June at a ceremony in Springfield. (Not all members are pictured.) Front row from left: Sarah Foster, Mattoon High School; Gabrielle Abesamis, Niles West High School; Mackensie Harrison, Cisne High School; Kelly Reilley, Belvidere North High School. Back row from left: Jessica Lynk, John Hersey High School; Katarina Weber, Elk Grove High School; Walker Post, Lane Tech College Prep High School; Nicholas Boose, Kaneland High School; Michael Glick, University of Chicago Laboratory High School.



Gabrielle Abesamis is a senior and the co-editor of the website at Niles West High School. She loves conducting interviews and breaking news stories. Her samples included coverage of a school visit from Sen. Dick Durbin and a piece on the drug Molly. She is advised by Evelyn Lauer.

Senior Holly Baldacci is the editor-in-chief of The Voice newspaper at Huntley High School where she oversees the production of the newspaper and the website,, and is constantly learning new skills like people management and leadership tactics. Her samples included a book review and a column on the Hi CoHort program. Her adviser is Dennis Brown.

Nicholas Boose, senior, is the editor of the Kaneland Krier newsmagazine, where he supervises the business and production staffs, with the motivation that students at Kaneland High need information, and the paper is there to make sure they have it. His samples included in-depth coverage of an assembly and a lifestyle piece on the flu. He is advised by Kimberly Reese.

Nabi Dressler, senior editor-in-chief for The Prospector newspaper at Prospect High School, writes stories each issue, edits numerous stories, designs Page One and assorted other pages and leads the staff. Her samples included a story on e-cigarettes and a pullout section on the girls golf team. Her adviser is Jason Block.

Sarah Foster, managing editor of The MHS Mirror at Mattoon High School, is responsible for all editing, art and graphics, overall design, style sheets and deadlines. Her samples included a series on poverty and a photo essay. She is advised by Amanda Bright. Note: Foster was also honored as the 2014 Illinois Journalist of the Year runner-up.

Junior Michael Glick, editor-in-chief, sports editor and sports columnist of the U-High Midway at the University of Chicago High School in Chicago, represents journalism in the school, according to his adviser, Wayne Brasler, who notes Michael is an excellent researcher, writer — and page designer. His samples included an advertisement and a piece on an athlete whose health sidelined him.

Mackensie Harrison just finished her sophomore year, but as copy editor of The Echo yearbook at Cisne High School, she has been invaluable, editing for AP and local style, and working with staffers to write concisely and with human interest. Her samples included the yearbook cover and a homecoming spread. She is advised by Trudy Hurd.

Jessica Lynk is the editor-in-chief for The Correspondent newspaper at John Hersey High School, where she makes sure all work is completed by section editors, from story ideas through publication. Her samples included a story on the drills in school and a design incorporating statistics and military colors. She is advised by Janet Levin.

Senior Rachel Mueller is editor-in-chief for both the Timepiece yearbook and the Launch Pad newspaper at Okawville Jr./Sr. High School, jobs that require oversight of both publications, even fundraising! Her samples included the yearbook cover and a spread she designed as she worked with the new junior high members of the staff. She is advised by Dana Donovan.

Walker Post, a senior editor-in-chief for The Warrior at Lane Tech College Prep High School, decides on the newspaper’s layout, what stories will be published and the final copy editing. His samples included a piece on the dangers of injuries for athletes and a feature on the Uncle Fun business that closed after nearly 40 years. He is advised by Seth Johnson. Note: Post was also honored as the 2014 Illinois Journalist of the Year.

Senior Kelly Reilley, as editor-in-chief of the Equus yearbook at Belvidere North High School, is responsible for all aspects of the yearbook production, from cover design to page creation to editing the final product, as well as other projects from the journalism program. Her samples included the cover of the yearbook and the girls bowling team spread. She is advised by Mike Doyle.

Katarina Weber, a senior at Elk Grove High School, is the editor-in-chief of The Guardian newspaper, where she edits stories, assigns pages, does layout and design and manages her staff. Her samples included an in-depth piece on Elk Grove’s cultural diversity and one on faculty Twitter accounts. She is advised by Alissa Prendergast.


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2014 All-State Journalism Team