Illinois JEA

IJEA Illinois Journalist of the Year


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Contest Entry Information

Click Here for the 2020 Application Form

Annual Online Deadline: Feb. 15 by 11:59 p.m.


 


About the Contest


Advisers, do you have a student who’s ready to be the next Illinois Journalist of the Year (IJOY)? Students, do you aspire to win IJEA’s top award for high school journalists? If you would like to learn more about the requirements for entering next year’s contest, we encourage you to read the information that follows.

The annual deadline for entering our IJOY competition is 11:59 p.m. Feb. 15. Advisers must be IJEA members for their students to be eligible for the competition. Information about joining IJEA is available here.

The contest is limited to high school seniors. The winner receives a $300 prize and becomes the Illinois representative in JEA’s national-level Journalist of the Year contest.

Competitors will be judged according to a standardized rubric after they digitally submit their application materials. Complete details as well as winning portfolio samples and tutorials for creating a digital portfolio can be found here:

Please note again that the annual submission deadline is Feb. 15 by 11:59 p.m. All entries MUST be uploaded by that time. Competitors should upload all of their application material here:

If you have any questions, please contact JEA state director Brenda Field at [email protected].

 


Illinois Journalists of the Year Since 1989


Congratulations to all of our IJOY winners and their advisers over the years! Our contest is dedicated to recognizing the journalistic excellence you achieved while telling the stories of your schools. You’ve set the standard for scholastic journalists everywhere!


2019
Ayse Eldes

Portfolio
Editor-in-chief, The Prospector newspaper
Prospect High School
801 W. Kensington Road
Mt. Prospect, IL 60056
Adviser: Jason Block


2018
Natalie White

Portfolio
Editor-in-chief, DGN Omega newspaper
Downers Grove North High School
4436 Main St.
Downers Grove, IL  60515
Adviser: Elizabeth Levin


2017
Abigail “Abbe” Murphy

Editor-in-chief, DGN Omega newspaper
Downers Grove North High School
4436 Main St.
Downers Grove, IL  60515
Adviser: Elizabeth Levin


2016
Hannah Boufford

Editor-in-chief, Drops of Ink newsmagazine
Libertyville High School
708 W. Park Ave.
Libertyville, IL 60048
Adviser: Michael Gluskin


2015
Ashley Yong

Editor-in-chief, Vespa yearbook
Web and ads editor, Stinger newspaper
Executive producer, HSTV Internet television station
Hinsdale South High School
7401 Clarendon Hills Road
Darien, IL 60561
Adviser: Jim Kelly
College: University of Missouri at Columbia


2014
Walker Post

Editor-in-chief, The Warrior newspaper
Lane Technical College Prep High School
2501 W. Addison St.
Chicago, IL 60618
Adviser: Seth Johnson
College: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, broadcast journalism
July 2015 update: New Life Volunteering Society, Urbana-Champaign area


2013
Marek Makowski

Sports editor, The Voice newspaper
Huntley High School
13719 Harmony Road
Huntley, IL 60142
Adviser: Dennis Brown
College: University of Missouri at Columbia, English
July 2015 update: Interned at the Missouri Review for a year and helped edit “Words Matter,” an anthology of literary journalism to be published in April 2016; worked as a peer adviser for a journalism community and taught them in an intro class; going through a creative writing sequence and working on his own manuscripts and writing


2012
Sydney Scarlata

Editor-in-chief, U-High Midway newspaper
University of Chicago Laboratory High School
1362 E. 59th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
Adviser: Wayne Brasler
College: Reed College, Portland, Ore., B.A. International and Comparative Policy Studies – Political Science, expected 2016
July 2015 update: Research assistant at Reed College; previously worked as sustainable development intern, Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods, Chicago


2011
Alexandria M. Johnson

Also runner-up nationally
Editor-in-chief, The Pacer newspaper
Rolling Meadows High School
2901 Central Road
Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
Adviser: Stan Zoller
College: Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism


2010
Jimmy Hibsch

Editor-in-chief, The Pacer newspaper
Rolling Meadows High School
2901 Central Road
Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
Adviser: Stan Zoller
College: University of Missouri at Columbia, journalism and strategic communication
July 2015 update: Marketing Services Coordinator at AMS Automotive, Columbia, Mo., jimhibsch.com


2009
Tom Stanley-Becker

Editor-in-chief, U-High Midway newspaper
University of Chicago Laboratory High School
1362 E. 59th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
Adviser: Wayne Brasler
College: Yale University, B.A., political science and American studies
July 2015 update: Litigation assistant, U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division


2008
Jared Goltz

Deerfield High School
1959 N. Waukegan Road
Deerfield, IL 60015
Adviser: Charlotte Titcomb
College: New York University
July 2015 update: Realtor, Shai Town Realty Group, Chicago


2007
Kristina Hauptmann

Sports editor, Statesman newspaper
Adlai E. Stevenson High School
One Stevenson Drive
Lincolnshire, IL 60069
Adviser: Barb Thill
College: Ohio University


2006
Tanya Sneddon

Editor-in-chief, The Correspondent newspaper
John Hersey High School
1900 E. Thomas St.
Arlington Heights, IL 60004
Adviser: Janet Levin
College: University of Missouri at Columbia
July 2015 update: Tanya Sneddon Boyer, indirect account manager for Cricket Communications, Denver, Colo.


2005
Erin Wood

Editor, The Shield newspaper
Richwoods High School
6301 N. University
Peoria, IL 61614
Adviser: Dan Kerns
College: Bradley University
July 2015 update: Erin Wood Miller, Bradley University, alumni relations and publications
Previously: Peoria Journal Star


2004
Kathleen Reutter

Co-editor-in-chief, Gargoyle newspaper
University of Illinois Laboratory High School
1212 W. Springfield Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
Adviser: Dave Porreca
2004-05: Teacher’s aide in Mississippi
College: Smith College, American studies major
August 2014 update: Graduated from Smith 2009; interned in summer 2008 with Washington Post online


2003
Noah Isserman

Also one of five finalists for JEA’s national Journalist of the Year Award
Co-editor-in-chief, Gargoyle newspaper
University of Illinois Laboratory High School
1212 W. Springfield Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
Adviser: Dave Porreca
College: Amherst College and University of Cambridge
July 2015 update: Entrepreneur and CEO; visiting assistant professor of business administration and social work, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; consultant with Common Ground Consulting, LLC
Website: http://www.noahisserman.com/


2002
Joe Ciolli

Co-editor-in-chief, Gargoyle newspaper
University of Illinois Laboratory High School
1212 W. Springfield Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
Adviser: Dave Porreca
College: Washington University in St. Louis
2006 grad with degrees in finance and international business; sports editor of Student Life, Wash U student newspaper
August 2014 update: Stocks reporter for Bloomberg in New York City; previously worked as investment banker in New York City


2001
Kathryn Hedlin

Lyons Township High School
100 S. Brainard Ave.
LaGrange, IL 60525
Adviser: Barb Thill
College: University of Wisconsin-Madison
2008 update: Associated Press sports reporter


2000
Hannah Kenser

Editor, Tiger Tales newspaper
Editor, yearbook
Joliet West High School
401 N. Larkin Ave.
Joliet, IL 60435
Adviser: Barbara Markelz (Barbara died in 2003)
College: Harvard University (B.A., 2004) and Emory University School of Law (2012)
July 2015 update: Hannah Kenser Heck, Alston & Bird LLP, Atlanta, Ga.


1999
Nathan Charlan

Editor-in-chief, Johnsburg Weekly News
Johnsburg High School
2002 W. Ringwood Road
Johnsburg, IL 60050
Adviser: Randy Swikle
College: University of Colorado at Boulder
August 2014 update: Co-executive producer and director of development for Warm Springs Productions and Exceptional Family TV; previously worked as television producer on numerous shows — most notably Food Network’s “Unwrapped”; moved on to be lead series producer on five Versus Network series, two one-hour specials and a documentary


1998

No winner was named for this year.


1997
Nick Mathews

Editor, Pekinois newspaper
Pekin High School
1903 Court St.
Pekin, IL 61554
Adviser: Diana Peckham (Diana died in 2010)
College: University of Missouri at Columbia
August 2014 update: Sports editor at Houston Chronicle; previously worked as sports editor at the Daily Press in Newport News, Va., sports writer in Decatur, Ill., sports deputy editor in Ohio and sports editor in Athens, Ga.


1996
Patrizia Pensa

Lyons Township High School
100 S. Brainard Ave.
LaGrange, IL 60525
Adviser: Barb Thill
College: Northwestern University
2008 update: Medical beat reporter at the Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, where she’s been since graduation from Northwestern


1995
Jill Eckert

Buffalo Grove High School
1100 W. Dundee Road
Buffalo Grove, IL 60089
Adviser: Sue Tedell
College: Ohio University, DePaul University College of Law and Kellstadt School of Business
August 2014 update: Jill Eckert McCall, director, Center for Professional Development, American Bar Association


1994
Lauren Lawley

Editor, X-Ray newspaper
St. Charles High School (now St. Charles East)
1020 Dunham Road
St. Charles, IL 60174
Adviser: Candace Perkins Bowen
College: University of Missouri at Columbia
August 2014 update: Lauren Lawley Head, editor, Dallas Business Journal


1993
Tareta Lewis

Editor, U-High Midway newspaper
University of Chicago Laboratory High School
1362 E. 59th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
Adviser: Wayne Brasler
College: Northwestern University, bachelor’s and master’s in journalism
2008 update: Tareta Lewis Adams, director of public affairs, Hospira, Inc., a global specialty pharmaceutical and medication delivery company located in Lake Forest, Ill.


1992
Timothy Pan Yu

Also a finalist for JEA’s national Journalist of the Year Award
Editor, New Trier News newspaper
New Trier High School
385 Winnetka Ave.
Winnetka, IL 60093
Adviser: Charlotte Huggins
College: Harvard University, social studies and English and American literature and language, A.B., 1996; Stanford University, English and American literature, Ph.D., 2005
August 2014 update: Associate professor of English and Asian American studies and director of the Asian American Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (http://www.timpanyu.com/)


1991
Lori Michelle Wiechman

Editor, The Central Times newspaper
Naperville Central High School
440 W. Aurora Ave.
Naperville, IL 60540
Adviser: Linda Kane


1990
Nicci Millington

Editor, X-Ray newspaper
St. Charles High School (now St. Charles East)
1020 Dunham Road
St. Charles, IL 60174
Adviser: Candace Perkins Bowen
College: Marquette University
2015 update: Nicci Millington Hyatt, listing project coordinator at Your Castle Real Estate, Denver, Colo.; previously Coldwell Banker Enterprise Foundation, Center on Policy Attitudes


1989
Tracy Pitts

Streamwood High School
701 W. Schaumburg Road
Streamwood, IL 60107


 

Official site: Illinois Journalism Education Association, 900 Community Drive, Springfield, IL 62703
IJEA Illinois Journalist of the Year