by Ali Boan
Kaneland Krier Executive Editor
Kaneland News Bureau
Kanelandâ€”The Kaneland Krier was awarded the Golden Eagle for best student newspaper in its class at the April 23 Northern Illinois Scholastic Press Association (NISPA) conference.
The Krier, which competes in Division 4 against schools ranging from Deerfield High School to Glenbard South to Rockford Lutheran, took top honors. The Golden Eagle is the highest award given by the association, which awards gold, silver, and bronze certificates as well. To earn a gold certificate and be in the running for the Golden Eagle, a paper must earn at least 360 out of 400 points, scored by the quality and design of the high school’s newspaper. The Krier earned 380 points, including perfect scores for its news coverage, in-depth coverage, special page design and advertising.
â€œThe Northern Illinois region is very competitive because of the large number of schools, and so I was very pleased with the Krierâ€™s performance this year,â€ Cheryl Borrowdale, journalism teacher and Krier adviser, said. â€œI think the judges identified a number of our strengths in news coverage and feature writing in particular. The judges also gave us several ideas as to what our goals for future improvement might be.â€
In the final critique, NISPA judges commented that “The Krier is rich in content, and it’s presented very attractively. A great variety of topics and issues receive coverage.”
Other judges’ comments included that the Krier includes “ample evidence of reporting,â€ “fair and balanced” stories and contains “layered information.” Judges suggested that the Krier continue to work on writing more varied headlines, including more information in captions, using more white space and writing more concise editorials.
The Krier most recently won the Golden Eagle in 2008 and historically has performed very well at NISPA.
â€œAll the hard work and stress definitely paid off after we got to hoist that trophy,â€ sophomore Anthony Sperando, sports editor, said.
Individual staff members also won eight blue ribbons and two honorable mentions for writing, photography, cartooning, graphics and ad design.
Blue ribbons were awarded to junior Maria Kernychny, centerspread editor, for feature writing and photography; senior Melanie Mazuc, editorial editor, for column writing and an individual in-depth piece; freshman Julia Angelotti, reporter, for sports writing; sophomore Zach Brown, opinion editor, for review writing; junior Megan Nauert, advertising manager, for ad design; and sophomore Demi Schlehofer, artist, for editorial cartooning. Honorable mentions went to Mazuc for graphics and to Kernychny and senior Jessica Raines, business manager, for a team in-depth piece.
The NISPA conference also included a keynote speech from Joe Mahr, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter from the Chicago Tribune, and two breakout sessions on a variety of journalistic topics.
â€œBecause a lot of the instructors were high school newspaper advisors, or reporters from the Chicago Tribune, they gave us a lot of real life tips, ideas and strategies that weâ€™re going to put to good use with next year’s Krier staff,â€ Kernychny said.
Photo: Several Krier editors celebrate taking home the Golden Eagle at NISPA. â€˜Winning a blue ribbon for ad design felt amazing because doing ads is so time consuming each issue,â€™ junior Megan Nauert, advertising manager and executive editor, said. â€˜Winning an award made all that time feel worthwhile.â€™ Junior Jessica Corbett, feature and lifestyle editor (left to right); senior Jessica Raines, executive editor; Erin Rodway, executive editor; Ali Boan, executive editor; Anthony Sperando, sports editor; and Megan Nauert, executive editor. Courtesy Photo