by Ali Boan
Kaneland Krier Executive Editor
KANELAND KRIERâ€”Every spring, high school journalists across the nation rush to send their stories into Quill and Scroll, the international high school journalism honor society. Every September, the judges’ booklets come back. This September brought another honor to the 2008-09 Kaneland Krier: the International First Place award.
â€œThis honor is for everyone on the staff. More than 80 students worked on the paper throughout the year, but itâ€™s especially (an honor) for the 17 editors who worked tirelessly to write, produce, design and edit the paper,â€ Cheryl Borrowdale, Krier adviser, said.
â€œThe staff has worked incredibly hard to continue Kanelandâ€™s long history of journalistic excellence. The Krier has been completely student-run for 36 years now, and this staff dedicated themselves to producing the best student newspaper they could. Itâ€™s a group who set some very high expectations for themselves, and they met them,â€ Borrowdale said. â€œIâ€™m glad to see them be recognized for all that they have done.â€
Quill and Scroll is an international high school journalism honor society based at the University of Iowa. The judges read student newspapers and news magazines from 44 countries around the world, score each paper and offer critiques. Newspapers that score more than 900 out of 1,000 possible points are given first-place awards. The Krier scored 903 points, which places it among the best student news magazines in Illinois.
â€œLast year, all the editors worked really hard, and Iâ€™m glad that it paid off and we got recognition for it in the end,â€ senior Erin Rodway, executive editor, said.
Although the Krier received first place and was cited for superior achievement, the Quill and Scroll judges did have suggestions on how to improve.
â€œThe judges told us that we should have our news stories come before the editorial, so we switched the pages up this year and listened to what they said,â€ Rodway said. â€œThey also said we should have stronger and more unique leads, so weâ€™re trying to do that as best as we can, too.â€
The International First Place Award is the most recent of several awards won by the 2008-2009 Krier staff. The Krier also won a Gold Medal from the Northern Illinois Scholastic Press Association, as well as 19 individual awards. It was the only news magazine in its division to win an award in every category at NISPA.
Executive editor Mel Mazuc, now a senior, took third place nationally in column writing at the National Womenâ€™s Press Association contest in July. Mazuc had placed first in state at the Illinois Womenâ€™s Press Association contest in April, along with Kathleen Kuhar, ’09, who placed first in state for an in-depth news story.
The 2009-10 staff is working to continue improving the news magazine and accomplish many things.
“Weâ€™re going to try to work together with the executive editors so that we share more ideas and hopefully make the Krier a more diverse news magazine,â€ said junior Maria Kernychyny, centerspread editor.
Photo: Many of the 2008-09 Kaneland Krier staff gathered for a picture in the Krier newsroom. The Krier recently earned the Quill and Scroll International First Place Award.