Madison Miller / staff photo 
                                Chris Twombley and the Islander staff will be attending the National High School Journalism Convention in Anaheim.

Madison Miller / staff photo Chris Twombley and the Islander staff will be attending the National High School Journalism Convention in Anaheim.

MIHS journalism students sweep up awards at WJEA conference

‘The Islander’ receives awards at WJEA, including adviser of the year.

The Islander, the Mercer Island High School (MIHS) student newspaper, swept up superior and excellent ratings at the recent Washington Journalism Education Association (WJEA) state conference. Journalism teacher Chris Twombley was awarded both the Fern Valentine Freedom of Expression and Adviser of the Year awards.

Each March WJEA holds its state conference. Newspaper, yearbook and broadcast learning sessions presented by professionals and student contests in a range of journalistic skills are offered at the one-day statewide conference.

Students hear from top journalists around the region, as well as network with other high school journalism students from around the state. The write-off competitions put students in real-world scenarios, giving them the opportunity to act as on-the-scene reporters.

In addition, there are workshops taught by industry leaders on all facets of journalism including writing, editing and photography. Competitions will be judged by journalism professionals.

85 students participated in the write-off contests this year. Eleven (11) Mercer Island students went home with superior and excellent ratings. The Islanders website was also awarded an excellent in online journalism, second in the state.

Ben Capuano – Superior, Review Writing (first in state)

Lucille Shield – Superior, Newswriting (first in state)

Annie Poole – Superior, Newspaper Photography (first in state)

Ellie Gottesman – Excellent, Newspaper/Newsmagazine Layout (first in state)

Grady Short – Excellent, Editorial Writing (second in state)

Annika Bhananker – Excellent, AP Style, Headlines, and Captions (second in state)

Teddy Fischer – Excellent, Editorial Cartooning (second in state)

Hannah Whobrey – Excellent, Yearbook Feature Writing (second in state)

Lena Hardisty – Excellent, Infographic (second in state)

Ethan Preston – Honorable Mention, Sports Photography

Maya Virdell – Honorable Mention, Sports Feature

For Twombley, he said he was honored to receive both the Fern Valentine Freedom of Expression and Adviser of the Year awards.

While earning Adviser of the Year was rewarding, Twombley said earning the Fern Valentine Freedom of Expression award was more gratifying.

“They don’t give out that award every year,” he said. “The award recognizes exercising voices and students’ right to free speech, and to be recognized for that was pretty gratifying.”

The Islanders print editor-in-chief senior Grady Short said the fact the staff did so well at the WJEA conference demonstrates the well-rounded skillset the group has.

“We have a really great group here, and everyone here is really passionate about what we’re doing,” Short said. “As the years have gone by, the paper has grown with it and a big part of that is because of Twombley.”

The Islander staff will be going to the National High School Journalism Convention in Anaheim, Calif. next week.

More in News

A high tide at Raymond’s Willapa Landing Park in Grays Harbor County, Washington. Sound Publishing file photo
On the West Coast, Washington is most prone to sea level rise damage

Report by the Center for Climate Integrity shows multibillion-dollar cost of battling back the sea.

Mercer Island High School graduates 398 seniors

Mercer Island High School held its 62nd commencement on June 11 at the accesso ShoWare Center in Kent.

The Mercer Island Girl Scouts held an End of the Year Celebration on June 9.
Mercer Island Girl Scouts celebrates its members and volunteers

An End of The Year ceremony was held on June 9.

Sister Cities Association recognizes students

The Board of the Mercer Island Sister City Association has announced three… Continue reading

Photo Provided by Naomi Parkman Sansome Facebook Page
Buckle up for another smoky summer

Wildfires in Washington will likely roar back this year and into the future.

What’s next for Washington’s 2045 green energy goal?

The Legislature set the goal, but how does the state actually get there?

Mark LeMaster and Stu Harris look at past class photos during the East Seattle Elementary School alumni event on June 8. Photo courtesy of Owen Blauman
East Seattle Elementary School reunites alumni

Over 150 East Seattle alumni gathered to honor their alma mater on June 9.

Tasting room proposal could redefine alcohol production in King County

Pilot program would benefit wineries, breweries and distilleries. Several farmers are concerned.

Most Read