Fielder staff earns bronze, silver awards at NISPA


Renee Nieckula

The Fielder Staff won awards for excellence in journalism at the NISPA conference on Friday, Apr. 20.

Hannah Kopek, Staff Writer

The Fielder staff brought home blue ribbon awards in three catergories, honorable mentions in four categories, a bronze certificate for overall newspaper excellence, and a silver certificate for overall website excellence at the 2018 Northern Illinois Scholastic Press Association (NISPA) conference today.

“I’m very proud of all of our accomplishments,” Tom Klimek, senior, said. He earned a blue ribbon for his football article, which was part of a multi-media package, along with a video by Micha’la Hood, senior, and photos by Katherine Hahn-Boisvert, senior.

Other Blue Ribbon awards went to Taylor Garcia, senior, for her column on the Boy Scouts, and Shannon Tierney, senior, for her Black Friday graphic design.

“My last NISPA has been the most memorable,” Tierney, Editor-In-Chief, said. “I am so glad that I get to spend my last year on the Fielder with such an amazing staff.”

About 500 journalism students from urban and suburban Illinois gathered on Apr. 20 not only to earn awards, but to learn from experienced journalists and journalism advisors alike.

The first session of the day was led by key note speaker, Teri Arvesu. She spoke about purpose and how “it’s in your DNA”. Students were also encouraged to ask questions and get involved in the conversation.

“I thought she [Arvesu] was so great. She was very professional while still being personable,” Elizabeth Hsieh, junior, said. The motivation behind the NISPA conference is to educate, inspire, and promote journalism. In addition to the speaker, students could also attend two sessions specific to their areas of interest.

“I plan to use what I learned to better my surveys,” Carter Day, staff writer, said after attending the “Fire Up Your Feature” seminar. After the conclusion of the sessions and lunch, students and advisors reconvened in the auditorium for awards. Schools were judged on material that was submitted earlier in the school year.

The Fielder also competes tomorrow, Apr. 21, at the IHSA Sectionals competition at Naperville Central High School.