Newspaper Staff Qualifies for State


Matt Zalatoris, Staff writer

Eight Fielder reporters and editors advanced to state in the Journalism sectional competition at Naperville Central on April 21. Shannon Tierney, senior; Taylor Garcia, senior, Hannah Darbro, junior, and Iris Wright, junior all finished as sectional champions for their respective categories.
Iris Wright won her award for feature writing. She attributes her success to “practice, focus, and a love of writing,” This is the second consecutive year Wright has been sectional champion in feature writing.
Renee Nieckula, Fielder staff advisor, is proud of the work that the newspaper staff has done to improve their ranking from previous sectional competitions.
“We placed 2nd at sectionals, only two points away from first, that is something that has not been done since 2007” Nieckula said.
Some competitors attend press conferences and question and answer sessions to collect their information much like a professional journalist would. Students compete in a variety of categories and do their work on the spot without the help of others. Garcia went to state and competed in Newspaper double spread layout.
“Laying out the paper all year gave me a lot of experience,” Garcia said.
Some staff members, like Tierney, had advanced to state the previous year and already had an idea of what to expect at state for their categories.
“I really focused on my goals this year as well as knowing what I was doing with my equipment, ” Tierney said..
The Fielder staff is looking to maintain this standard next year even after many staff members graduate.
“By being able to continue to read and write I can win at state and do it all again,” Wright said.
With a second-place finish at sectionals, the Fielder staff looks to the future hoping to win first in sectionals.
“Hopefully we can pass some of our knowledge down to the juniors, so they can win sectionals and maybe go to state,” Garcia said.
While many of the staff agree that their main motivation is the sense of achievement they get after finishing an article, they also enjoy recognition for their hard work.
“There’s a sense of pride that comes from receiving an award, but the most enjoyment comes from being part of the Fielder team,” Wright said.
The Fielder Staff did not medal at the state competition, but they still felt grateful to have the opportunity to compete and learn alongside each other.
“We were happy with eight people going to state, it was also a fun time hanging out and bonding with the other writers and editors,” Garcia said.
The staff also had three blue ribbons, four honorable mentions, a bronze medal, and a silver medal for their website. at the Northern Illinois Scholastic Press Association conference the week prior.