The official site of the Missouri Journalism Education Association - an affiliate of JEA

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2017 MJEA All-State Journalism Team

10 students named to 2017 MJEA All-State Team

Ten Missouri high school media staff members have been named to the 2016 All-State Journalism Team, sponsored by the Missouri Journalism Education Association.

The All-State Journalism Team recognizes those students who have proven themselves to be indispensable to their respective school media, recognizing those students who are “most valuable players” — those students whose leadership, energy, dedication, and expertise make their publications possible but whose main contributions often occur behind the scenes.

A student journalist had to be nominated by his or her adviser, who must be a member of the MJEA. Each member of the All-State Journalism Team will receive a certificate and a special engraved pen.

Rachel Adamson, 12
Winnetonka H.S.
Griffin Rites, Tonka News online Editor-in-Chief

Adamson is a senior in her third year on the Griffin Rites staff at Winnetonka High School in Kansas City. She is the editor-in-chief of both the online news site, Tonka News, and the monthly newsmagazine, Griffin Rites. Besides journalism responsibilities, Adamson is also a two-sport athlete, serving as swim team captain and running track. She has earned letters in both sports and academics, maintaining a 3.8 GPA. She is active in National Honor Society and Quill & Scroll. Adamson plans to pursue a journalism degree in college next year.

Her adviser Laura Williams said, “With all of our issues, Rachel is efficient and organized, using Trello project management software and Google Docs to communicate with and motivate staff to stay on track and meet deadlines. She approves all story ideas and works to help the staff create story ideas that are most meaningful to our readers.”
Adamson said she spends about 25 hours a week working on the student newspaper with her small, eight-person staff.

In her essay she wrote, “Four years ago when I first became involved in journalism, I thought its was to educate and inform those around me but it turns out they were the ones teaching me. They taught me honest reporting, accountability, impartiality and humanity.”

Emily Blunt, 10
Richland R-1 High School
Rebel Yearbook Director of Photography

Blunt is currently our Director of Photography for the journalism program at Richland R-1. She is in charge of scheduling photographers and reporters for events, making sure that all camera gear is stored and prepared for next usage and that all photos are edited and uploaded to the system for use in a timely manner.

Blunt is a sophomore and has been on the yearbook staff for two years., ext year she will serve as co-Editor in Chief. She has received various photography awards throughout the years from Jostens, Quill & Scroll, JEA and many others.

Her adviser Kyle Carter said Blunt can often be found with her camera on the sideline of a ball game, in the face of a celebrity, in a 2nd grade classroom or teaching one of her fellow students.

In her essay, Blunt wrote, I am especially motivated to take photos and write stories for people that are unable to take photographs on their own, or the ones who may not be able to make it to an event themselves. I have the desire to tell stories through my photography. I believe that a picture is worth a thousand words, and there are so many stories that deserve to be told. I love visiting new places to find inspiration, but also love coming back to my school to photograph elementary parties, ballgames, or even high school dances and events. I enjoy being able to tell the stories of the people that I know best through my own perspective.”

Nick Horstmann, 12
Lafayette H.S.
Legend (yearbook) Editor in Chief and Image (newspaper Cover Story Editor)

Horstmann is a senior at Lafayette High School and has been involved in the journalism program for three years. He currently holds editor positions on both the yearbook (Editor in Chief)  and newspaper (Cover Story Editor) staffs.

His adviser Nancy Smith said, “Nick is an extremely talented photographer and designer. He has a keen idea for both and has made major contributions to both publications. Best of all, I never have to ask him to take care of something. He already knows what needs to be done, and he has done it. As a bonus, Nick’s amazing skills come “packaged” in a wonderfully friendly, witty, sincere and caring human being. His personality is delightful. He is sensitive, flexible, respected and admired by his peers and our teaching and administrative staff.”

In his essay, he wrote, “As a leader in my school’s journalism program, nothing pleases me more than seeing underclassmen get excited about the work they’ve done; it provides me with confidence that they’ll be able to produce good work once I leave graduate.”

He will attend Murray State in the fall to major in design.

Alyssa Magrone, 12
Winnetonka H.S.
Griffin Rites Copy Editor, Tonka News online Graphic Artist

Magrone is a senior third-year staff member of Griffin Rites newsmagazine at Winnetonka High School. She serves this year as a copy editor, graphic artist and editorial writer. Her editorial and review writing has won national and state recognition over the past three years. Besides journalism, Magrone is active in art club and has been recognized many times for her outstanding artwork. She is a three-year member of the poetry club and competes in slam poetry. She has earned academic letters and the Gold Medallion honors diploma.

Her adviser Laura Williams said, “Alyssa is one of those people on staff who may go unnoticed, but she is the glue that holds the staff together. She counsels and coaches our younger staff members and is so patient with them as she teaches them journalistic skills. The staff members look up to her as a good role model for what it means to be on staff at our school.”

In her application, Magrone wrote, “Along with being copy editor, this year I have held position as the editorial voice of our staff, and I write the editorials with constructive and educated opinions. I also apply my outside artistic talents to our news magazine; I create cartoons that go along with the editorials. Being an editorial cartoonist allows me to convey a message without words. People think words and broadcasters to tell them the whole story, but photos and artwork are the first impression that leads them into the story.”

Chase Meyer, 12
Francis Howell North H.S.
FHN Media d.b.a. FHNtoday.com, Editor in Chief of FHNtoday.com

Meyer is a go-getter right from the start. Joining Francis Howell North’s student media department in his sophomore year, he fell in love with the online spectrum of the program. Since then, he’s worked to grow the site’s coverage of school events, making the website a staple of FHN news consumption. He is also the website developer for AirlineGeeks.com, an aviation news site with 50,000+ views per month. He can be found throughout social media at the handle @AvJournalist.
HIs adviser Aaron Manfull said, “While the tangible content he has created is a great showcase of what he has done as part of this program through the last four years, it’s many of the intangibles that tip him over the top to make him a great choice for this All-State team. In a program of more than 90 staff members, there’s a lot going on and not everyone knows everyone else. Each year though, there are a few students that rise to the top and lead the charge, and everyone in the program ends up knowing who they are. This year, Chase is definitely one of those handful of staffers that everyone knows.”

In his application Meyer wrote, “Everyday in the hallway, I have the potential to pass 1,800 students. That is 1,800 stories. 1,800 childhoods. 1,800 hobbies. 1,800 lives that I may know nothing about if I do not go out and pursue them. And not only is it my responsibility to cover these, but it is my duty to cover what goes on around them.”

Tinh Nghi Ngo, 12
Staley H.S.
Broadcast Producer

As an STTV producer, Ngo is responsible for the daily announcement show, producing the Bird’s Eye View, a magazine show for every quarter, monitoring the progress of other student’s projects while working on her own and keeping up with social media and special projects.

She has been in broadcast for four years and an STTV producer for two. She has worked as a reporter outside of the studio and many positions in the studio such as director, anchor and teleprompter operator. Ngo is a member of National Honor Society and Interact Club, a group for community service. Academically, she is currently taking six AP classes. Outside of Staley, she recently graduated from her Vietnamese Sunday School with the top Bible studies award and is also a member of her church’s “Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Group.”

Her adviser Janet Sobbe said, “Tinh Nghi (Cindy) is my quiet storm. She is strong and dedicated and often finishes projects and puts out fires without me even knowing about it. She is a leader without being loud or pushy. Students know that she will help them with anything from general journalism questions, to advanced graphics and editing. She guides students with a calmness and grace that is rarely seen.”

In her essay, Ngo wrote, “I believe one of the most important aspects of being a journalist is having a trustworthy personality and voice. For students to listen to their peers’ stories, I believe I must bring out the passion of journalism to better myself and the broadcast production.”

Ali Randazzo, 12
Kirkwood High School
The Kirkwood Call and thekirkwoodcall.com Editor in Chief

Randazzo has worked on The Kirkwood Call news publication since 2014. Ali worked on the web staff (10), technical editor (11) and editor-in-chief (12). Various awards include the Media Now 2014 “Interactive Master” and honorable mention at the 2015 and 2016 fall JEA Online News Package contest as well as national staff awards. Ali helped lead TKC.com to be a SNO Distinguished Site. She has worked on MO New Voices Act and helped coordinate the 2016 and 2017 KHS Suicide Awareness Week.

Her adviser Mitch Eden said Randazzo is the driving force behind the publcation’s many awards and recognitions. “Ali has been the leader and trailblazer on The Call with digital media. She has embraces the web and video and is out leader in making The Call a digital-first media program. Ali is the first person I go to ensure our digital platform is relevant every day through social media and our website. She oversees this structure and system better than any student I have taught,” he wrote.

In her application, Randazzo wrote, “My policy as an editor is person first, journalist second. TKC would never publish content with malicious intent. Furthermore, each story, photo and video must have journalistic value. As a student journalist, I understand everyone has a story and we must be a voice for the voiceless. TKC is the connection between students and KHS administration, so the students voice must be heard.”

Camille Respess, 12
Clayton High School
Globe Editor in Chief

Respess is a senior at Clayton High School and the Editor-in-Chief of the school’s award-winning student-run newsmagazine, Globe. In her time on the Globe staff during all four years of high school, Respess has learned the value of leadership, community, and the overwhelming importance of journalism in modern society. She finds the greatest sense of fulfillment and passion in working on long-form journalistic articles that discuss varying societal issues.

Her adviser Erin Castellano said, “Camille Respess is someone who is not afraid to take a stand on an issue, or up for what she believes is right. She is a guiding force to our Globe staff and is, often, the primary voice for the student body of Clayton High School.”

In November of this year, Respess was awarded the National Scholastic Press Association’s Brasler Prize Award for 2016 for a piece she and another student wrote about mental health issues among the Clayton community and how mental illness is perceived in society.

She has tackled other tough stories as well and wrote in her application, “My experiences in learning the stories of so many people affected by the subjects covered in the series, and then translating my knowledge into long-form articles that share some of the most important stories of St. Louis public education has been the most humbling and inspiring experiences not only of my high school journalism career, but simply as my existence as a human being.”

Ethan Rodden, 12
Timberland High School
Wolf’s Howl Editor in Chief

Rodden is currently a senior at Timberland High School. He has been involved in newspaper for two years, in addition to, at various points of high school, being involved in color and winter guard, as well as several choir classes.

Rodden and the newspaper staff had a rough time recently, but his dedication held the publication together. His adviser Ida Hoffman said, “This year has been unique for the THS newspapers. Newspaper was rough last year, and we had only two students return to staff. At the beginning of the year, due to medical concerns, one of these students had to leave the staff. This left Ethan to manage the paper on his own. This seems doable. The catch: there were only two other students on staff. So, after lengthy discussions, Ethan transferred classes, into the Intro to Journalism class. Here, he has spent the academic year, molding nine students (the majority of whom are freshmen), into awesome newspaper staffers, while communicating with the rest of his staff (in a different hour) electronically.

In his application, he wrote. “My philosophy of journalism is still evolving. The most important aspects of scholastic journalism are accepting others opinions, learning how to manage time, and learning how to work in groups. Without these, avoiding bias and finishing the paper on time would be impossible. I strive to reach these goals every day, even though they sometimes be difficult.”

Caleb Swallows, 12
Puxico High School
Tribesman and Puhicah Photo Editor

Swallows is a senior at Puxico High School in Puxico. As a second year photography editor, he can be found at most of the school and community events, in the classroom assigning events to staff photographers or teaching them photography and editing techniques. Swallows is often sought out by administrators and faculty to ensure coverage of certain events not only in our district but also in other area schools. He is well-known in the community because of his quick turn-around time to post edited photos of an event that same evening.

His adviser Holly Poole said, “Not only is Caleb a leader in the journalism classroom, as a second-year photography editor, he has devised a system for cataloging and uploading photographs for our yearbook program, as well as taken on a “pet” project of “Humans of Puxico” that is highlighted on our Instagram account.”

In his application, Swallows wrote, “I have made it important in my staff is to cover the whole event from when they (students) get on the bus to getting off the bus when the event ends. I want the audience to feel like they experienced the whole trip with the students and I feel like people are getting that experience through my work.”

The official site of the Missouri Journalism Education Association - an affiliate of JEA
2017 MJEA All-State Journalism Team