HHS Yearbook and TV Production Students Earn Top Honors in IWPA Journalism Contest

Story by: Katie Anthony, Harmony Yearbook Copy Editor

Founded in 1885, the Illinois Women’s Press Association, or IWPA, is an organization of communications professionals whose objective is to maintain and improve the professional standards of members in mass communications in Illinois, to promote their interest, and to provide for the sharing of ideas and information.

The IWPA holds an annual High School Communications Contest to honor achievement in yearbook, television, and newspaper productions. This year, IWPA will move 12 first-place winners, representing three Illinois High Schools, on to compete in the National Federation of Press Women High School contest, four from Huntley High School.

Pictured: Award-winning entries from Yearbook staff

Huntley High School reigned victorious, sweeping every category for Yearbook production.

Senior Kayla Yakimisky won first and second place for Yearbook Layout, in addition to snagging a third place win and honorable mention in Yearbook Copywriting. Junior Nick Pratt took home third place in Yearbook Layout. Senior Tori Smolen claimed first and second place for Yearbook Photography for her work on the 2019 Thespian Show spread. Rounding out the Yearbook Photography category, senior Megan Spoerlein claimed third place for her JV Poms photo. Junior Talia Duffy wrote her way to a first and second place win in Yearbook Copywriting.

The Television Production students also took home top honors for an episode of Raider Nation News. Senior Nick Decatoire won first place for Best Broadcast, in addition to winning second place for Video Feature and third place for Video News Story. Sophomore Jacob Habel also claimed second place in Radio / Television Interview or Talk Show.

In addition to the multitude of individual awards, Huntley High School captured the highest honor –the 2020 IWPA Silver Pen Award– having accumulated the most points in the competition scoring four 1st -Place, five 2nd-Place, five-3rd Place and one Honorable Mention.

Of those state award winners, Yakimisky, Smolen, Duffy, and Decatoire will have their submissions judged at the national level.

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