DGN Places 3rd, DGS 8th, at State Journalism Competition

DGN Places 3rd, DGS 8th, at State Journalism Competition

Congratulations to North High journalism students who brought home the third place team trophy in IHSA's Journalism State competition on Friday, April 28! Congratulations also to South High journalism students for finishing 8th in state. 

Individual medals from DGN students included:

  • Kileen Dietrich: 2nd in Sports Writing
  • Sophia Di Iorio: 2nd in Editorial Cartooning
  • Abbe Murphy: 3rd in Newspaper Design
  • Lucas Naber: 3rd in Review Writing

Congratulations also go out to Natalie White, who made Illinois Journalism Education Association's All-State Journalism team. She will be honored at luncheon in Springfield on June 3. 

Individual medals from DGS students included:

  • Rupa Palla: 2nd Broadcast News
  • Lauren Smith: 4th Feature Writing
  • Jonah Ocuto: 4th Headline Writing
  • Claire Pikul: 6th in Photo Story Telling


On April 22, 2017, student journalists from Downers Grove North High School and Downers Grove South High School competed at the IHSA sectional journalism event. DGN won their sectional for the fourth year in a row. DGS finished second overall. Students also earned team and individual medals; the first, second and third place winners will advance to state on Friday, April 28.

Crane Murphy Peters

DGN and DGS IHSA journalism sectional state competition results included:

  • DGN students took 1st place in three events, including: Sophia Di Iorio in Advertising and Editorial Cartooning and Abbe Murphy in Newspaper Layout. DGS students took 1st place in three events, including Rupa Palla in Broadcast News, Claire Pikul in Photo Story Telling, and Lauren Smith in Feature Writing.
  • DGN students took six 2nd place medals: Fletcher Peters in Broadcast News; Matt Troher in Infographics; Kate Wright in News Writing; Lucas Naber in Review Writing; Kileen Dietrich in Sports Writing; and Danielle Crane and Carley Neary in Yearbook Theme Development. DGS students Michelle Hroma placed 2nd in Copy Editing and Danielle Prazak placed 2nd in Newspaper Design.
  • DGS student Jonah Ocuto placed 3rd in Headline Writing. From DGN, Sidney Lee in Editorial Writing and Hannah Ilyavi in Yearbook Copy Writing won 3rd place.
  • 4th place finishers included: Feature Writing – DGN Abbe Murphy; Editorial Writing - DGS Eileen Tyrrell; Yearbook Layout - DGS Jayna Bardahl; Editorial Cartooning – DGS DeAnte Washington; and Yearbook Copy Writing - DGS Kora Montana.
  • 5Th place finishers include Caption Writing – DGS Kora Montana; Review Writing: DGS Jonah Ocuto.
  • 6th place finishers include DGN Bob Moss in Photo Storytelling and DGS Gabrielle Barkeviciute in Advertising.

Group Photo NISPA 2017

In addition to the State competition, on April 21, 2017, students representing the South High school newspaper (Blueprint) and school yearbook (Caracole), and the North High School newspaper (Omega) and yearbook (Cauldron), attended the Northern Illinois Scholastic Press Association (NISPA) Conference. The event allows aspiring journalists and photographers from high school newspapers and yearbooks to compete for awards and participate in workshops.

"We're thrilled that our students were honored in many events this year at NISPA,” says DGS English Teacher and Blueprint sponsor Mary Long. “Our students work hard to deliver news that is relevant and entertaining to the school and community. We are so proud of them." Fine Arts Teacher Katherine O'Truk is the sponsor of the yearbook.

For the fourth year in a row, Omega won NISPA’s highest award, the Golden Eagle, for its print edition. The Blueprint won bronze. Both Blueprint and Omega won silver for their online publications; see http://southblueprint.com/ and http://dgnomega.org/. The Cauldron earned the Bronze Certificate and honorable mentions in Photography, Copy and Writing. The Caracole earned Honorable Mention Awards for Coverage, Theme and Photography, as well as a Silver Certificate.

In addition to the overall awards, students won several awards at the conference.

  • DGS Blue Ribbon Winners included: Eileen Tyrrell for Column Writing; Jonah Ocuto for Review Writing and Blogging; Jonah Ocuto, Kylie Schatmeyer, Addyson Wesolowski, Michelle Hroma, Eileen Tyrrell for Breaking News; Jacob Bullard, Jake Lackner, Rupa Palla, Claire Pikul, and Gisselle Cervantes for Multi-Media-Package; Marisa Kasher for Editorial Cartooning; and Claire Pikul for Photo Gallery.
  • DGN Blue Ribbon Winners included: Abbe Murphy for News and Feature Writing; Jasmine Abdallah, Sophia Di Iorio and Madison Venckus for Team In-depth Reporting; and Kileen Dietrich for Newspaper Photography.
  • DGS Honorable Mention winners included: Gina DeCarlis for Info Graphics; Sarah Major, Claire Pikul, Tessa Brown, Eileen Tyrrell, Megan Albers, Gabrielle Bartkeviciute for Team-in-Depth; Michelle Hroma and Eileen Tyrrell for Editorial Writing; and Jake Lackner for Sports Writing.
  • DGN Honorable Mention winners included: Sophia Di Iorio and Bob Moss for Web Video and Ryan Pustelnik for Editorial Cartooning.
  • DGS Yearbook student staff members Jessica Plzak and Sara Snaidauf placed 6th at the IHSA Journalism Sectionals for Yearbook Theme Development.

For more information about NISPA, please visit http://nispaonline.org/. For more information about the IHSA State completion, please visit https://www.ihsa.org/SportsActivities/Journalism.aspx.