D99 Student Publications Earn Northern Illinois Scholastic Press Association Awards

D99 Student Publications Earn Northern Illinois Scholastic Press Association Awards

North High and South High both earned Golden Eagle awards, which are NISPA's highest honor.

Both North High School and South High School in Downers Grove earned top honors at the 2018 Northern Illinois Scholastic Press Association (NISPA) Conference in April 2018. 

North High received two Golden Eagle awards, which is NISPA’s highest honor. North High’s Omega newspaper won a Silver Certificate for its online publication and a Gold Certificate for its print edition. Also, North High’s Cauldron Yearbook and Omega newspaper won Golden Eagle trophies.

For the first time in South High history, the Blueprint newspaper won a Golden Eagle and they were named Sectional Champions.

“We’re so proud of the hard work and dedication of our Blueprint newspaper staff,” said South High English teacher and Journalism sponsor Mary Long. “Our students proudly earned the first-ever Golden Eagle trophy in South High history.”

“Congratulations to our Omega Newspaper and Cauldron Yearbook staff,” said North High English teacher and Journalism sponsor Elizabeth Levin. “It is wonderful to see our students earn such high honors and recognition for their hard work.”

At the conference, hundreds of high school journalists and their advisors from across Chicagoland met to share their experiences, improve their skills and recognize their accomplishments, and hear a keynote address from a professional journalist. NISPA is dedicated to preparing young people to live up to the highest ideals of the First Amendment.

Each spring students are encouraged to submit scholastic yearbook, web and print publications to compete against area high schools in journalistic writing, editing, photography and design. Top performers in four divisions are awarded the prestigious Golden Eagle. 

Listed below are the staff and individual awards for North and South High:

South High Awards
First-time awards for South High Blueprint Newspaper:

  • Sectional Champions
  • Golden Eagle: NISPA’s highest honor 

South High individual sectional awards: 

  • Barbara Collins in News: 2nd place - state qualifier  
  • Marc Alvarez in Editorial Writing: 1st place - state qualifier 
  • Jonah Ocuto in Broadcast News: 3rd place - state qualifier 
  • Jayna Bardahl in Sports Writing: 3rd place - state qualifier  
  • Sydney Hall in Yearbook Caption Writing: 2nd place - state qualifier  
  • Donte Reed in Yearbook Two-Page Spread: 2nd place - state qualifier  
  • Rhaya Truman in Review Writing: 3rd place - state qualifier 
  • Elizabeth Szpytek in Headline Writing: 1st place - state qualifier 
  • Emmanuelle Copeland in Editorial Cartooning: 3rd place - state qualifier 
  • Sydney Antiporek in Photo: 6th place
  • Andrea Davenport in Yearbook Copy Writing: 6th place
  • Srushti Desai in Inforgraphics: 6th place
  • Sherwin Thomas in Copy Editing: 4th place

South High Blue Ribbons:

  • Jayna Bardahl: Individual-In-Depth-Reporting
  • Sarah Major: Feature Writing
  • Elizabeth Szpytek: Blogging
  • Lindsay Valero: Photo Gallery
  • Emmanuelle Copeland: Editorial Cartooning
  • Emmanuelle Copeland: Graphics
  • Barbara Collins, Sarah Major, Katie Anthony, Sydney Hall: Breaking News

South High Honorable Mentions:

  • Jayna Bardahl, Elizabeth Szpytek, Rhaya Truman, Andrea Davenport: Team-In-Depth Reporting
  • Sarah Major: Sports Writing
  • Elizabeth Szpytek: Column Writing
  • Andrea Davenport: Editorial Writing

South High Caracole Yearbook Awards

  • Honorable Mention: Concept/Theme
  • Honorable Mention: Coverage
  • Honorable Mention: Design
  • Blue Ribbon: Photography
  • Bronze Certificate: Excellence in Journalism

North High Awards
North High Individual Awards: Sectionals Competition

  • Sophia Di Iorio in Editorial Cartooning: 1st place - state qualifier
  • Elise Radigan in Yearbook Caption Writing: 1st place - state qualifier
  • Zain Bando in Sports Writing: 2nd place - state qualifier
  • Sophia Di Iorio in Advertising: 2nd place - state qualifier
  • Sidney Lee in Newspaper Design: 2nd place - state qualifier
  • Matt Troher in Feature Writing: 2nd place
  • Alyssa Alberti in Yearbook Layout: 4th place
  • Sidney Lee in Editorial Writing: 4th place
  • And Matt Troher in Review Writing: 4th place
  • Serena Jaimes Yearbook Theme Development: 5th place 
  • Erin Radigan in Yearbook Theme Development: 5th place
  • Kyle Schirle in Headline Writing: 6th place

North High Cauldron Yearbook Awards: State Competition

  • Golden Eagle: NISPA’s highest honor
  • Blue Ribbon in Copy and Writing
  • Honorable mention: Photography 
  • Honorable mention: Layout and Design

North High Omega Newspaper Awards: State Competition

  • Golden Eagle: NISPA’s highest honor
  • Silver certificate for its online publication
  • Gold certificate for its print edition

North High Blue Ribbons:

  • Sarah Baran: News Writing
  • Matt Troher: News Writing
  • Sidney Lee: Editorial Writing
  • Matt Troher: Review Writing
  • Natalie White: Individual In-Depth and Sports Writing

North High Honorable Mentions:

  • Sophia Di Iorio: Graphics
  • Sarah Rogoz: Column Writing
  • Madison Venckus: Web Photo Gallery
  • Natalie White: Feature Writing

Learn more about NISPA and their annual conference on their website.


South High Blueprint Staff Photo

South High Blueprint Staff

South High Caracole Staff Photo

South High Caracole Staff1South High Caracole Staff2


North High Staff Photo

North High Staff