Blueprint Newspaper Staff Earns Awards and State Honors

Blueprint Newspaper Staff Earns Awards and State Honors

Blueprint on their way to the IHSA State Competition in April.

Throughout each school year, the Downers Grove South High School student newspaper, Blueprint, informs the student body of the latest news, trends and happenings. During the 2018-19 school year, Blueprint earned the following awards and recognitions:

  • “Distinguished School Newspapers Online Website.” School Newspapers Online, a provider of scholastic newspaper solutions, designated Blueprint staff with online digital badges in the areas of website excellence, story page design, writing, multimedia, coverage and audience engagement.

  • Blueprint staff were Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Sectional Champions for the second year in a row.

  • 15 students competed at the IHSA State Journalism Competition; two students were IHSA State Journalism Medalists

At the IHSA State Journalism Competition, students compete in various categories such as copy editing, photo storytelling, and video news. Within each category, the students plan and execute a finished piece of work within a short time period ranging from 90 minutes to three hours. The works are then judged and awarded based on a rubric scoring system.
Casella mentioned he arrived at school at 6 a.m. for weeks prior to the state tournament.

“[English teacher] Mr. Indreika and I would practice rounds of writing headlines, similar to how the process would be at the state competition,” Casella said. “Writing headlines is like solving a puzzle, and I hope to compete in the same category next year.”

In the Advertising category, Copeland was given a pretend company with a specific marketing goal. She had to create an on-the-spot ad, including content and artwork. Reflecting on her time as a Blueprint staff member, Copeland is grateful for all she has learned.

“Being on the Blueprint has allowed me to learn about other students’ interests and views outside of my own,” Copeland said. “Engaging with more students gave me a well-rounded view of how our school community functions.”

Copeland will be studying art and chemistry at William’s College in the fall.

“This year’s Blueprint team is a young, impressive, and very competitive group of students,” South High English teacher and Blueprint advisor Mary Long said. “We’ll definitely miss our few seniors. They’re a family.”

South High’s journalism staff members were 2018 IHSA Journalism State Champions and 2018 IHSA Sectional Champions. In addition, for the first time in South High history, the Blueprint won a Golden Eagle and students were named Sectional Champions at the 2018 Northern Illinois Scholastic Press Association (NISPA) Conference.

For more information, visit the Blueprint’s website here or contact Blueprint advisor Mary Long at