Great Journalism from America’s High Schools: Spring 2017 Edition

Educators / March 20, 2017

We continue to receive amazing stories submitted by high school students and teachers all across the United States. As long as the journalism pieces were created during this school year, they are eligible to be flipped into our magazine with the Journalism Education Association (JEA) celebrating the best of high school reporting.

A new crop of stories have been judged and added to the magazine. They include:

1) “Dress Code Incident Raises Concern”

Alida Beste, a junior at Burlington High School in Burlington, Vermont, questions gender equality at her school after she was pulled out of class for breaking dress code. Senior Alexandre Silberman reports on how Alida and other members of the student body are pushing for clarity around such ‘violations’ so that what’s deemed appropriate is not solely up to the school’s administration.  

2) “Defining the female Olympian”

As South African runner Caster Semenya continues to break records, the sports world is struggling to define what being a woman in the Olympics really means. Iowa City West High’s Michael Moonjely explores the current gender debate and how it will affect future athletes.

3) Spray It, Don’t Say It

Some argue that graffiti is not an art form, but an entire culture dedicated to defiance and that there should be an effort to make graffiti more socially acceptable. Gabe Cohen, Amanda Hmelar and Katie Look, students at Palo Alto High School, report.

4) Niles West Students March on Chicago for Human Rights

Grace Geraghty, a junior at Niles West High School in Skokie, Illinois, reports on the Chicago Women’s March earlier this year and shares the thoughts of students who participated.

5) “Listeners of Wamiu: Catherine White”

For Catherine White, a 17-year-old Sherwood High School senior, listening to NPR throughout her life cultivated a sense of wonder. She believes this combination of curiosity and information can change the world.

6) Live Like a Champ

A powerful story of how Champ Pederson, a 29-year-old with Down Syndrome, became an inspiration nationwide for his work with the Best Buddies organization and as a motivational speaker.

7) Beyond the Ballot

“Beyond the Ballot,” a website created by students at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, CA, took a deep dive on how the school voted on federal, state, and local elections.  

8) “First-Time Voters Eager For Say In Presidential Election”

Fenna Semken, a junior at Iowa City West High, interviewed first-time voters about what it meant to participate in the 2016 Election.

9) “The Story of a Miracle”

Junior Fenna Semken of Iowa City West High School tells the moving story of Tiffany Rosieland, an English Language Learning teacher whose daughter passed away after only three and a half days from Patau syndrome.

10) “Lack of Communication Leads to iNite Confusion”

Sold-out seats, fascinating performances, and astounding dancers typically describe International Night (iNite) at Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, Virginia. But while this 16-year-old tradition has become widely popular, this event is also causing concern among Jefferson faculty and staff. Senior Bayliss Wagner reports.

We’re so inspired by these young talents and look forward to new submissions for the next update. To submit stories to The Best High School Journalism program, check out the rules and email links to: Please submit by April 1st to be included in the next update.
~Emily H is reading English and Literature