After a year’s hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nebraska High School Press Association fall convention returned Oct. 18 as 650 students and teachers from 40 Nebraska schools gathered at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln to learn journalism and media skills.
The convention, co-sponsored by the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, offers a variety of learning opportunities for students in broadcasting, newspaper (online and print), yearbook and sports communications.
“We were so happy to see these students and teachers back on campus,” said Michelle Carr Hassler, NHSPA executive director and associate professor of practice in journalism at Nebraska. “The fall convention has a long history at UNL, so we were excited to be able offer it again and provide a full day of programming with local media professionals and UNL educators.”
Throughout the day, students could attend 33 sessions on a variety of media-related topics — from sports broadcasting to social media storytelling.
The event kicked off with a keynote presentation by Dirk Chatelain, Omaha World-Herald writer and author of “24th & Glory: An Intersection of Civil Rights and Omaha’s Greatest Generation of Athletes.” Chatelain, a Husker alumnus, is a five-time Nebraska sportswriter of the year.
During an awards ceremony, the organization presented its Distinguished Adviser of the Year award to Brandi Benson, who teaches at Lincoln Southwest High School and is active with the NHSPA, including serving on its executive board and overseeing the Cornhusker critiques and awards competition.
The NHSPA also honored two people with its R. Neale Copple Friend of Journalism award, which acknowledges those who significantly support scholastic journalism. This year’s winners were Keith McCoy and Michelle Brosemer, both of Walsworth Publishing. The NHSPA also recognized high school student winners in its annual awards competition.
The following schools won the highest honor — the Cornhusker Award — in the yearbook category: Elkhorn High School (The Antler), Lincoln Southwest High School (The Talon), Millard West High School (The Prowler), Ralston High School (The Ram), Gretna High School (The Dragon), Lexington High School (The Minuteman), Pius X High School (The Thunderer) and Yutan High School (The Chieftain).
The following schools won Cornhusker Awards in the newspaper category: Millard West High School (The Catalyst), Omaha Marian High School (The Network), North Platte High School (The Bulldogger) and Millard North High School (The Hoofbeat).
The following schools won Cornhusker Awards in the online news category: Gretna High School (Gretna Media), Millard West High School (The Catalyst) and Omaha Westside High School (Westside Wired).
In the broadcast category, Scotus Central Catholic High School (Scotus Central Catholic Media) was awarded a Cornhusker.
Major sponsors of the convention and its annual awards include the Nebraska Broadcasters Association, School Newspapers Online sites and the Nebraska Press Association.
The NHSPA is open to all high school instructors of journalism and/or advisers of student publications in Nebraska. For more information, including how to join, click here.