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MVP journalists honored at All-State luncheons

All-State team members are Sarah Alban, Zachary Aldrich, Michael Belmont, Matt Gamber, Jenna Hazelbaker, Tim Kennedy, Jeremy Lacocque, Jessica Martinson and Robert Warren. Alex Ruppendahl was not able to attend. Left: Kristina Hauptmann was honored as Illinois Journalist of the Year.  All photos by Randy Swikle

For the all-state contest forms, see the contests page

The Illinois high school newspaper/yearbook staff members were honored June 9 as members of the 2007 All-State Journalism Team, sponsored by the IJEA and the Illinois Press Foundation.

The All-State Journalism Team recognizes those students who have proven themselves to be indispensable to their respective school media.

Members of the 2007 All-State Journalism Team are senior Sarah Alban, news editor of the Viking Logue at William Fremd High School, who spent four years covering the news of her school, including a property tax referendum, teacher contract negotiations, a mugging – and she filed an FOI this year to see district records that showed the district had spent thousands of dollars on private investigators to follow teachers.

Senior Zachary Aldrich, who made a commitment to include as many students as possible in his yearbook as co-editor of The Etrucscan at Glenbrook South High School.

Senior Michael Belmont, whose role as sports editor changed dramatically this year when his newspaper, The Gargoyle, from the University of Illinois Laboratory School, went exclusively to an online edition that was updated constantly.

Senior Matt Gamber, who as copy editor read every story, provided feedback and helped stories go from good to great at his newspaper, The Prospector, of Mt. Prospect High School. 

Senior Jenna Hazelbaker, editor in chief of the Oakwood Times, who dealt with criticisms from readers and took them to heart;  senior Tim Kennedy who defended journalism and the First Amendment as editor in chief of The Correspondent at John Hersey High School.

Senior Jeremy Lacocque, who showed his staff at University High School in Chicago that while reading and writing can be challenging for some people, they are only “hurdles,” not blockades;  senior Jessica Martinson, who grew from the “shy girl in the corner” to someone her staff could count on as the editor of 320-page Belvi at Belvidere High School.

Senior Alex Ruppendahl, who learned how to motivate and push his co-workers to work as hard as he does as the managing editor and sports editor of the Central Times at Naperville Central High School; senior Robert Warren, who was responsible for every graphic, photo or mug shot in The Statesman at Stevenson High School.

In addition, Adam Weiner, a member of the 2006 All-State team, was given anth an Inspiration Award for his commitment to the journalism program at Rolling Meadows High School as editor in chief for the school’s newspaper, The Pacer.

This year's poster contest has new theme!

“Censorship,” as it relates to freedom of speech, is the theme for this year’s Illinois First Amendment Center poster contest. The contest, in its second year, offers cash prizes for first through fourth places of $1,000, $750, $500 and $400. Honorable mention honorees will receive $100 each.

All currently enrolled Illinois high school students are eligible, so spread the word as well to your school’s art, graphic design or photography teachers. Creating a poster is a perfect assignment, and teachers can send in as many entries as they wish. All entries are due by Dec. 14, 2007.

Last year’s winning entries, category descriptions and entry forms are available at the center’s First Amendment Center Web site. For more information call (217) 241-1300 or go to

•Contest Deadlines

Feb. 1, 2009 • Deadline for Illinois Journalist of the Year
    portfolios to state director
• Deadline for online school entry to IHSA Journalism Competition
• Scholastic Journalism Week

Feb. 25, 2009 • Southern Illinois School Press Association
    conference, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

March 1, 2009 • Deadline for “All-State Journalism Team”
   nominations, “Administrator of the Year” nominations,
   “Intergenerational Award” entries 
• Deadline for CJE and MJE applications,

Copyright © 2006 Illinois Journalism Education Association. All rights reserved.

Award Winners

All-State Journalism Team

Illinois Journalist of the Year:
Jared Goltz

Friend of Scholarship
Journalism Award:

Dick Johns

Administrator of the Year:
Fred Schouten

IJEA Hall of Fame

All-State Forms

All-State Adviser Form

All-State Student Form

All-State Announcement

Friend Nomination Form

Administrator Form