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Meet our 2016 Illinois Journalist of the Year: Libertyville’s Hannah Boufford
Photo by Stan Zoller
The editor-in-chief of the awarding-winning newsmagazine Drops of Ink is our choice for top high school journalist in Illinois. Read on for more about Hannah and our two runners-up, Hope Johnson and Danielle Tuchman.
March 2, 2016
Congratulations to Hannah Boufford, a senior at Libertyville High School. She has been named winner of the 2016 Illinois Journalist of the Year competition. The award, open to seniors only, is IJEA‘s top honor for high school journalists.
Boufford succeeds Ashley Yong, the former Hinsdale South yearbook editor-in-chief and IHSA state champion who is now a freshman studying journalism at the University of Missouri. Last year’s runner-up was Michael Glick of the University of Chicago Laboratory High School.
Although only in her second year of scholastic journalism, Boufford quickly excelled at her new craft, becoming 2015-16 editor-in-chief of Libertyville’s award-winning newsmagazine, Drops of Ink.
In that role she manages a staff of 40 student journalists. She not only plans issues and edits stories, she also designs pages, creates infographics and writes award-winning articles of her own.
In addition, she handles with great diplomacy any controversies that arise within the school concerning the publication — all while maintaining a stellar academic record and devoting 20 hours a week, 10 months a year, to varsity cheerleading.
A panel of IJEA board members selected Boufford after assessing the portfolios, self-analytical essays, résumés, transcripts and letters of recommendations submitted by applicants from around the state.
“Once I joined Drops of Ink during my junior year, I knew instantly that journalism was
what I wanted to do,” she wrote in her essay. “From just the first couple weeks of intro videos and interacting with other staff members, it became my favorite class.”
Boufford learned she had won the award when Brenda Field, Illinois state director for national JEA, and Stan Zoller, national JEA’s East Region director, visited Libertyville to inform her of the news Tuesday, March 1.
Joining them for the announcement were Boufford’s parents, her journalism adviser, Michael Gluskin, and her fellow Drops of Ink staff members.
Boufford becomes IJEA’s 27th Journalist of the Year since 1989 and the first from Libertyville. She will receive a $300 award, and her portfolio and other supporting material will be forwarded to JEA for inclusion in the organization’s national JOY competition.
The JEA winner and runners-up will be announced in April at the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Los Angeles. Scholarship funds of $3,000 will be awarded to the top winner, with $850 each for runners-up.
“This year, stepping into the role of editor-in-chief brought a whole new level of journalism to my attention,” Boufford continued in her essay. “While I was a staff member last year and worked hard to produce the best stories I could, I had no idea of all the work that the editors and Mr. Gluskin did behind the scenes. I found that out the hard way when I met with Mr. Gluskin multiple times to create plans for the staff and publication in the coming school year.”
This year’s two IJOY runners-up are no strangers themselves to the demands of leading a school publication.
Taylorville’s Johnson is editor-in-chief of her school’s award-winning yearbook and copy editor of the newspaper. She has also won three medals at the IHSA journalism state finals: second place in yearbook double-page spread layout, 2015; third place in yearbook theme development, 2015; and third place in sports writing, 2014. Her adviser is Stephen Steele.
Glenbrook South’s Tuchman is editor-in-chief of the NSPA Pacemaker-winning The Oracle newspaper, executive producer of her own weekly in-school TV program, and host of a weekly show on the school’s radio station, WGBK 88.5 FM. Her adviser is Marshall Harris.
Boufford, Johnson and Tuchman will receive their IJOY plaques in June at IJEA’s annual awards luncheon in Springfield. Congratulations to all the nominees and the advisers who supported them!
BELOW: Hannah Boufford, IJEA’s 2016 Illinois Journalist of the Year, is joined by (from left) Stan Zoller, East Region director of national JEA and an IJEA board member; Michael Gluskin, Libertyville H.S. Drops of Ink newsmagazine adviser; and Brenda Field, Illinois state director for national JEA and an IJEA board member.