PHOTO CAPTION: Gloria “Jack” Mejia-Cuellar, a junior at Media Academy, won “Honorable Mention” during the National High School Journalism Convention’s write-off contests in editorial writing. Thousands of high school students from across the country attended the event, which was held in Anaheim last month.
Student newspapers are few and far between in Oakland, but one of them — Media Academy’s Green & Gold — is thriving. Last month, the paper took fourth place in a national journalism contest of the Journalism Education Association and the National Scholastic Press Association, which drew thousands of student-journalists nationwide.
Lisa Shafer, the paper’s advisor, wrote to share the news, saying, “It beat out schools that have APIs in the 800s and 900s and private schools whose students pay $35,000 a year in tuition to attend.”
Shafer said Kim Mejia-Cuellar, a junior, was one of 15 students at the convention to receive an “Excellent” ranking or higher in the newswriting category of the write-off contest. “In my 10 years of newspaper advising, including five at a suburban school, I have never had a student win an “Excellent” in this competition,” Shafer wrote.
Kim’s twin, Gloria “Jack” Mejia-Cuellar, received an “Honorable Mention” in the editorial writing category. Both sisters are members of Dave Eggers’ 826 Valencia’s writing program and their school’s debate team.
Both girls wrote their pieces about the “Parent Trigger” proposal, which would allow parents to force the conversion of a public school into a charter school if it fell below an 800 on the API.
You can read the winning edition of the paper yourself, here: