The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

[VLOG] Wildcat Chronicle staff attends JEA National High School Journalism Convention

Seven students traveled to Boston, MA for a three-day conference on journalism.

After much planning and fundraising, seven Journalism Production (JPro) students traveled to Boston, MA for the JEA National High School Journalism Convention from Nov. 2-5.

Students traveled by airplane to the convention, where they had the opportunity to attend breakout sessions on various reporting methods, hosted by professionals from the news industry, as well as advisers and other students. Sessions ranged in topic from review writing to leadership skill building, and gave attendees the chance to explore their interests and find new ideas to bring back to West Chicago’s journalism program.

The seven students – seniors Carlos Allen, Sasha Baumgartner, Dhanveer Gill, Micah Weber and Emily Ziajor, junior Jonathan Saucedo, and sophomore Miley Pegg – also competed in the National Student Media Contests, which pitted them against more than 1400 other entrants in a series of competitions designed to test their skill in journalism.

Senior Dhanveer Gill was awarded a superior distinction in editorial writing in the National Student Media Contest. (Photo by Sasha Baumgartner)

Gill took home a superior distinction in editorial writing; last year, he also placed fifth in the state in the same category. For Gill, his fellow Journalism Production staffers played a major role in his achievements.

“I want to begin by thanking my team first: all current (and former) members of the Chronicle and its leadership staff have been some of the best friends I could ask for. I would never have been able to make it this far in my career without them, and all of them have played a hugely important role in putting West Chicago on the map. Competing in Boston at the national level is something I will never forget; the preparation for this event has been (literally) years in the making, and I knocked it out of the park. If my self from six years ago saw me today, I think he’d faint from just the idea of being this successful,” Gill said.

For many, however, this was their first-time competing at all, let alone the national level.

In between sessions and competitions, the students had time to explore Boston: they toured the Boston Globe, meeting broadcaster Segun Oduolowu, who gave advice to the young journalists. JPro students also toured Harvard University’s campus, and took in a “Ghosts and Gravestones” tour on their final night in the city.

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About the Contributors
Emily Ziajor
Emily Ziajor, Multimedia Manager
Emily Ziajor is a WEGO senior in her second year of journalism. She attended the National High School Journalism Convention last November, and thoroughly loved the experience. She is a Polish-American (she finished her final year of Polish School in the spring of 2023) with a creative soul and high aspirations. When it comes to writing, she has a sharp imagination, and one of her true passions is photography. Emily is a multi-year member of the AV Club at West Chicago Community High School.
Dhanveer Gill
Dhanveer Gill, Managing Editor
Dhanveer Gill is a senior at WCCHS and this is his second year on the Wildcat Chronicle. Dhanveer is a dedicated Math Team member, NHS member, and senior engineer of WeGo's Robotics Team. Outside of school, he loves to be in the gym, go on long (and he means very long) bicycle rides, listen to music, and write. In the future, Dhanveer wants to pursue computer engineering and minor in journalism.
Sasha Baumgartner
Sasha Baumgartner, Editor-in-Chief
Sasha is a senior, and this is her third year being a part of the Wildcat Chronicle. She found a swift passion for journalism during her sophomore year, learning how to write for fun and in many different ways. She has continued with the paper since 2021. Outside of journalism, Sasha is a member of the WEGO Dance team, a ROAR mentor and a member of National Honors Society and WEGO Global at the high school. Sasha’s main hobbies outside of school include working at a retirement community serving guests in the dining room, spending time with friends and family, and finishing up work for the Wildcat Chronicle. In the future, Sasha plans to attend college for psychology to be able to help people on a daily basis. 
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  • Mr. AielloNov 8, 2023 at 10:39 am

    A truly momentous occasion for our blossoming journalism department. In the words of Michael Jordan, “The ceiling is the roof”

    Looking forward to the great things to come.