North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

North Star News writes their way to a medal at IHSA state finals

The three participants pose with the “Good luck at state” sign that had been plastered throughout the halls. Photo credited to: Jean Ordonez

North Star News found success in their first IHSA journalism competition, returning with silverware. 

On Friday, April 26, three journalists–senior Aiden Stanciu, junior James Prizant, and senior Quinn Graham–traveled down to Normal, Illinois for their first participation in the IHSA Journalism State Finals. 

The three participants each placed third in the sectional for their respective events in the virtual Sectional, with Stanciu in News Writing, Graham in Sports Writing, and Prizant in Copy Editing. The top three from each event (in their categorized sectional division) qualified for state, so all three made the cut. 

I just enjoyed the fact that it was a really tight-knit experience. We got the chance to bond with one another, and most importantly we saw schools from around the state and the way they ran their publication. It was really insightful to just be able to see how they ran their publication and how we could benefit and learn from them.”

— Aiden Stanciu, senior

North Star News also had a few fourth-place finishers: Penelope Roewe for Editorial Writing, Griffin Larson-Erf for Headline Writing, and Sam Dababneh for Review Writing.

The three qualifying journalists, accompanied by Journalism and English teacher Jean Ordoñez, as well as English teahcer and paraprofessional Jonathan Okon, made the three-hour drive down to Normal. The five soon arrived at Heartland Community College, where the State finals were held.

The three each wrote their stories and made their edits during 90-minute sessions for their respective events in the morning and afternoon of Friday, April 26, along with hundreds of students who had qualified for the finals from their respective sectionals.

The qualifiers from Niles North were each able to learn and grow from being around so many other state-qualifying journalists.

I was absolutely shocked. I couldn’t imagine that I had made it to state, let alone won second place out of everyone who participated. It’s definitely one of my biggest accomplishments in anything that I’ve ever done.”

— James R Prizant, junior

When it came time to announce the winners, the group sat in the packed basketball gym with all of the other participants, hoping to hear their names announced.

As the lead judge read off the names of the winners in the Copy Editing section, Prizant was on the edge of his seat, waiting for his name to be called. When the announcer reached the second place position, Prizant from Niles North was called up to receive his medal, jumping from his seat in elation.

Heading home from the competition with a medal was a shocking success in their eyes, and the three participants held their heads up high. Although it was only one, the team at North Star News knew that the numbers could only grow. The team hopes to further their success in the IHSA competition in the coming years.

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About the Contributor
Quinn Graham
Quinn Graham, Sports Editor
Quinn Graham is a senior at Niles North and this is his second year working on the newspaper. He enjoys playing soccer, working, and hanging out with his friends in his free time.

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    Sally GrahamMay 9, 2024 at 2:33 am

    Fantastic job, North Star staff! Congratulations to Ms. Ordonez, too, on leading such an important publication over the years and on teaching students to love journalism!