Students win big at MN convention

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A year of transition and hard work has paid off for the student journalists of Columbia Heights High School.

The Heights Herald won multiple awards at this year’s Minnesota State Student Journalism Convention. Both the newspaper and the Hylander News Network, more commonly known as HNN, won fourth in their respective categories for the Best of Show awards. Eric Lopez (class of 2019) won fourth place in the Feature Photography category for his photo portrait of “Angy”, the founder of the Minneapolis homeless encampment known as “Tent City”, which was located near Hiawatha Avenue and which Lopez covered in the winter edition of the newspaper. Class of 2019 graduate Vanessa Mora also won second place for her review of the Northeast Minneapolis dessert shop Fletcher’s Ice Cream, featured in the third quarter edition of the Herald. 

The conference started with the keynote speaker Sara Quinn, professor of journalism at the University of Minnesota, who talked about the importance of visual storytelling in the media. After, student editors attended various sessions led by professional journalists and journalism educators, including workshops led by Scott Winter of Bethel University and Laura Widmer of the National Scholastic Press Association. Editors also attended “Being Present: The key to feature writing”, a talk about how to profile a notable person when writing an article led by reporter Megan Ryan from the Star Tribune. Finally, some students also attended “From Print to Digital (and everything in between)” led by reporter Anna Boone, also from the Star Tribune, who talked about newspaper and website design. 

Editors, staff writers and photographers both past and present are proud of their award-winning paper and look forward to another year at the Heights Herald.