Two student publications awarded national and state titles

South student journalism publications, The Oracle and The Etruscan, were awarded state and national titles from journalism competitions, Oracle Advisor Bob Wysocki said.

The Oracle was named the Best Overall Newspaper and the Best Hybrid Publication by the Illinois Journalism Education Association, Wysocki said.

Additionally, at the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Journalism state finals, senior Sloane Shabelman, Oracle co-A&E editor, placed first in Features Writing, and junior Madeline Hussey, assistant features editor, placed third in Headline Writing, Wysocki said. Also in April, South’s yearbook, The Etruscan, was awarded a National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) Pacemaker Award, Etruscan Advisor Brenda Field said.

Journalism students from across Illinois competed in IHSA sectionals, and students that placed in the top three moved on to the next stage of the competition, state, Hussey said. In a high stakes environment, the pressure at state finals was high, Hussey explained.

Shabelman acknowledged that there was stiff competition at the IHSA finals, so she had low expectations for the award ceremony.

“They called fourth and third so my heart sank because I assumed I didn’t place,” Shabelman said. “[When I heard I placed first] I was really surprised, it was so exciting.”

Wysocki expressed immense pride for his two students and all that they have achieved.

“I was so happy for Madeline, her category was announced first, I was so excited,” Wysocki said. “Sloane being a state champion is a culmination of who she’s been since [freshman year]. I couldn’t have been prouder of them.”

South’s Yearbook, The Etruscan, attended the Journalism Education Association/NSPA High School Journalism Convention in Los Angeles from April 7 through April 9, Field said. Their 2021 edition, “You Can’t Make This Up”, received a NSPA Pacemaker Award, which is the highest honor in high school journalism, Field explained.

After producing the publication during hybrid learning, winning a Pacemaker Award was extra special, Field said.

“I was exceptionally proud of last year’s group,” Field said. “[The Etruscan] was the only [yearbook] in Illinois that was a finalist and an award winner.”

Senior Sophie Goldstein, Etruscan Co-Editor-in-Chief, said the award ceremony for the Pacemaker Award was long awaited, but worth it.

“We were waiting and hoping we would get [the award],” Goldstein said. “When they finally announced us, it was such a cool moment for everyone.”