Conference Inspires Young Publishers


P. Verbanszky

Madeleine Singh, Opinion Editor

Select journalism and yearbook students traveled to Anaheim to attend the JEA (Journalism Education Association)/NSPA (National Scholastic Press Association) National High School Journalism Convention on April 26. Students chose from lectures given by a variety of speakers and attend those that would help develop skills in publications such as design, writing, photography, and more.

The trip, which also included a stop at Disneyland, was organized by yearbook advisor Paul Verbanszky, who took his class to JEA’s San Francisco event last year. “The students who went last year really felt that it helped them a lot with designing the yearbook, and we also discovered that it had a lot of journalism and newspaper items too, so then when it came up this year, students were really excited, especially with the added aspect of Disneyland,” he said.

The convention inspired both yearbook and journalism students alike. Junior Lara Bloom, who will be the yearbook’s Editor-In-Chief next year, enjoyed spending time with likeminded individuals and seeing other styles of yearbooks. “It helps me and our class decide next year’s yearbook and also get ideas from other schools that we’ve never seen or heard of, and get input that we wouldn’t get without it,” she said.

La Puma business editor Amanda Young felt the convention was “really valuable.” Young attended a presentation about how to cover controversial issues, as well as a lecture given by a California state senator about youth advocacy and student journalism.

The convention included various social events such as a pizza dinner—during which junior Chloe Schaffel won a Series 3 Apple Watch in a raffle—and an “Ana-Chella” (Anaheim Coachella) dance.

On April 27, the group enjoyed a day at Disneyland. The theme park visit included a Youth in Education tour that provided lessons centered around leadership and goal setting. After the tour, students were free to explore the park for the rest of the day.

“Honestly, everything went very smoothly as far as I’m concerned. Everything fell into place nicely,” said Verbanszky, who is considering taking his class to next year’s JEA conferences in Washington DC (Fall 2019) and Nashville (Spring 2020). “[The conference taught me that] I still had a lot to learn– I also just discovered that there are so many opportunities in this industry for students to excel, and I would like to guide them and create a better yearbook.”