Iowa High School Press Association Fall Conference

Thirty-one students in Ms. Jennifer Dryden’s journalism and publications classes attended the annual Iowa High School Press Association fall conference at the University of Iowa in Iowa City Thursday, Oct. 26. Students chose a workshop for each hour of the conference to deepen their learning and feed their passion for journalism. Sessions were 50 minutes long and touched on the topics of journalistic writing, page design, photography, social media interaction, trends in yearbook design and content, and other ways to get excited about publications such as newspaper and yearbook.

The sessions were run by some of the best professional journalists, journalism advisers, and panels of student journalists from around the state and country, including the key-note speaker Scott Winter, who teaches journalism at Bethel University in Saint Paul, Minn. Winter spoke and kept the crowd of approximately 800 Iowa high school journalists laughing and in awe of his expertise on finding a moment to capture in a yearbook or newspaper, searching for the good story in the interview, not just the  boring one on the surface.

“It makes me rethink about how to rewrite my stories. I don’t want to write like any other story,” Sarahi Peralta, senior North High Oracle reporter, said.

Senior newspaper and yearbook co-editor in chief Jasmine Inthabounh agreed and thought Winter’s presentation was like pushing a refresh button.

“It kind of refreshed my brain about story writing,” she said.

Inthabounh also said interacting with other Iowa high schools about journalism is essential to improving yearbook and newspaper, both of which she leads.

“I liked being with other schools and seeing what they’re doing,” Inthabounh said. “It’s interesting to see what they are doing to make their publications good. That way we can get better.”

Many of the Intro to Journalism students were freshmen and sophomores coming into North publications next semester or next year. With 12 seniors in newspaper and eight seniors in yearbook, Dryden felt very optimistic about next year’s publications.

“These new students are coming in with extraordinary talent and a motivation to get better and better. Their learning from Iowa City gets me more excited for next year, even though saying goodbye to most of my staff at  graduation will be hard,” Dryden said.

Ms. Jennifer Dryden
North High School
Yearbook & Newspaper Adviser | Journalism | English I
(515) 242-7200

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