Spartan Shield

Young journalists take on Leadership and Innovation in Journalism Conference

Angela+Pandit%2C+Ella+Litchfield%2C+Grace+Halupnik%2C+Maddy+Licea%2C+and+Lily+Williams+pose+with+Drake+University%E2%80%99s+bulldog+outside+of+the+Leadership+and+Innovation+in+Journalism+Conference.%0A
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Young journalists take on Leadership and Innovation in Journalism Conference

Angela Pandit, Ella Litchfield, Grace Halupnik, Maddy Licea, and Lily Williams pose with Drake University’s bulldog outside of the Leadership and Innovation in Journalism Conference.

Angela Pandit, Ella Litchfield, Grace Halupnik, Maddy Licea, and Lily Williams pose with Drake University’s bulldog outside of the Leadership and Innovation in Journalism Conference.

Maureen Dyer

Angela Pandit, Ella Litchfield, Grace Halupnik, Maddy Licea, and Lily Williams pose with Drake University’s bulldog outside of the Leadership and Innovation in Journalism Conference.

Maureen Dyer

Maureen Dyer

Angela Pandit, Ella Litchfield, Grace Halupnik, Maddy Licea, and Lily Williams pose with Drake University’s bulldog outside of the Leadership and Innovation in Journalism Conference.

Abby Riley, Sports Editor

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Interest in the field of Journalism has been increasing among PV students who are now taking any opportunity to develop their skills. On March 27, five students were given the opportunity to expand their knowledge of leadership and journalism at a conference in Des Moines.

The Leadership and Innovation in Journalism Conference was held at Drake University. The event was sponsored by the Iowa Newspaper Association, as well as Drake University, Iowa State University and Simpson College. The conference was centered around informing young journalists what being a leader is like is the field, as well as how technology is transforming the platforms journalists use.

Students went to different sessions throughout the day, attended a discussion table, and listened to guest speakers from The Des Moines Register and Iowa Public Radio. The sessions covered topics like how to lead a newsroom, how to address sensitive topics and what new positions are being created within the field.

PV journalism and publications teacher and Spartan Shield adviser, Maureen Dyer, chaperoned the field trip. A large number of student journalists from around the state attended. Pleasant Valley sent five students to the conference. Sophomore Ella Litchfield, juniors Grace Halupnik and Maddy Licea, and seniors Angela Pandit and Lily Williams all decided to attend because they knew they would each take something unique from the experience.

Lily Williams, co-editor-in-chief of the Spartan Shield’s print edition, was presented with an award at the conference.The Iowa Newspaper Foundation awards one high school senior annually with the 2019 Iowa Newspaper Foundation’s Leadership in Journalism award. The foundation chooses a senior who has proven to be a strong leader for his/her school’s journalism program.

Williams began working on the Spartan Shield staff her junior year, at which time she also took Dyer’s honors journalism course. She worked as a staff contributor and took over as the publication’s editor in August.

While the non-senior students attended to learn about becoming a future leader for the school’s publications, Pandit believes it gave her a stepping stone towards future endeavors. “I got to learn more about what journalism is in the real world,” Pandit said.

Halupnik had a different takeaway from this experience. “I learned a lot about making connections with others. This made me think more about what journalism in our own school can do to reach different groups of students and foster more community at PV,” she said.

Halupnik continued, “I love journalism because it gets me out of my comfort zone and is a great way to learn about issues and people that you wouldn’t otherwise interact with.” This attitude is contagious, and it is exactly why Dyer believed it was crucial to include underclassmen on the trip.

Pandit believes the variety of ages maximized the number of possible benefits from this trip.  “The underclassmen brought back ideas about how to improve things for next year and the upperclassmen brought back ways to effectively finish off this year,” she said.

Pleasant Valley High School prides itself in always striving for excellence, and the PV publications staff is helping to exemplify this motto by continuing to learn about what it takes to create award-winning and impactful publications. These aspiring journalists are constantly working to better themselves and the school, and this conference is yet another stride towards their goal of excellence.

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Young journalists take on Leadership and Innovation in Journalism Conference