Announcing the Blue and Gold Awards

Quill and Scroll International Honorary Society for High School Journalists recognized six scholastic media staffs with the inaugural Blue and Gold Awards launched this year in conjunction with the organization’s 90th anniversary. These awards honor high school journalism programs that excelled in the International Writing, Photo and Multimedia Contest. Top publishing teams will also be recognized in the upcoming Yearbook Excellence Contest.

The Blue and Gold Awards are presented to top staffs based on individual student performance in the following categories: Comprehensive Writing, Comprehensive Visuals and Staff Excellence. The winning staffs are:

Westlake High School in Austin, Texas, received the Staff Excellence Award for overall excellence in its publication. It is the highest Blue and Gold Award a staff can receive.

Three schools received the Comprehensive Writing Award: Lakota East High School in Liberty Township, Ohio; Shalhevet High School in Los Angeles, California; and Westlake High School in Austin, Texas, for overall excellence in writing, including editorials, features and news. Health, science and agricultural writing was added as a category this year.

Four schools were presented the Comprehensive Visuals Award: Duncanville High School in Duncanville, Texas; McKinney High School in McKinney, Texas; Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, Kansas; and Westlake High School in Austin, Texas, were recognized for overall excellence in visuals, including graphic design, photography, infographics and photo illustrations.

With the founding of the Blue and Gold Awards, the Society continues supporting and recognizing schools for their journalistic endeavors, not just for individual achievements but for staffs as a whole.

2015 Quill and Scroll Scholarship Recipients Announced

After a competitive application process, six incoming college freshmen were awarded Quill and Scroll International Honorary Society scholarships for studies in journalism or communications.

The recipients of the George and Ophelia Gallup Memorial Scholarship are Ivana Giang, graduate from Lakota East HS, and Julia Poe, of Shawnee Mission East HS. Though hailing from Ohio and Kansas, respectively, both will attend the University of Southern California in the fall. The Gallup Memorial Scholarship is named in honor of George Gallup, Quill and Scroll’s founder and renowned pollster, and his wife.

Named in honor of a former Quill and Scroll executive director, the Richard P. Johns Scholarship is awarded to Marie Obsuna, graduate from Kadena HS in Okinawa, Japan. Obsuna will attend Arizona State University.

The Edward J. Nell Scholarship, also named in honor of a former director, has three recipients. Alexzandria Churchill, graduate of Notre Dame de Sion HS in Kansas, MO, who is attending the University of Missouri, Columbia; Karringtan Harris, graduate of East Mecklenburg HS in Charlotte, NC, attending Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC; and Jacob Prothro, graduate of Westlake HS in Austin, TX, attending Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX.

More than 60 applicants vied for the scholarships, which range from $1,000 to $500. Seniors planning to major in journalism or communications in college and who are members of the honor society or were awarded Gold Keys in Quill and Scroll’s Yearbook Excellence or Writing, Photo and Blogging contests are eligible to apply for the scholarships. The deadline for 2016 Quill and Scroll scholarships is May 10. More information is available at

The deadline for the Quill and Scroll Yearbook Excellence Contest is Nov. 1, and for the Writing, Photo Contest and Blogging Competition, Feb. 5. Each contest recognizes individual journalistic achievements of students. Middle and junior high school journalists may enter the Quill and Scroll Writing and Photo Contest for grades 5-9, which also has a Feb. 5 deadline.

Quill and Scroll members also have the opportunity to receive a $500 college scholarship from MyMozaic, where students can create portfolios of their work and link with colleges and other enrichment opportunities. For more information, visit

And the winners are…

Winners of the 2015 Quill and Scroll International Writing and Photo Contest for high school students as well as middle/junior high school students and the Blogging Competition have been announced.

Plaques, certificates and Gold Keys are en route to Writing and Photo winners. Winning bloggers receive digital badges and evaluations that are delivered via email.

High school competition winners also are eligible as seniors to apply for Quill and Scroll scholarships to study journalism or communications in college. Scholarship applications must be postmarked no later than May 10.

Six schools cited for upholding First Amendment

Six high schools will receive the 2014 First Amendment Press Freedom Award in recognition of their support, education and protection of the First Amendment rights and responsibilities of students and teachers, with an emphasis on student-run media for which students make final content decisions.

A committee representing Quill and Scroll International Honorary Society for High School Journalists, the Journalism Education Association and the National Scholastic Press Association presents the award annually following an extensive application process. Student editors, media teachers and administrators complete a questionnaire regarding the school’s First Amendment practices, and provide copies of student media policies, for review by the committee.

2014 First Amendment Press Freedom Award winners are:

  • Convent of the Sacred Heart High School, San Francisco
  • Francis Howell North High School, St. Charles, Mo.
  • Kirkwood High School, Kirkwood, Mo.
  • Mountlake Terrace High School, Mountlake Terrace, Wash.
  • North Central High School, Indianapolis
  • Townsend Harris High School, Flushing, N.Y.

Two of the schools are first-time recipients: North Central High School and Convent of the Sacred Heart High School, which is not only a first-time awardee, but the second private school to ever be recognized.

The schools will be honored April 10 at the opening ceremony of the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in San Diego.

Applications for the 2015 First Amendment Press Freedom Award are due by Dec. 1. For more information on the award program, visit the JEA website.

2012 Quill and Scroll Scholarship Winners Begin College

Eight college freshmen are beginning their journalism or communication studies this fall with 2012 Quill and Scroll scholarships.

George and Ophelia Gallup Scholarship winners Beatriz Costa-Lima (Munster HS, Munster, Ind.) is attending the University of Missouri-Columbia, and Kelsey Bell (Francis Howell North HS, St. Charles, Mo.) is attending Ohio University. Edward J. Nell Scholarship recipients Lucas Lostoski (Allen HS, Allen, Texas) is enrolled at the University of Texas-San Antonio; Taylor Ernst (Reno HS, Reno, Nev.) at the University of Nevada-Reno.; Katie Cowart (Bryant HS, Bryant, Ark.) at Arkansas State University-Fayetteville; David Corbat (Fraser HS, Fraser, Mich.) Grand Valley State University; and Rachel Proctor (McKinney HS, McKinney, Texas) University of Missouri-Columbia. Alexis Christy (Jonathan Law HS, Milford, Conn.) received the Richard Johns Scholarship and is attending Northeastern University-Boston.

Here’s more on the 2012 scholarship winners!

Applications for 2013 Quill and Scroll scholarships are due by May 10.


“The Sad Story of How a Gay High School Got Derailed”

Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award-winner Isaac Stanley-Becker wrote about a controversial proposal in Chicago to open a public school for gay students.

The Sad Story of How a Gay High School Got Derailed
Published in U-High Midway (University of Chicago Laboratory High School)
April 28, 2009, pp 6, 9

Taelor Dorsey travels every weekday from her home in Roseland on the far South Side to Harlan Community Academy High School, 9652 South Michigan Avenue. Living with her grandmother, Taelor is a junior and says she has a passion for creative writing. She came to Harlan from Keller Elementary Gifted Magnet School. At 5 foot, 8 inches, with short brown hair and brown eyes,

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© 2012 | Quill and Scroll

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