Quill and Scroll Announces ‘Chapter of the Year’ Award

Francis Howell North wins first Vanessa Shelton award

Former Q&S Executive Director posing for a portrait.

Former Q&S Executive Director Vanessa Shelton

Chapter of the Year 2020

Francis Howell North wins because of its outstanding service to journalism, community, and school

The Quill and Scroll chapter at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri has earned the first Vanessa Shelton Chapter of the Year award for its outstanding service to journalism and its community, and to the principles of the Honor Society.

“We are so honored and thankful to receive the award, and it’s such a testament to the amazing people we have help us in our chapter every day,” wrote senior Emily Hood, who also served two years on the Quill and Scroll Student Advisory Board. “Getting to work with Quill and Scroll in high school has been such a positive experience for me.”

Quill and Scroll adviser Jordyn Kiel in FHN’s application wrote about the projects the chapter took on in the past year.

“At our annual Black and Gold Day, we turned our booth into a Media Literacy game show,” Kiel wrote. “Students were presented with news stories and guessed whether or not the stories were real. After they answered, they were given tips on how to spot credible news sources and a sticker to wear throughout the day.”

“One of our favorite times of the year is when we get to induct our new members at our induction ceremony in March. At our induction ceremony, we all meet at a local diner, Ginghams to get breakfast before school begins. We eat pancakes, hand out pins, and get to bond with one another before the sun comes up. It’s a special day that merges both of the passions of our chapter – bringing people together and celebrating scholastic journalism.” — Adviser Jordyn Kiel

She also wrote about how important diversity is to the school and the Quill and Scroll chapter, including a Trick or Treat Street celebration and a drive that netted $300 and 20 grocery bags full of hygiene supplies for a local school for refugee and immigrant students in St. Louis.

“Our work with providing hygiene supplies to Nahed Chapman New American Academy, a school for refugee and immigrant students in Downtown St. Louis, as well as promoting media literacy through various booths and promotions on our social media channels helps our members represent the ideals of Quill and Scroll and of journalists around the globe — to tell the truth and stories of those who cannot tell them themselves,” Kiel wrote.

Quill and Scroll Executive Director Jeff Browne said FHN’s community activities are the perfect representation of what Quill and Scroll strives to be.

“Francis Howell North has always been a strong chapter and emblematic of all our guiding principles, from truth to integrity to leadership,” Browne said. “But it’s their service to community that has set them apart recently. We hope that all Quill and Scroll chapters can strive to contribute to their communities in the way FHN has. They are a richly deserving group of students.”

The Vanessa Shelton Chapter of the Year award is named after Quill and Scroll’s fifth executive director, who served in the position from 2007-2017. Shelton will visit Francis Howell North in the fall to deliver the award to the school, and to speak to the Quill and Scroll chapter. The school will also receive five free memberships in the 2020-21 academic year, and one student will be placed on the national Quill and Scroll Student Advisory Board, which plans national activities.

Co-adviser Aaron Manfull wrote that Quill and Scroll has always been important at FHN.

“This organization just holds a dear place with me, and Vanessa has always been one of my favorite people — and always will be,” Manfull wrote.

Over the past 94 years, Quill and Scroll has granted charters to more than 11,000 schools around the world. When a school’s journalism program receives its charter, students in the school begin a Quill and Scroll chapter there. Quill and Scroll does not dictate how active a chapter should be, but the organization’s “Chapter Manual” does provide some guidance on the value of an “active chapter,” the activities it may engage in, and its general goals:

“The chapter can accomplish these goals: (1) inspire members of the staff to greater efforts; (2) attract students of higher ability to publications/media work by offering them journalistic recognition and honors; (3) provide incentive for the development of the journalism department and the improvement of school publications/media; and (4) secure greater recognition of journalism work by students, school officials and the community.”

Quill & Scroll's Eight Guiding Principles: Truth, Learning, Leadership, Loyalty, Initiative, Integrity, Judgment and Friendship

Other details:

  • Next year’s application deadline will be April 30, 2021, and the winner will be announced in May. 
  • Eligibility for the Award will require chapters to have initiated members into Quill and Scroll in each of the past three years.
  • There will be no entry fee for the award.

CHAPTER AWARD

The 2021 Vanessa Shelton Chapter of the Year will receive:

  • A trophy signifying the winning chapter’s achievement.
  • One student from the chapter will be awarded a spot on the Quill and Scroll Student Advisory Board for the coming year.
  • Memberships for five eligible staff members —including five pins and honor cords — in Quill and Scroll for qualifying students from the school (A $160 value).
Q&S members are inducted.