Kelsey Bell, senior at Francis Howell North (FHN) High School, has been named the Missouri Student Journalist of the Year. Kelsey will be honored at the Scholastic Journalism Day awards ceremony at University of Missouri on April 4.
Overwhelmed with excitement, Bell found out that she had been named the Missouri Journalist of the Year February 15, 2011. Aaron Manfull, FHN Publications Advisor along with Dr. Darlene Jones, FHN Principal, made the surprise announcement in front of her classmates and family. Bell thanked Manfull and her classmates and says her success would not have been possible without their support.
“The program is amazing. I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without Mr. Manfull. I’m really lucky to work with such a talented group every day,” said Bell.
Bell’s interest in journalism began as a freshman when she enrolled in journalism and photo journalism courses. As a sophomore she joined the newspaper staff and later transitioned to Managing Editor of Design as a junior. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief and has dedicated countless hours to the FHN Publications and Newspaper program.
In order to qualify for this prestigious award, Bell submitted a 42 page portfolio that consisted of mostly graphic design pieces and in-depth story packaging. Bell’s portfolio received high accolades leaving all judges extremely impressed. Rod Howe, Student Journalist of the Year Judge, says that he has never seen such professional work completed by a high school student.
“Kelsey's designs and graphics examples were the most amazing and professional pieces of scholastic journalism I have viewed in my 30 years of advising,” said Howe. “In my years of judging Student Journalist of the Year entries, I believe this collection was the most impressive and, thus, the most challenging. High school journalism is alive and well in Missouri.”
Over the years FHN has had five students receive the journalist of the year award making Bell the sixth recipient in school history. Although, Bell has dedicated a lot of time to her work, Bell says that winning the award was very unexpected.
“It’s really unexpected because I’ve seen people win a lot of awards,” said Bell. “I’m really glad because I’ve really worked hard this year.”
Since Bell has become an active member of the FHN Publications program, she has won various prestigious awards and recognitions including:
· Fourth Place for Design Of The Year in the Illustration category in the (Journalism Education Association/National Scholastic Press Association (JEA/NSPA) National Fall High School Journalism Convention 2011)
· Recipient of a Superior rating for Infographic Write-off (JEA/NSPA National Fall High School Journalism Convention 2011)
· First Place in Computer Generated Art/Illustration for Newspaper (Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA) Gold Circle Awards 2011)
· First Place in Page One Design: Newsmagazine (CSPA Gold Circle Awards 2011)
· Two-time First Place winner in Double Truck or Special Edition (CSPA Gold Circle Awards 2011)
· Second Place awards in Advertising and in Hand Drawn Illustration (CSPA Gold Circle Awards 2011)
· FHN Newsmagazine Journalist of the Year (2011)
· Two-time Gold Key winner for In-depth package (Quill and Scroll International Writing and Photo Contest 2011)
· Selected Missouri Girls State delegate for the summer of 2011
· Show-Me awards in In-depth Article/Series, Art/Infographic, and Center Page Design (Midwest Independent Publishers Association (MIPA) Scholastic Journalism Day 2010, 2011)
· Superior awards in Photo Illustration, Center Spread Design, Advertisement, and In-depth Article/Series (MIPA Scholastic Journalism Day 2011)
· Best of Show: In-depth reporting, and Infographic (Sponsors of School Publications (SSP) St. Louis convention 2010, 2011)
· Superior: Newsmagazine Cover Design, and In-Depth reporting (SSP St. Louis convention 2011)
· Two-time First place winner for Computer Art (Young Artists and Their Teachers Exhibition by Lindenwood University 2010, 2011)
· Recipient of two Excellent ratings for Write-offs (JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Conventions 2009, 2010)
· Active member of Quill and Scroll
Jones says that Bell is a talented student and is very excited for her success. “Kelsey is a very gifted and talented journalist. I’m excited for her talent to be recognized by an organization such as the University of Missouri,” she said.
In winning the Missouri contest, Bell’s entry will advance to the judging for National Journalist of the Year Award. The announcement of that award, and the accompanying $5,000 possible scholarship, occurs at the NSPA/JEA Convention in Seattle, Washington April 12.
Bell is currently undecided about where she plans to attend college, but she has narrowed her decision to the following universities: Ohio University, Ball State University, University of Missouri and Indiana University. She intends to major in magazine journalism.
Click here for more information about the Scholastic Journalism Day and Missouri Interscholastic Press Association – University of Missouri.
Pictured: (left to right) Aaron Manfull, FHN Publications Advisor; Kelsey Bell, Missouri Student Journalist of the Year; and Dr. Darlene Jones, FHN Principal.