San Francisco trip

Maddye Cavanagh, News Assistant Editor

Almost two thousand miles from Cedar Rapids, 13 newspaper and yearbook students traveled to San Francisco, California. The National High School Journalism Conference (NHSJC) took place on April 13 and 14 at the Marriott Marquis. Over 150 speakers presented including Xavier seniors Sylvia Clubb, Camryn McPherson, Sidney Scott, Mary Tallett, and advisor  Mrs. Kellie Wagner.

From workshops about fonts to tips on how to handle controversy in the newsroom, NHSJC covered a wide variety of topics about journalism. Presenters came from far and wide, including the yearbook advisor at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Students from MSD were presented an award of courage during Thursday night’s opening ceremony. Scott said, “Because the standing ovation was so impactful, I knew I wanted to see their presentation the next day.”

Junior Claire Delaney attended presentations mainly focused on yearbook and design. “I wanted to get back to basics,” Delaney said. “It was nice to understand how to make better designs and themes for next year’s yearbook.”

Filled to the brim with high school students and advisors, the Marriott Marquis was forced to evacuate at 3 a.m April 14 after the fire alarm was pulled. Nevertheless, the conference continued on later that morning with a presentation from senior Mary Tallet over the topic of vulnerability in writing.

“I decided to present because I wanted to push myself outside my comfort zone and use my experiences to teach others,” Tallett said.

Editors-in-Chief, Sylvia Clubb and Sidney Scott presented on how The Xpress works and how to handle authority.

“It is difficult trying to balance between having peer relationship and being an authoritative figure,” Scott said. “We wanted to teach others how to address and handle problems that come with this position.” Both editors plan on pursuing a career in journalism.

Along with different presentations the NHSJC offered many competitions, including a photography portion. McPherson won “Excellent” in the category of Sports Action Feature Photo. She also had a session covering all things photography.

With some downtime, the trip was not all work and no play. Students were given opportunities to experience California before and after presentations, including a trip to Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli, and Pier 39. Wagner believes the conference is worthwhile because it helps stretch students to become better journalists and get out of their comfort zones. 

Maddye Cavanagh

News Assistant Editor