An Update: On Awards…on the yearbook…on this site going forward

As the adviser of the student media here at Truman High School I have rarely written anything on this website. However, times are a bit different, and this is a good platform to disseminate information to the masses. I wanted to update a few things about this site and our yearbook as well as some award information.

Normally, today is a massive day for the student journalists at our school and other schools across the state. This is “J-Day”. It’s a day where students go down to the University of Missouri and attend workshops, hang out with friends, and then find out what awards they might have won for their efforts throughout the year. It’s an event that the students in this program look forward to all year. I am always happy to see the students excited to win their awards. However, I rarely take time to broadcast the awards we win on this platform or our other platforms. Mostly, because while I am happy and excited for them, journalism is not really about winning awards. I also tend to find journalistic awards a tad bit on the subjective side. There’s been many very deserving pieces that don’t get recognition and others that have won that frankly shocked me. This is not to say that awards are bad or the award givers do a bad job. There’s simply a level of subjectivity to awarding art that will always exist. I also tend to encourage my more advanced students to experiment with breaking rules in pursuit of more interesting composition. This often leads to being docked “points” for not following guidelines. However, anyone that’s ever done art on any professional level knows that the best art comes from experimentation, failure, and not following all of the rules all of the time.

But, these are not normal times. And since I would love for my students to earn recognition they will not be able to receive on stage at J-Day here are the awards that the staff earned this year. If you know any of these students please congratulate them for their hard work.

Photo Awards
Olivia Lundquist earned an Excellent rating for a soccer photo.
Vanessa Garcia earned an Excellent and Honorable Mention rating for photos from basketball and volleyball.
Elijah Soliz earned Excellent rating for a photo from the homecoming assembly.
Yearbook Awards
Kara Amos and Hunter Donelson earned Honorable Mention for design on the Varsity Football spread.
Rian Caswell earned Honorable Mention for her PAT Mentors spread.
Hunter Donelson earned an All-Missouri rating for his Rivalry Football spread.
Kailey Sterling earned a Superior rating for her Soccer spread.
Broadcast awards
Jaydon Dickinson & Zane Acuna earned All-Missouri for their story on Kaimen Lennox.
Zane Acuna & Sam Scott earned a Superior rating for their story on Ava Miller.
The entire broadcast staff earned Honorable Mention for the “Road to the Cup” documentary (I’m shocked we got anything as they didn’t really have a category for it. The closest they had was a mini-documentary category with an 8-minute time restriction.)
Writing awards
Hunter Donelson earned All-Missouri honors for his story on Truman responding to tragedy.
Online combination of writing, video, or photos
Hunter Donelson, Joey Renshaw, Adam Herrick earned All-Missouri honors for their Remembering Kobe Bryant piece
Tylor Karras, Jaydon Dickinson, and Hunter Doneslon earned Excellent for their Wagon Wheel Preview
Hunter Donelson, Dalton Duncan, and Jayson Boatright earned Honorable Mention for their preview of Boys’ Basketball season
The entire staff earns Excellent for their contributions to THS Media Online (our website)
And if you’ve been paying attention on twitter or to the ISD’s website. Our very own Hunter Donelson was named the Missouri Student Journalist of the Year.
If you have time during quarantine I encourage you to check out all of our work on this site. This is by far the largest award haul in my few years as adviser. But I’m more proud of the students improvement in covering our school in general. I feel like this year was the closest we’ve gotten to what I eventually hope this program can achieve in terms of covering the Truman community.
I would also like to take this time to address a few questions I have received about the yearbook. Yes, there will still be a yearbook this year. We did have to push some deadlines around and are still working on finishing it. It will be done though. Likely it won’t arrive for delivery until that last week of school. I will caution you though that this book is going to be different. There are some things that were unable to be finished due to cutting school short. We’ve gotten creative in our decisions on how we complete some of those things. This will also be something of a collector’s item as there will be some coverage of the pandemic…which is a once in a lifetime event.
I do hope you will still support the yearbook despite what might turn out to be some flaws due to unexpected adjustments. Hopefully they’ll just add a bit of character to the book. We also now need your support more than ever. Traditionally we rely upon 200-250 books being sold on delivery day which generally allows us to meet our budget. With the situation being fluid, we would love for some of you to go ahead and go to and purchase now instead waiting just in case delays would go on longer than expected. As always we thank you for your support. And I thank you for supporting us so that students can continue to learn the value of journalism.
Finally, you have likely noticed that this site has not been updated in awhile. Obviously school will not be in session physically until late April. We are also technically on spring break this week. The entire staff is ready to get back to work though. I have been in communication with them throughout our time off. And we are creating plans on how we’ll continue to cover the Truman community from a distance. Hopefully by the end of next week you’ll start seeing new items appear again on this site.
Thank you again for supporting our students and reading this site. I hope you will continue to come here for all of your Truman news and information needs.
– Garrett Gordon
Truman High School Media Adviser

Categories: News

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