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Palmer High School Journalism team makes headlines


team makes headlines

Jones, Palmer students take first in UIL

Mark Warde


Palmer High School sent their student journalism team to East Texas to compete in a University Interscholastic League competition and returned home having swept the field.

While the New York Times and Washington Post may be safe for now, the skills the Bulldog media team displayed will surely benefit them in the future.

English poet Matthew Arnold, who said “Journalism is literature in a hurry,” may have had this competitive event in mind. Each team was given strict (45 minute) time limits in writing news stories, feature writing, editorials as well as competition in editing and headline writing at the venue, which was held in Eustace.

The team was comprised of seniors Dawn Gardner, Cierra Chapman, Emma Jones, Ben Lan- con and Elijah Morgan, an impressive cast of upper-classmen, four juniors in Neyda Perez, Alex Jones, Evan Scott and Alexandria Holmes and up-and-coming freshman Maggie Partin.

All of them tackled various skill areas, with Jones taking first in feature writing and second in editorial writing and in headline writing as well.

News writing involved turning facts and quotes into a finished piece in a short time span. Gardner won first with Chapman awarded fifth. Maggie did best in copy edit- ing with a second-place effort, fol- lowed by Perez in third and Scott earning sixth.

Nine benefactors

They took to an interview in the library to discuss the event as well. While none of the nine said they had plans to follow journalism as a career direction, each were quick to describe how their skill and competence could benefit them in the future.

Lancon, an offensive lineman in football, said it should help him “be able to write more coherently.” He added that his experience over the years was valuable, though choosing a topic to write about, the fear of the blank page, is not easy.

Jones pointed out how her fu- ture as a nurse will be aided in “writing reports and formatting essays, especially in communicating clearly.”

Gardner, who would love to enter law, said that “knowing the factsand getting them in correct order” is critical in her field of interest. Partin’s foray into the field dealt with reviewing finished copy and “correcting grammatical errors.”

Morgan translated his time on the team into hopes his experience will prove an asset in “reinforcing positive thinking in helping people to understand” in his career in me- chanical engineering.

“Learning to be concise with writing skills” is Chapman’s goal, as well as learning how to improve in that area.

Scott appreciates how impor- tant it is “to be convincing when making your points.” She is considering studying business upon graduation. Perez looks to become a teacher after college, where “analyzing, condensing and editing” would come in handy.

Holmes was on the headline writing team. Mrs. Jones said that she hopes to enter “mechanical en- gineering as it relates to robotics, possibly at NASA. “Communications skills in research work could possibly be helpful if she wants to write for science journals,” said Mrs. Jones.

Palmer three coaches

Palmer’s three UIL journalism coaches is consists of Lynell McK- issack (copy editing), Jennifer Babbitt (headline writing), and LeAnn Jones (feature writing, headline writing, editorial writing, news writing). Her husband, Derek, who teaches English at Navarro College, formerly coached the team.