Student Journalists Lauded by OCC Academic League

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Four Westerville North students and three Westerville Central pupils were honored by the OCC Academic League on March 2, when they received the Jim McCann Award for Excellence in Journalism at Thomas Worthington High School.  Each received a certificate of accomplishment and a book that included samples of their work, as well as pieces from students representing the other OCC schools.  News anchor and Westerville North graduate Mindy Drayer was the keynote speaker.

Seniors Emily DiAlbert, Dion Mensah, Shannon Meyers and junior Samantha Wood were recognized for their efforts on Westerville North’s school newspaper, The Odyssey.  Assistant Principal Scott Gaddis is North’s Academic League liaison, and Maryann Hines is the newspaper’s adviser.

Central’s seniors, recognized for their work on the school’s student-produced newspaper, WC News, were Allison Page, Sophia Bryant and Lindsey Lukacs.  They are advised by Cari Erlinger. 

DiAlbert, a senior, is a second-year member of The Odyssey staff.  She currently holds a leadership position as the newspaper’s feature editor.  Emily has dedicated herself to producing quality journalism by utilizing her gifts of writing and editing.  At North, she also is involved in Mock Trial, the Young Feminists Club, the Gay-Straight Alliance and National Honor Society. Next fall, she plans to attend the EW Scripts School of Journalism at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

Mensah, a senior, is the entertainment editor for The Odyssey.  She works tirelessly before and after school to improve the design, as well as the content of the monthly publication.  Her work is thoughtful, as well as thought-provoking.  Along with founding the Young Feminists Club, she is a member of the Gay-Straight Alliance, National Honor Society and the Warrior Way Leadership Team.  A Morrill Scholar, Dion will major in psychology at The Ohio State University in the fall.

Meyers, a senior, is the photography editor for The Odyssey.  In this capacity, Shannon works constantly to improve the visual quality of the paper, while continuing to refine her own contributions to the publication, which are on-going and strong.  She never misses a deadline.  A talented rower, Shannon will attend Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania, in the fall.

Woods, a junior, is business manager for The Odyssey.  From ad design to billing, Sam’s organizational skills drive all the business elements of the paper.  She works constantly to improve all aspects of the publication by pitching in wherever help is needed.  A varsity member of the volleyball team, Sam is a junior mentor and serves on the Westerville Way Leadership Team.  In the fall, she’ll be back on The Odyssey staff as a valued senior in Journalism III.

Page is a third year journalism production student, who serves as the editor-in-chief for WC News.  In her time as a staffer, Allison has not only written wonderful articles, she has also led the layout team and completely revamped the paper’s layout.  Her dedication to the paper has been apparent since day one.  Next year, she will attend Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.

Bryant is on Central’s newspaper staff for the second year.  Her journalistic and interpersonal abilities made her an easy pick for one of the assistant editor positions.  Sophia’s interest in journalism was clear when she first arrived in Journalism 1 as a sophomore, and her passion has only grown over the past two years as she worked on WC News.  With aspirations to write for National Geographic, Sophia will begin pursuing that dream next year as a student at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.

Lukacs is a senior who is serving as one of two assistant editors for WC News.  During her two years on staff, Lindsey has emerged as a true leader in the class.  Working as a staff writer, she participated in journalism production as a freshman, when the newspaper was produced through a club.  Journalism production returned as a class, and last year she joined the staff as the news editor.  Over that time, Lindsey honed her writing and editing skills.  Next year, she will further her journalistic skills and interests at Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.