November 8, 2013 / 2013 Fall JEA/NSPA / News

Boston convention helps Oakmont students look to their future

Written by Elizabeth Braden, CJE

Looking to make journalism their careers some day, three students from Oakmont Regional High School in Ashburnham, Mass., will be taking in some intensive sessions next week during the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Boston.

Tristan Beam, Ryan Normile and Macayla Varieur will be attending the convention thanks in part to Walsworth’s 50 Scholars program. Walsworth is partnering with NSPA and JEA to pay the registration fees for 50 scholarship winners, and essays by the three earned them each a scholarship.

“I want to go and see the professional side of this… and get a taste of the real world,” Beam, a senior, said. Beam is particularly interested in the legal aspects of writing copy that is compelling and accurate, and plans to attend the In-depth legal training session on Thursday, Nov. 14.

At the same time, Normile, a senior, will be in the Online boot camp, absorbing what he can to help him in his work building and managing the school newspaper’s website.

Normile said Mark Nevard, the journalism teacher and adviser, recruited him last spring to build the website to create an online newspaper. Normile said he wants to learn more about journalism and using a website and other media tools to present coverage to readers.

Varieur, a junior, wants to make her writing more creative as she works toward a career as a sports writer. So she has her eyes on the Intensive Journalism Writing workshop. Varieur has been in the journalism program for two years, so she is also interested in the Leadership seminar, which is at the same time on Thursday.

The three have not attended a national journalism convention before, and coming from a school of about 700 students in a rural area about an hour west of Boston, they were excited to learn that registration for the convention may be surpassing 5,000.

Nevard had high praise for Beam, Normile and Varieur, describing them as self-motivated students who have helped to improve the journalism program at Oakmont. In his classes, students are writing constantly, always supplying copy for the newspaper, yearbook and local newspaper.

“They know the system. They make the whole thing run,” Nevard said. “I just put the final stamp on it.”

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Elizabeth Braden, CJE

Elizabeth Braden, CJE, is the former editor of Idea File magazine. Before retiring, she was a copywriter for Walsworth Yearbooks for more than 15 years, writing articles for various marketing materials, and proofreading copy for the Yearbook and Commercial divisions. Her career included reporting and editing for United Press International and editing for Knight-Ridder Financial News. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Media News from the University of Tulsa.