The North Carolina Scholastic Media Association, founded in the late 1930s, recognized by academics, journalism and leadership skills, is an educational program which selects potential winners and runner-ups to become N.C. High School Journalist of the Year.
“North Carolina Scholastic Media Association is the state high school association in Chapel Hill which serves students and teachers across the state,” said Monica Hill, director of NCSMA.
For 2012, Resita Cox, co-editor of The Viking Press at Kinston High School, was named Rachel Rivers-Coffey N.C. High School Journalist of the Year. Cox represented the state in the National High School Journalist of the Year competition. One of the two alternates is Amulya Uppalapati, the senior managing editor of Nighthawk News. Samantha Sabin of Northwest School of the Arts in Charlotte was the other runner-up.
Uppalapati was happy to be recognized for her journalism achievements.
“I am very thankful to be an alternate for this year’s N.C. High School Journalist of the Year competition,” Uppalapati said.
“I have been on the Nighthawks News staff since my sophomore year. I started newspaper as the copy editor. In my junior year, I became the co-managing editor, and I am currently the managing editor of the newspaper,” Uppalapati said.“ This year, I also started to help with the weekly video announcements.”
All three winners will be recognized during on the final day of the NCSMA Summer Institute in Chapel Hill on June 21. Cox will receive a $2,000 scholarship, while Uppalapati and Sabin will receive $500 scholarships. The annual scholarships, are in honor and memory of Rachel Rivers-Coffey, journalist and former N.C. Press Association president.
The N.C. Press Association will also honor the high school journalism programs of the three winners. Kingston’s school newspaper will receive a $500 award while First Flight and Northwest School of the Arts will each receive a $250 award.
The NCSMA Summer Institute will be held from June 18 to 21.
Students from high schools across North Carolina submitted portfolios and applications for the N.C. High School Journalist of the Year contest. Students were required to send samples of their works in newspaper, yearbook and photography areas.
“To prepare my entry, I selected stories I have written, pages I have designed, one issue of the newspaper and sports scripts I have written,” Uppalapati said.
This competition serves as an experience for students interested in worldwide news and helps them become better writers, according to NCSMA.
“My experience as a member of the newspaper staff has been very beneficial to me,” Uppalapati said. “I have learned about news from around the world, how to be a better writer and editor, about journalism and its impact, and more.”
Uppalapati claims that her success has also come as a result of joining the newspaper staff and will help her achieve her future goals.
“My achievements that have resulted from being a part of the staff have created unforgettable experiences, and I am very proud to be a part of the newspaper staff,” Uppalapati said. “I would like to pursue business and journalism, and I will be attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. By combining business and journalism, I would like to work for Disney Channel.”
She said she dedicates her award to her family and friends and to the newspaper and yearbook adviser Robin Sawyer in particular.
“I’m very grateful for the help, support and encouragement I have received from my family, friends and teachers, “ Uppalapati said. “I have learned a lot from Mrs. Sawyer and the journalism program.”
Sawyer said Uppalapati has been an invaluable member of the Nighthawk News staff..
“Amulya truly deserves this honor,” Sawyer said. “We will really miss Amulya next year and all she does to make our newspaper great.”
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