Harrisonburg High School senior named VA Student Journalist of the year

Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 1:51 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - A student at Harrisonburg High School recently earned the honor of 2023 Virginia Student Journalist of the Year by the Virginia Association of Journalism Teachers and Advisers.

Kasey Thompson, a senior at HHS is an editor-in-chief for the school’s media department and oversees the production of both the school’s yearbook, The Taj, and newspaper, the Newsstreak.

HHS Media adviser Valerie Kibler says Thompson began high school in the midst of the pandemic, and whether it was virtual learning or a tight deadline, she always puts forth her best effort.

“She is a leader who’s incredibly patient with everyone. She’s worked so diligently to try to get the young people to get to be better journalists too so that the program continues on after she’s gone,” Kibler said.

Over the last four years, Thompson says she’s learned different aspects of journalism, from design, to photography, to reporting.

She adds she was excited and surprised for her portfolio to be recognized on this level.

“I spent a lot of time on it and I just kind of put all my work over the past four years together, and it was really cool to see how much I’ve grown from freshman to senior year. I was maybe expecting at the most to get third, so I was shocked when I was told I won first because that was my biggest goal to win journalist of the year,” Thompson said.

Next up Thompson will be representing the commonwealth at the National Student Journalist of the Year competition hosted by the Journalism Education Association.

Thompson said during her time at HHS, she’s fallen in love with the design aspect of journalism and plans to continue developing her skills in college, pursuing a degree in media arts and design.