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PHS Student Earns Journalist of the Year
PHS Student Earns Journalist of the Year
Posted on 04/02/2018

The Washington Journalism Education Association announced that Puyallup High School senior Haley Keizur was named the 2018 Journalist of the Year at the annual state competition on March 10.  She was awarded the $2,000 Robin Morris Memorial Scholarship, and her portfolio will be submitted to the national Journalism Education Association for consideration for national recognition.

Keizur has been involved in the journalism program for three years. She is a member of both the newspaper publication and social media productions at Puyallup High School, and serves as the editor of the Viking Vanguard.  She submitted a portfolio that featured examples of her writing, photography, and page layouts.

In reflection of her experience she explained, “They say working in a newsroom is like a full-time job, and I think that’s totally true. It has helped me in a lot of other classes and activities that I do.”

She plans to go into journalism in the future as a career. However, she recognizes that technology is changing a lot of the way that journalism works. Because of this, she plans to keep her plan flexible to best meet the needs of the industry at that time.

“I really like the writing aspect, but I know those jobs in terms of print are a lot more limited now. So I will probably go wherever technology makes journalism go,” she said.

Keizur has several colleges she is interested in attending and hopes to study in California. With her heart set on journalism and the sun, she has several options she is currently considering.

“Most likely I will go to the University of San Francisco. But there are a few other colleges in California that I am waiting to hear back from,” she said.

In her recent work, supporting a bill that guarantees free expression for student newspapers, Keizur said she got to advocate for students and their voice.

“I like the opportunity to have a voice and to advocate for students,” she remarked, “I think that’s really important. A lot of students don’t have that ability.”

Keizur said journalism has impacted her as a student. Beyond being able to advocate for her peers, journalism has even helped her grow as a student in other areas of her education.

“It teaches you a lot of skills for the workforce, like communicating, being responsible for meeting deadlines, and being a leader,” she stated.

She also stated that in addition to her growth in other areas of her studies journalism has helped her grow to become more confident.

“I don’t think I would have been confident enough to go and speak in front of representatives without the skills I learned in journalism,” she said.

Keizur encourages those students who are curious about journalism to consider taking the sophomore journalism class. Students can earn an English credit through the Introduction to Journalism class as a sophomore.

“Not only is it a fun class that is different than a traditional English class, but you get to learn a lot of journalistic skills to take with you into other classes too,” she explained. “Even if you find journalism isn’t for you.”

Her adviser, Sandra Coyer, said in her nomination letter, “Keizur is a champion for student voice and recently testified before the Washington Legislature promoting the adoption of the New Voice bill.” According to Coyer, “She is an advocate for the First Amendment and leads the staff in developing their responsibility to the audience to report what they need to know, want to know, and should know.” 

The national Journalist of the Year award will be presented at the convention in San Francisco on Apri14.

“Now I move onto the national competition. All of the state winners submit their blogs and all of their materials. And I will find out about that at the national convention in April,” she exclaimed.

Haley Keizur interviewing student
(Photo credit: Megan Lynn)