Rebecca Schneid, the co-editor-in-chief of The Eagle Eye at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, was awarded the inaugural Teenlink/Sun Sentinel/SPJ Florida High School Journalism Awards.
The junior was presented with a certificate on April 30 at Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy High School in Davie, where her fellow newsroom colleagues swept the awards with 18 awards, as well as adviser of the year.
“Rebecca produced a high caliber of stories throughout her junior year of high school, tackling tough topics like the #MeToo movement, the Parkland shooting, and March for Our Lives thoroughly and with maturity,” said Christiana Lilly, SPJ Florida president.
After the shooting at their high school in February, the Eagle Eye staff created a memorial issue to pay tribute to the 17 students and school staffers who were killed. Melissa Falkowski, the adviser for the Eagle Eye, was honored for her leadership in the newsroom, especially after the shooting. Students recounted how she calmed students as they hid in her classroom’s closet.
“I feel like this is a culmination of our class, before and after what happened,” Schneid said of her award. “We realized we had a unique platform… we truly understand Parkland.”
SPJ Florida partnered with the awards ceremony to honor high school journalism and was eager to specifically honor an outstanding student journalist—previously, the ceremony ended with the announcement of the esteemed Adviser of the Year. Emily Bloch, the chapter’s vice president of of programming, served as a liaison between the chapter and the awards ceremony.
“I volunteered last year as a judge and was blown away by the talent these students have,” she said. “We knew these students deserved one last recognition before AP exams, finals and prom season kicked in. We were thrilled to present Rebecca with this well-deserved title.”
Would you like to help judge next year’s awards? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.