Yearbook Goes to Washington

Ava De Leon, Staffer

This past November, Washington D.C. was filled with students from all over the country for the Journalism Education Association (JEA) and the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) National Convention. LASA’s yearbook class was able to attend this national event.
The JEA hosts the event with its partner, the NSPA. Each semester, the convention takes place in a different city across the country. The purpose of the convention is to give students in journalism classes the opportunity to learn skills useful to them in the classroom while practicing their writing abilities with the help of teachers and professionals from around the nation. More than 4,000 students and teachers attend every convention, making the event a popular destination for school field trips. The JEA provides learning experiences for all attendees with workshops throughout the event catered to different interests.
Yearbook teacher Katie McGuire and her two yearbook classes traveled to Washington D.C. in November of 2019 to attend the event. According to McGuire, the experience was a good way for her students to learn and connect with one another.
“The purpose of [the trip] is to bond the kids together,” McGuire said. “I think what I liked the most was seeing my kids actually learning. When they went to the convention, they were able to participate in different sessions and actually take away stuff.”
Freshman yearbook student Anjali Ravi said that being at the convention was a really great way for her to learn more about her interest in journalism and expand on her skills. According to Ravi, it was nice to see so many other schools at the convention and get second opinions from professionals as well as get inspiration from other school’s yearbooks.
“Being able to see how other schools do their yearbook and how it’s different from LASA was really helpful,” Ravi said. “I was also able to look at a bunch of other yearbooks from different schools across the country, and that was really nice. I think we’ll be able to bring in new design concepts and things that will make our book different than what it has been before.”
McGuire said that the trip also provided an opportunity for students to practice independence and leadership skills. Sophomore Frankie Gigliotti said the experience was much different than other school trips she had taken.
“There was a lot of independence, which I liked,” Gigliotti said. “We got to walk around in our own groups which was fun to really explore the city. It was different from a lot of trips I’ve taken, especially with family or middle school where everything is under close surveillance and you can’t really do what you want to do as much.”
McGuire said she was pleased to see her kids in a different environment than that of LASA’s classroom-based academic rigor. She was glad to see the kids enjoy themselves while on the trip.
“Just seeing them be silly kids was great,” McGuire said. “Sometimes at LASA you really just see their academic side and you see them being really focused, but putting them in a more fun environment and letting them just explore was really cool to see them have fun.”