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NFPW High School Communications Award of Excellence

NFPW established the National Federation of Press Women High School Communications Award of Excellence in 2014, to be given to the student or students who have produced the entry determined by a 3-judge panel to be the best overall of the 23 first-place entries in the annual NFPW National High School Communications Contest.

This year's award recipients, Nick Wilson, Kiley Wecker, Marisa Thakady, Alana Rood, and Matt Mudrick — student journalists at Coppell High School, Coppell, Texas — were co-producers and contributors to individual segments of "The KCBY Show" (a production of KCBY Television News), in the category Best Newscast: Radio or Television.

The judges said: "Not only is this a very well produced and well paced show with an engaging, comprehensive, variety of all that it means to be Coppell High School, but the story selection that sometimes goes beyond the school building and the care put into the video and audio of the story production is incredible. If this is the news of the future, then good job for taking the lead."

The award carries a cash prize of $500 and a large, framed plaque with a First Amendment theme to be displayed in a classroom or a showcase. This year Coppell High School will receive $250 for the school's journalism/communications program as well as the framed plaque. The five student winners of the NFPW Award of Excellence will receive smaller versions of the framed plaque and will share the $250 cash prize.

The National Federation of Press Women hosts the nationwide NFPW High School Communications Contest for high school students whose work, published during the contest year, receives a first-place award in one of the NFPW State Affiliate or At-Large competitions. The statewide contests, open to all high schools, public and private, inspire students to do outstanding work in their quest for excellence in communication.

One of only a few nationwide communications competitions for high school students, the NFPW contest is endorsed by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and is covered by the Dow Jones News Fund Adviser Update.

NFPW hosts the annual contest to encourage and reward excellence in communication in a wide range of categories, including news, feature, and column writing, photography, radio and television production, video production, yearbook layout/photography/copywriting, and graphic design.

Entries at both the state and national level of the all-electronic NFPW contest are judged by leaders in their fields of expertise. Judges are asked to provide constructive comments for each entry and a merit rank to determine 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place and honorable mention.

Each first-place national entry is awarded a $100 cash prize, and the student award winner(s) in each category receive all or part of the cash and an award certificate. These students and those who received the NFPW Award of Excellence will be honored at the NFPW Education Fund Youth Awards Luncheon at the 2016 NFPW Communications Conference in Wichita, Kansas, on September 10.

Previous NFPW Award of Excellence winners:

  • 2015, Ivana Giang, East Lakota High School, Liberty Township, OH, news story, "The Contagion of Courage."
  • 2014, Karla Estrada, Duncanville High School, Duncanville, TX, feature photo, "High Hats deal with tragedy through tribute dance."