Downtown Dallas was transformed last week – joining the business people were nearly 5,000 high school journalism students and their advisers from across the country, all attending the National Scholastic Press Association and the Journalism Educator Association’s fall national convention. Hundreds of sessions were offered on topics including photography, yearbook design, writing and careers in journalism.
“I was so excited to learn that the national convention was going to be in Dallas this fall,” adviser Melonie Menefee said. “It’s not often that I can offer a national-level convention to my staff members that we can afford.”
Menefee and five members of the journalism staff travelled early Thursday morning to Dallas and spent their first day of the convention at photography classes before attending the opening ceremonies that evening.
“The opening ceremony was awesome,” junior Stefani Trejo said. “First, there was a ‘pep rally’ where we watched cheerleaders and drill teams from other schools. Then, we listened to a photojournalist, Erin Trieb, talk about her career. It was super inspiring.”
The next two days were filled with break-out sessions.
“I learned so much about how to interview, and how to make my stories interesting,” freshman Scarlet Carrillo said. “The teachers were all so helpful.”
Students got to learn from professional journalists.
“I had no idea how many types of journalism careers there were,” freshman Iris Valles said. “I’d never really considered a career in journalism before, but now I’m thinking about majoring in journalism.”
In the evenings, the students attended an event at the Dallas Museum of Art, toured Reunion Tower, and ate out in downtown Dallas restaurants.
“One of my favorite things about out-of-town events is having a chance to show my students different experiences than they are able to have at home in Buffalo,” Menefee said. “This group was able to do and see a lot of different things, both having to do with journalism and that were just unique experiences for them. It was a successful trip.”