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CSPA’s Chesterton receives high honor from JEA

Legendary high school journalism adviser Gil Chesterton, a longtime member of the California Scholastic Press Association’s board of directors, will be nationally recognized this month for his contributions to student journalism.

The Journalism Education Association has chosen Chesterton as one of 10 recipients of its Lifetime Achievement Award, which officially will be presented at the organization’s national convention on Nov. 12 in Indianapolis.

“Gil has been the anchor of the CSPA Workshop for years,” said Larry Welborn, CSPA’s Chairman Emeritus. “His dedication and commitment to high school journalism is an inspiration to all of us.”

The JEA award is given to longtime advisers “for lifetime dedication to journalism education,” a description that only begins to describe Chesterton’s career.

Chesterton advised the newspaper at Whittier High School, then oversaw an award-winning weekly newspaper for 33 years at Beverly Hills High, where he also produced the yearbook and a weekly student broadcast.

Chesterton attended the CSPA — then known as Scholastic Sports Association — journalism workshop at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, as a high school student, then made it a part of his professional life.

Every summer, Chesterton volunteered his time. As part of his work, he advised workshop students as they produced the CSPA Reporter newspaper, which chronicled each workshop, and also taught page design and critiqued student publications.

Chesterton, elected to the CSPA Hall of Fame in 2008, chose to retire from teaching at the workshop in 2016 but remains a valued member of CSPA’s board of directions.

The JEA is a Kansas-based non-profit organization that supports student journalism nationwide.

26 students graduate from 65th CSPA Workshop

26 students graduate from 65th CSPA Workshop

The 65th-annual California Scholastic Press Association Journalism Workshop ended July 22, when all 26 students participated in the graduation ceremonies at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and celebrated 13 days of work and fun.

Karan Nevatia of Aragon High School in San Mateo, Calif., received the Ralph Alexander Award while Daisy Bolin of Shawnee Mission East High School in Prairie Village, Kan., received the Millie Alexander Award and Whitney Wachtel of Dana Hills High School in Dana Point, Calif., received the Stan Kelton Award. The awards, voted on by workshop instructors and counselors, annually honor top all-around students.

Olivia Olander of San Dieguito High School accumulated the most points, as she and her classmates completed approximately 35 workshop assignments. Julia Qiao, Karan Nevatia, Meghan Bobrowsky and Whitney Wachtel also were in the top five in total points.

During the workshop, students took classes in news writing, editorial writing, sportswriting, reviews, column writing and other aspects of print journalism. They learned about public relations and how to access public records. They shot photos, produced a four-page newspaper, taped a television broadcast and did extensive social-media reporting. They took trips to the local television station and newspaper office and enjoyed an afternoon at the beach.

Most importantly, the students learned skills that will benefit them for decades to come, and made lifelong friends.

CSPA’s Harmonson named senior editor at OC Register

Todd Harmonson, CSPA vice president and member of the Board of Directors, has been named senior editor of the Orange County Register.

Harmonson, previously the paper’s assistant managing editor and sports editor, will be responsible for “newsgathering across all platforms including websites, mobile, apps, daily and community newspapers, and monthly magazines,’’ according to the Register’s news release.

“Todd is a natural leader and top-notch journalist who has already made major contributions to the Register newsroom,’’ Frank Pine, executive editor of the Register, said in the release. “In his new role, Todd will ensure we maintain a local focus and high standard of quality for readers, and guide us into a future that includes enhancing how we package our print and digital content.’’

A native of Hacienda Heights, Harmonson attended the CSPA Workshop in 1985. For the past 26 years, has served the organization as an instructor and board member, and has volunteered his time on a year-round basis to serve CSPA, which is preparing for its 65th-annual workshop.

Harmonson, a Cal State Fullerton graduate, started his award-winning writing career at the Daily Breeze, then moved to the Register, where since 1998 he has worked as a writer, editor and a member of the newspaper’s management team.

Harmonson will be part of the editorial management team for Southern California News Group, which operates 11 daily newspapers in the region, including the Register and the Los Angeles Daily News.

“I am honored to lead a talented, dedicated team of reporters, editors, photographers and designers who pride themselves in serving our communities,’’ Harmonson said in the release. “I am committed to strengthening the Register’s position as the leading source of local news and information.’’

CSPA will hold its 65th-annual high school journalism workshop on the campus of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, from July 10-22.

CSPA graduate Kellen Browning named National Journalist of the Year

Kellen Browning of Davis High, a 2015 graduate of the CSPA Journalism Workshop, has been selected as National High School Journalist of the Year by the Journalism Education Association.

Julia Poe, a 2014 CSPA graduate, won the same award last year.

Browning, a senior, is the website editor-in-chief for his school newspaper and also works for the Davis Enterprise newspaper. Browning was one of the top students at last year’s workshop and, in recognition of his all-around work, he was given the Ralph Alexander Award in honor of one of CSPA’s founders.

Browning previously had been selected as California Journalist of the Year, and as part of that contest, Browning submitted a portfolio of his work and displayed a variety of skills.

The JEA, which sponsored the award, said Browning’s portfolio “included breaking news, profiles, features and video on a wide range of topics, from the arrest of a teacher for sexual battery, to a district decision to demolish a multipurpose room used intensively by disabled students, literally leaving them out in the rain.’’

The latter story influenced the local school district to build a new multipurpose room, and Browning’s work earned a JEA Student Impact Award for Browning and colleague Grace Richey.

According to the JEA, one judge, photo teacher and magazine adviser Betsy Snow from Menlo-Atherton High, said Browning showed “mature understanding of the journalistic relationships that go along with doing stories that don’t necessarily please your audience.’’

Browning also received a scholarship from the Sacramento Bee.

The 65th-annual CSPA Workshop will be held on the campus of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, from July 10-22.

2017 workshop coming soon!

Check back soon for details about the 2017 CSPA Workshop, including an online application. The workshop will be held, for a 66th consecutive year, at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, for 13 days in July. Questions about the program can be submitted through the contact form on this site.