Best wishes to our co editor-in-chief Keyaira Cameron as she submits her best five photos to the PA School Press Association 2020-2021 Journalism competition.

Normally held in November at Point Park, the COVID pandemic forced PSPA to ask schools to proctor write off prompts and collect portfolio work at their individual sites.

Here at Avonworth, following last year’s record number of 5 regional winners from the Avonews staff, Keyaira entered the photographs below for best News Photography.

 

Senior piccolo player Julia Reed breaks from formation to practice before a home football game in September.  Julia has a special mouthguard added to minimize COVID spread.

Junior Jordan Kolenda absorbs a foul. Koldena scored 22 points in the win over #4 Carlyton.

Senior wide receiver Drew Harper, #5, leads varsity players in pre-game stretches.  Covid restrictions led to less fans, less games, and less scenes like this in 2020, but the season provided still provided meaning. “”Playing football during the pandemic gave me much-needed motivation.” said sophomore Peyton Faulkner. “Being able to go out and play with my second family was a great experience in such a rough time.”

 

While the police presence in downtown Pittsburgh was clear and firm, Black Lives Matter protests including the one on this July evening remained spirited in voice without any criminal activity by protestors.  “At the end of the day, cops are people, and just like with every job, there are people that do their job well, and others that don’t.” said Cameron about the police in her photographs. “Especially because right now, black people don’t want to be grouped into a stereotype, so I think that same concept should be applied to police officers right now— as they are their own individual people as well.”

 

Normally filled with hungry and active students, the high school cafe sat empty from the middle of November 2020 to the middle of January 2021.  “Eating lunch with friends is much more enjoyable and makes the time go by faster.” said senior Heather Hansen about virtual lunch times. “It’s lonely to eat by yourself all period.”

 

The Avonews staff has placed at least one winner in PSPA’s Student Journalism competition since 2014. The Western PA regional competition is normally held at Point Park University, where a record five Avonews staff members won their write-off category in November 2019.

 

Due to the pandemic, PSPA moved the write-off competition purely online for this year. Advisors across the state are now just providing the prompt and an hour of time at their home schools. Instead of the full day competition at Penn State Main Campus, PSPA will simply have one round of submissions and announce winners on their website in the Spring.

Sophomore Laurel Purcell working on her write-off entry in the Newspaper Feature story category in the back of 308 by the “pub lab”. A number of other students hope to join Laurel by competing for the first time either in their specific category or in the write-off competition all together.

 

Competitors joining Keyaira this year were Laurel and Matthew Purcell for newspaper feature writing, Niomi Ellis and Allison Beck for editorial writing, Danica Raich for newspaper news writing, and Catrina Raich for editorial cartooning. PSPA will announce winners later in spring.

 

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