Cactus Canyon Junior High School media students earn recognition at state convention

Media students attended the AIPA state convention on Nov. 6 and came away with awards for design, photography and general excellence. (Jason Davis, special to Independent Newsmedia)

They almost left early because they didn’t expect to win anything, but if they’d gotten on the bus, they would have missed out on winning nine awards against high school competition.

Cactus Canyon Junior High School students in Journalism 2 and Yearbook went to the Arizona Interscholastic Press Association state convention at Arizona State University on Nov. 6. Students learned more about the jobs they do in class, bonded with each other, and received recognition for their work.

Seven students won awards for photography and design, while the yearbook and online newspaper each received third place in the general excellence category. Eighth-grader Emily Sosa earned an “excellent” award for a photo that appeared in the 2018 yearbook.

“I did not expect that at all,” she said. “I saw previous names from the class I was in last year and I was like, ‘Good for them; it’s really cool to see them up there because they did a good job.’ Then I saw my name and I was like, ‘How did this happen.’”

Adviser Jason Davis said it was a good bonding experience because students were able to spend the whole day together. It was also the first time yearbook and journalism students were together as a group.

“What we do is hard and in order to do it the best we can, the kids have to like each other,” Mr. Davis said. “There’s nothing better than a conference trip to help them get to know their classmates better.”

Students participating in this activity learned about ways to create stories and a proper yearbook with hundreds of high school students from Arizona. The learning sessions were directly related to what students do and learn in their classes.

“The classes are taught by superstar advisers and I sent students to sessions that would help them with what they are doing for the yearbook or online,” Mr. Davis said.

Media students recognized

Yearbook and journalism students received recognition for their work on 2017-18 publications at the Arizona Interscholastic Press Association state convention Nov. 6. AIPA awards superior, excellent and honorable mentions for individual work and first, second and third places for overall publications.

There was no middle-school contest, so all recognition was against high school students.

  • Yearbook – Third place, general excellence.
  • Canyon Chronicle – Third place, general excellence.
  • Hayden Pride – Excellent, student life photo.
  • Kayla Murillo – Honorable mention, clubs spread.
  • Olivia McCrary – Honorable Mention, academic photo.
  • Isabella Vasquez – Excellent, academic photo.
  • Emily Sosa – Excellent, student life photo.
  • Chelsy Sosa – Excellent, academics spread.
  • Craig Byrd – Superior, theme photo.

Editor’s note: Trent Howard is a Cactus Canyon Junior High School Chronicle staff writer and Oro Yearbook photographer and designer. See more stories from the Chronicle at

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