McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger


National Scholastic Press Association Online Pacemaker Finalist

Every year, the NSPA, the nation’s largest association for high school journalists, nominates online student newspapers for its Pacemaker competition, one of scholastic journalism’s top awards. This year, the McHenry Messenger was one of 47 nominated as a finalist for this honor.


Illinois Women’s Press Associations’s 2022 High School Communications Contest

Started in 1885, the IWPA is an organization of communications professionals whose objective is to maintain and improve the professional standards of members in mass communications in Illinois, to promote their interest, and to provide for the sharing of ideas and information. First place winners of their annual contest go on to compete in the National Federation of Press Women’s High School Communications Contest.

“Essay: You are not alone” By Kyla Henige (first place, Feature Story)


National Federation of Press Women’s 2022 High School Communications Contest

The NFPW represents professionals and students working across the communications spectrum in the United States. The organization’s High School Communications Contest, one of only a few nationwide communications competitions for high school students, inspires students to do outstanding work in their quest for excellence. First place winners of the IWPA’s annual contest go on to compete in this highly acclaimed competition.

“Essay: You are not alone” By Kyla Henige (honorable mention, Feature Story)


IJEA Newspaper & Digital News Media Contest:

Each year, the IJEA hosts a newspaper and digital news media contest to recognize the best stories and content published by student journalists in the state of Illinois. The competition recognizes individual writers and stories in addition to the best print, digital, and hybrid publications.

Best Overall Publication

3rd: The McHenry Messenger / The Warrior Weekly

Best Hybrid Publication

3rd: The McHenry Messenger / The Warrior Weekly

Best Website

2nd: The McHenry Messenger

Best Feature Writing

HM: “Spring break tired” by Alayna Majkrzak

HM: “You are not alone” by Kyla Henige

Best Headline

1st: “@mchs_caught_writing” by Nikki Sisson 

Best Illustration

3rd: “Six chances” by Rachel Kaminski

Best Editorial Cartoon

2nd: “Behind the curtain” by Rachel Kaminski

Best Multimedia Story Package

1st: “Coming home” by Mackenzie Sroka

2nd: “The Scraps: Golden Apple, the Queen and food trucks” by Bee Myers and Lydia Lawrence

Best News or Feature Photo

2nd: “Gallery: Honors Drones and Unmanned Flights” by Kennedy Tetour

HM: “Masks no longer required in most public places in Illinois” by Allie Everhart

Best Commentary

1st: “Opinion: End the word” by Bri Quast

Best Sports Photo

HM: “Gallery: Volleyball Veterans Night” by Kenzie Sroka

Best Social Media

HM: Instagram @mchenrymessengr by Nikki Sisson


Illinois High School Association State Journalism Tournament:

Members of the McHenry Messenger’s staff competed alongside their fellow journalists from Warrior Student Media (including The Warrior Weekly and The Warrior) at the IHSA’s State Journalism Tournament. The following students placed in the top six at the tournament’s Sectional competition on April 9, 2022, earning the team first place at the competition:

Nikki Sisson (first in Newspaper Design; sixth in Headline Writing)

Rachel Kaminski (first in Editorial Cartooning)

Vanessa Moreno (second in News Writing)

Alayna Majkrzak (third in Editorial Writing)

Allie Everhart (third in Photo Story Telling)

Beth Brackmann (third in Advertising)

Kyla Henige (third in Feature Writing)

Kennedy Tetour (fourth in Review Writing)

Brooke Danz (sixth in Copy Editing)


Students who placed in the top three went on to compete at the State competition on April 22, 2022. The following student placed in the top six:

Allie Everhart (first in Photo Story Telling)


Best of School Newspapers Online:

School Newspapers Online (also known as SNO) is the platform that the McHenry Messenger uses to publish its online newspaper. They acknowledge best stories being published on the SNO Sites network by labelling it as “Best of SNO” and republishing it on their website. These articles have earned such designation this year.

“Fear of the unknown” By Kyla Hengie

“This is fine” By Vanessa Moreno

“Essay: You are not alone” By Kyla Henige


Past Recognition


Highlights Include…

  • Newspaper/Newsmagazine Pacemaker Nomination (NSPA)
  • Second Best Overall Publication (IJEA)
  • Third in News Writing at IHSA State
  • All-State Journalism Team (IJEA)


Highlights Include…

  • Best Wesbite (IJEA)
  • Third Best Hybrid Publication (IJEA)
  • All-State Journalism Team (IJEA)