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 Newspaper/Newsmagazine Pacemaker Finalist:

Each year, the NSPA, the nation’s largest association for high school journalists, nominates student newspapers, newsmagazines and specialty magazines for its prestigious Pacemaker competition, one of scholastic journalism’s top awards. This year, the McHenry Messenger was one of 28 nominated as a finalist for this honor.


IJEA All-State Journalism Team:

IJEA began the All-State Journalism Team as a way to recognize those students who are “most valuable players” — those students whose leadership, energy, dedication and expertise make their publications possible but whose main contributions often occur behind the scenes.

Emma Snyder


National Scholastic Press Association Journalism Honor Roll:

Each year, the NSPA, the nation’s largest association for high school journalists, honors student journalists by adding them to their Journalism Honor Roll. In addition to serving for at least two years on a student media staff — in broadcast, newspaper, magazine, online or yearbook — the students have earned a 3.5 or higher grade-point average on a 4.0 scale.

Emma Snyder


Northern Illinois Newspaper Association High School Scholarship:

NINA, a professional organization with member newspapers throughout the region, maintains this $1,000 scholarship fund to encourage high school students to continue to study journalism and to promote journalism careers.

Emma Snyder


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 News Story:

2nd: “MCHS announces, postpones new digital learning model” by Emma Snyder

HM: “Hybrid continues strong despite challenges” by Mackenzie Sroka

Best In-Depth News Story:

HM: “Businesses on the brim” by Josie Cable

Best Feature Story:

2nd: “Defending democracy” by Ciara Duncan

Best Sports News Story:

2nd: “Running out of timeouts” by Kylie Chisamore

Best Sports Feature Story:

2nd: “Making it big” by Madison Harvey

Best Sports Commentary:

3rd: “Keep the universal DH” by Madison Harvey

Best Staff Editorial:

HM: “The Capitol riots made America’s divisions clear” by the McHenry Messenger

Best Serious Commentary:

HM: “Don’t forget remote students” by Ciara Duncan

Best Humorous Commentary:

HM: “‘GTA’ is here to stay, Marcus C. Evans Jr.” by Ciara Duncan

Best Sports Photo:

2nd: “Girls basketball” by Mackenzie Sroka

Best Editorial Cartoon:

2nd: “Should be fine” by Rachel Kaminiski

Best Illustration:

2nd: “Let’s skip standardized tests this year” by Anna Cruz

Best Alternative Storytelling:

1st: “12 days of movies” by Kennedy Tetour

Best Use of Social Media:

3rd: Instagram @mchenrymessengr by Kiera Loewe

Best Photo Gallery or Photo Slideshow:

2nd: “Spring musical tech week” by Kennedy Tetour

Best COVID-19 Coverage:

1st: “Sister parents” by Emma Snyder

Best Website:

3rd: The McHenry Messenger

Best Hybrid Publication:

2nd: The McHenry Messenger

Best Overall Publication:

2nd: The McHenry Messenger


Illinois High School Association State Journalism Tournament:

Members of the McHenry Messenger’s staff competed alongside their fellow journalists from 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 12, 2021:

Rachel Kaminski (second in editorial cartooning, fourth in advertising)

Josie Cable (third in editorial writing)

Ciara Duncan (first in feature writing)

Emma Snyder (third in news writing)

Kyla Henige (sixth in sports writing)


Students who placed in the top three went on to compete at the State competition on April 24, 2021. The following student placed in the top six:

Emma Snyder (third in news writing)


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.

“Essay: Defending democracy” by Ciara Duncan

“The doctor is in” by Becky Arendarczyk

“Making it big” by Madison Harvey

“MCHS teachers and staff receive first COVID dose” by Emma Snyder

“One year later” by Emma Snyder, Madison Harvey, and Mackenzie Sroka

“Yes, we’re open” by Joe Hissem

“Opinion: The quarantine 15” by Ciara Duncan

“Becoming One” by Madison Harvey, Josie Cable, Kiera Loewe, and Mackenzie Sroka