Portage High School seniors Jordan Steiger and Cristina Kladis were recently named finalists in the Indiana High School Press Association’s Student Journalist of the Year competition.
The students were recognized at the IHSPA First Amendment Symposium on March 3. Each of the seven finalists from around the state received a plaque for their achievement and had the opportunity to meet veteran journalist and symposium speaker Nick Clooney and Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett.
In order to be considered for Student Journalist of the Year, Jordan and Cristina were required to build a portfolio that contained various types of articles, proof of interaction with local media and strong recommendation letters from teachers and administrators. The portfolio also had to have a distinct theme that reflected each student’s personality and experience on the newspaper staff.
As well as being a finalist, Jordan was one of three students at the event who were given a “Courage in Journalism” award for preserving student press rights and going above and beyond her duties as a student journalist. The award is presented to students who show a passion for their publications and is given out any time recognition is warranted.
Jordan and Cristina serve as co-editors of the Pow Wow, Portage High School’s student-produced newspaper. Jordan also serves as the editor of the Pow Wow’s Web site, PHSNewsOnline.com. Jordan has been on staff for three years, and Cristina has been on staff for two years. Both students have won awards in the past for their work in news writing, feature writing, and opinion writing at Ball State’s annual Journalism Day competitions. Although neither student has decided on a college yet, both intend to continue in the journalism field as well as major in pre-law with the intention of becoming First Amendment attorneys.