MacJournalism captures Blue and Gold Award for Staff Excellence

For the third time in four years, Quill and Scroll awards the Shield staff the highest honor in its annual Writing, Photo and Multimedia Contest


Bella Russo

Senior Shield co-editor in chief Bella Russo was one of three MacJournalists to win a Sweepstakes Award. She won in the Sports Action Photo category. About this photo: GELLA, YES! Freshman middle hitter Gella Andrew spikes the ball into the Cougar block for one of her six kills during the second set of the Knights’ 3-1 bi-district playoff loss on Friday night. The Knights lost the set, 25-23, in heart-breaking fashion to fall behind, 2-0. The Knights rebounded to win the third set, 25-17, before losing the fourth set, 25-20, and the match, 3-1. Andrew was solid in the middle in the final game of her breakout freshman season. Her kill percentage was a team best 37.5 percent, and she had one of the Knights’ four solo blocks for the match.

The Quill and Scroll International Journalism Honor Society announced on Friday that Macjournalism has won the Blue and Gold Award for Overall Staff Excellence in the society’s 2021 International Writing, Photo and Multimedia Contest. Macjournalism earned the overall award by placing first in the nation in both the writing and visual categories of the competition. It is the third year in the last four that Macjournalism has won the Blue and Gold Award for Staff Excellence. Congrats to the 2021 staff on earning this national recognition.

The overall first place award and the first-place finishes in both the writing and the visual competition is based on the total number of individual awards earned by the staff in the contest. The list of national Gold Key-winning awards is listed below.

Sweepstakes Awards (First Place)

Thomas Melina Raab, Sports Game/Event Coverage, “Riley sets personal record at state cross-country meet.

Madelynn Niles, Feature Writing, “A trip down Dart Bowl’s memory lanes.”

Bella Russo, Sports Action Photography, “Gella, Yes!

LEAPS AND DOWNS: Coach Chris Russell and junior safety Jake Hissey celebrate after Hissey’s tackle forced a turnover on downs in the second half of the Knights’ 14-0 victory over district opponent Marble Falls at House Park on Nov. 5. The Knight defense stifled the Mustang offense throughout the game and created three turnovers on downs in the second half alone.

Second Place

Caleb Melville, Sports Action Photography, “Junior Wyatt Cunningham guards a Mustang receiver.”

Caleb Melville, Sports Reaction Photography, “Leaps and downs.”

Junior cornerback Wyatt Cunningham guards a Mustang receiver on one of the last plays of the game. Cunningham had two consecutive plays to disrupt a last-ditch TD effort by the Mustangs and succeeded both times in keeping the opponents scoreless. “When you’re playing against a team like that you have to play assignment football,” Cunningham said. “On that play, I initially made a mistake, but fortunately our coaches prepared us enough to where I was able to recognize the play and recover.” (Caleb Melville)

Third Place

Jessica Montoya Moreno, Column Writing, “A good idea in any year, a finals opt-out policy is an absolute necessity for students, teachers in 2020.”

Alysa Spiro, Health Science and Agriculture Writing, “At-risk teachers get New Year’s shot in the arm.”

Ava Medina, Charlie Partheymuller, Jolie Gabriel, Megan McHorse, Noah Lawrence, Anna Nagle, Evie Barnard, Anna Garcia, Lily Prather, Josie Bradsby, Lily Wilson, Lily Brode, Dylan Neal, Maggie Provost, Theo Roe, Reagan Dias, and Camille Wilson, Photo Slideshow, “Stay-home order creates chances to bond.”

WALL OF FAM: Social isolation has been especially hard for my youngest sister. To help occupy her time, my mother has begun assigning her chores to do. The most recent one involved redecoration of our family wall. Here my sister is hanging a photo of my grandfather. (Evie Barnard)

Honorable mention (Gold Key winners)

Tobin Wine, Column Writing, “Bogus regulations not fraud disrupts democracy.”

Kai Kirkham Macias, ,Editorial Cartoon, “Fish” online.

Ellen Fox, Editorial Writing, “It’s time to back off, not speed ahead.”

Ellen Fox, Editorial Writing, “Hopefully #mindfulAISD is here to stay.”

Madelynn Niles, Feature Writing, “Lozano performs Mozart as Mozart at Mozart’s.”

Bella Russo, News Feature Photo, “Weekend Fire Drill.”

Evie Barnard, News Feature Photo, “Wall of fam.”

TAKING A CLOSER LOOK: Nate Baugh earnestly peers at his first-grade friends during a Zoom call regarding rhyming words and syllables. The way Nate sees it, school just isn’t the same without seeing his friends in real life. “I wish my friends Griffyn and Caleb would zoom through the Zoom and out through my computer,” he said. “But I’m only left with this sausage!” Nate punctuated this sentence by holding up a piece of sausage from the kitchen and giggling so hard he nearly fell over. Photo by Madelynn Niles. (Madelynn Niles)

Madelynn Niles, News Feature Photo, “Taking a closer look.”

Samantha Powers, News Writing, “How to be a mate from miles away.”

Madelynn Niles and Alysa Spiro, Pandemic Coverage – Single, “From the band hall to a COVID-19 hospital unit.”

Elisha Scott, Pandemic Coverage – Single, “Mac alums adapt to year disrupted by COVID-19.”

Evie Barnard and Kate Boyle, Pandemic Coverage – Single, “Ms. Troy leaves McCallum over safety concerns.”

Samantha Powers, Political Writing, “These Knights are major players on Election Day.”

Ellen Fox, Profile Writing, “Inspired in 2005 to help prospective parents succeed, Moore wrote guide to interracial adoption.”

Samantha Powers, Profile Writing, “These twins have twice the talent.”

Olivia Capochiano, Review Writing, “An informal Capital of Texas taco tour.”

Risa Darlington-Horta, Sports Action Photo, “J.D. Jordan catches his first varsity touchdown.”

Alice Scott, Sports Feature Writing, “Stepping up as leaders.”

Olivia Capochiano, Sports Feature Writing, “Tita works on his ‘steezy kayaking’ with ‘the best people.’”

Caleb Melville, Sports Reaction Photo, “The Knights lock pinkies and face the crowd.”

Alice Scott, Video News Package, “2020 Election creates generational divide.”

Sophomore J.D. Jordan catches his first varsity touchdown and Mac’s only trip to the end zone against the Anderson Trojans in the third quarter of the 19th annual Taco Shack Bowl. (Risa Darlington-Horta)