National recognition is shining once again on a student journalist at Cactus Canyon Junior High School, 1575 W. Southern Ave. in Apache Junction.
Ragan Stoltz, the yearbook editor at CCJH, was recently honored in Los Angeles as the Journalism Education Association’s 2022 Aspiring Young Journalist.
Stoltz was honored for her excellence in the following areas:
In his nomination letter, CCJHS adviser Jason Davis praised Stoltz for eagerness that helped her become the Oro yearbook’s first seventh-grade editor in chief.
“Ragan gets it done,” Davis wrote. “As a seventh grader, she was the first to go cover an event when we had no one else to do it. If we needed something, she stepped up. It never mattered to Ragan if it was her first time or her 50th, she took it on. If she didn’t get it quite right, she wanted to know how to improve. Her interest turned into a drive, and her drive turned into a passion.”
In his letter Davis continued to highlight Stoltz’s dedication and progress.
“As an eighth grader this year, she continued to grow into her leadership role. Her ambition for success keeps other students motivated and on track.”
During the ceremony the jurors commended Stoltz for her writing, design, photography and leadership.
Stoltz highlighted the importance student journalism plays on campuses and in the community in an essay she submitted.
“Without student journalists the student’s only form of information would be gossip, filled with many unreliable sources,” Stoltz wrote. “Student publications also allow a new level of creativity and freedom of expression for students. It can help teach them about their rights as citizens and that they are allowed to report on anything without being afraid of backlash because of it. Journalism teaches people that it’s OK to tell the full story and that they shouldn’t be afraid of the truth.”
Two years ago another CCJH journalist, Tiffany Hutcheson, won the same national award. Both students will be in the same program that is now offered at Apache Junction High School, 2525 S. Ironwood Drive in Apache Junction.
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