LHS journalism program, students honored statewide

Lindbergh student named to all-state journalism team


Photo by Lindbergh Schools

A page highlighting the theme of the 2022 Lindbergh Yearbook.

By Lucas Irizarry, Staff Reporter

Lindbergh’s journalism program features an award-winning yearbook and magazine program and dozens of award-winning students. The program has expanded in recent years to cover everything from the basics of the profession to almost fully student-run publications.

The program received several accolades this year from the Missouri Press Assocation, Missouri Journalism Education Assocation, including a student who was named to the 2022 Missouri All-State Journalism Team. 


Lindbergh’s 2021-2022 Spirit Yearbook and its staff received a multitude of awards both statewide and nationally. The yearbook received the highest ratings possible from the National Scholastic Press Association and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association — the ratings were the highest in the history of the school with 481/500 points and 964/1000 points respectively. 

Staff members received 13 recognitions from the Missouri Press Association and the Missouri Journalism Education Association for feature pages and photos, while five yearbook staffers were named to the MIPA-MJEA Journalism Honor Roll for having a 3.75 GPA and working in student media for at least two years.

The yearbook staff was headed by senior Ashley Dickey and junior Grace Herzog, who were awarded best in show for the yearbook’s theme “It’s Up To Us.”

“I’m 17 but I felt like a proud mom, I was like ‘Oh my gosh, that’s exciting,’” Herzog said. “It was really nice to see how happy (the staff) was with that. It shows that we are really dedicated to what we do and we produce high quality work.”

Herzog was one of 11 students to be named to the 2022 Missouri All-State Journalism Team and she is the first Lindbergh student to receive the honor since 2016. Out of the 11, Herzog was the only student from South County and one of seven from St. Louis. She was nominated by yearbook advisor and English/journalism teacher Carrie Rapp, who said the award shows how exceptional a student Herzog is.

“When you talk to any of Grace’s teachers, they know she is a rockstar in all of her classes. She’s involved in … I don’t even know how many clubs and organizations,” Rapp said. “It shows that she is an exceptional leader in our journalism program … and in all of the aspects of her academic life, which is really impressive.”

Journalism students at Lindbergh start with intro to journalism, where Rapp said they are then funneled into broadcast, yearbook or the Pilot magazine. All journalism classes are electives, meaning some of the work with the yearbook and Pilot is done outside of class. Herzog estimated she spent about 10-12 hours per week outside of class working on the yearbook before submission.

“The amount of time and energy and commitment that the kids have to create these products blows me away,” Rapp said. 

Pilot magazine

The program’s other printed publication, the Pilot magazine, focuses more on the news reporting aspect of the program. Students write stories, take photos and put together a printed magazine a few times a semester. Senior Elaine Ottens was the editor of this year’s magazine, and was also named to the MIPA-MJEA Journalism Honor Roll.

Ottens took intro to journalism her sophomore year and began writing for the Pilot as a junior. As COVID hit schools, participation in the Pilot dropped off, leaving Ottens and one other student as main contributors. She was offered the editor position going into her senior year.

“Finding out that I was going to be editor was a really big deal for me,” Ottens said. “Things aren’t always going to go as planned, and I had to learn to be okay with that. Being a part of this program has really helped me with that aspect.”

Ottens said the aspect of the job that surprised her the most was the difficulty of creating the print edition. The editions don’t have a set timeline, so Ottens had to mold her schedule around working with students to add stories into the document.

“I loved watching everyone become more comfortable with writing,” she said. “I think if you look at our paper from the beginning of the year to now, you can see a huge change not only in how well people write, but also how nice the template looks.”

Krystle Hoisington, English teacher and Pilot advisor, said the printed aspect of the Pilot is an important element for student engagement. She said it makes excitement among the student audience and staff a visible element when a magazine releases.

Hoisington said she chose Ottens due to her attention to detail, organization skills and willingness to accept feedback — Ottens even created an organization system for the paper that Hoisington is carrying over into next year. 

The pair said the Pilot is planning to expand its online presence to cover broadcast media — the website can be found at www.lindberghlookup.com. 

Ottens is planning to attend Lindenwood next year and major in mass communications  with a focus in journalism — she said she “fully intends” to be a part of the school newspaper.