Tag Archives: Grace Runkel

Journey to National Convention: live blogging from Bagpiper Journalists

By Grace Runkel

I am writing our final update for the 2013 Spring National High School Journalism Convention several thousand miles in the air, over some nondescript, very flat state.

The last two days have been packed, as all convention attendees have attended classes, contests, critiques, and various must-see places around the city. My Friday began with a workshop with Twitter’s editorial director Karen Wickre, who told students who to utilize Twitter to maximize their publication’s impact.

Later that day adviser Michelle Balmeo from Monta Vista High School taught a lesson over 40 different websites that allow students to create interactive material for their online publications. I cannot wait to see some of these tools implemented on the Bagpiper Online and hear your feedback about them.

The dreaded contest sessions and critiques took place Friday afternoon, where students competed against others from around the country. Instead of first, second, or third place, work could receive three rankings: honorable mention, excellent, and superior.

After attending more classes Saturday morning, we left the hotel and explored San Francisco’s iconic Chinatown. This ended up being one of my favorite sights to see. It was kind of surreal to feel so immersed in Chinese culture without even leaving the states.

The convention came to a close Saturday afternoon with the nearly three hour long award ceremony. Pacemakers, Best of Show, and Student Journalist if the Year awards were given out followed by the results of Friday’s write-off contests.

We are all proud to announce that co-editor-in-chief Anna Boone received an excellent for her newspaper layout design, and my newsmagazine layout design received a superior.

This trip has been a phenomenal experience and the support we received from everyone as we fundraised and planned our trip amazes me. We are all truly grateful.

Thanks for following along these past couple of days, and see you bright and early at school tomorrow. I’ll be the one struggling to cope with a three-hour time change.


Twitter’s editorial director Karen Wickre speaks with student journalists about using the popular social media site to promote their publications.


San Francisco’s famous Chinatown, complete with pagoda rooftops and lanterns hanging in the streets.

Even the street art in Chinatown embodies the essence of this vibrant culture.

Journey to National Convention: live blogging from Bagpiper Journalists

By Grace Runkel

Wednesday was the day that would not end.

After being forced to land at the Indianapolis Airport for several hours, we were finally able to catch a flight to Washington. Washington, D.C. on the east coast. Where did we want to be? The west coast.

After a five minute layover we jumped onto a plane that would finally take us to San Francisco. Six hours later we were finally at our destination.

We successfully maneuvered our way through the BART and checked into our hotel.

The rest of the night was spent exploring the Union Square area, which really just means we went shopping.

The real sightseeing began Thursday.

The number one stop on everyone’s wish list was Alcatraz, so we made that our top priority. We hopped on a cable car, rode it to Fisherman’s Wharf, and took the ferry to the infamous rock.

Alcatraz was perfect. From the views, to the buildings, to the actually interesting audio tour, this stop was a definite hit with everyone.

The afternoon was spent walking around Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf. The highlight of the day, however, was the cable car ride back to the hotel when Anna and I got to hang off the side of the car. If you ever go to San Francisco you have to do this.

Just be careful: it can be kind of tight when other cars pass by.

Back at the hotel we were registered for convention. And it was crazy. Never have I ever seen so many high school journalists in one place. I feel kind of bad for anyone else staying in the hotel this weekend.

The last event if the night was the opening ceremony. Keynote speaker Richard Ross spoke about the power each individual has to start a movement and shared work from his latest project: Juvenile In Justice







Journey to National Convention: live blogging from Bagpiper Journalists

By Grace Runkel

Editor’s Note:┬áStay up to date on the Floyd Central journalism trip to the national high school journalism convention by checking the Bagpiper Online throughout the week.

At 4 a.m. seniors Katelyn Rowe, Anna Boone, Lauren McNeeley, and I dragged ourselves out of bed, gathered our bags, and headed to the Louisville International Airport.

After arriving on time, remembering all our boarding passes, and getting through security without any hang-ups our journey was out to a great start. It was almost too good to be true.

Well, it was.

After just thirty minutes in the air, we started smelling something weird. Something electrical. And smoky.

Next thing we know the pilot announced we would be making an emergency stop in Indianapolis. There goes our connecting flight from Chicago.

Our view leaving the Louisville International Airport. Photo by Grace Runkel.

Landing in Indianapolis. Photo by Grcae Runkel.

Waiting on the plane for word from the maintenance crew. Photo by Grace Runkel.

Annual pep rally rewards students’ hard work

By Grace Runkel and Gwen Galeza