The official site of the Washington Journalism Education Association

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PO Box 24389, Seattle, WA 98124
The official site of the Washington Journalism Education Association

The official site of the Washington Journalism Education Association

Lu Flannery Outstanding Journalist Award

This award recognizes one Washington state senior who has made significant contributions to their journalism program.

Arjun Thomas, left, in the blue shirt, celebrates his win with his staff members.



1. Graduating high school senior
2. Applicant has made significant contributions to the school’s student media.
3. 3.0 GPA minimum on a 4.0 scale
4. Adviser is a WJEA member
5. Completed WJEA Outstanding Journalist 2024 Entry Form (fillable PDF)
6. Letter of nomination from the student’s adviser 
7. Online portfolio must include:
• Self-evaluation of applicant’s “journalistic life” (max. 500 words)
• Three to seven work samples showing quality and diversity.
8. Additional letters (optional—no more than three additional letters from teachers, journalism staff peers, administrators or others who can speak to the quality of the student’s work)

Preparing your portfolio

1. Your portfolio should be submitted online. You may use any online tool to create and share your portfolio. If you are also applying for WJEA’s Journalist of the Year award, make sure the portfolios are separate and the links to each are clear and submitted separately.

2. Some ideas to help you with the self-evaluation (max 500 words): How do you feel about journalism? How did you get started in journalism? What have you had to go through to achieve success in journalism? What have you contributed to journalism? What are your journalism plans for the future?

3. Samples of work should be carefully selected. Provide judges with a cross-section of your best work. Date, name of publication and description of relevance should be visible near sample.

4. If applicable, work samples should show one or more of the following characteristics. Please group and label samples according to what they represent and why they were chosen:

*Skilled and creative use of media content – writing, production, photography, etc.
*Inquiry and investigative persistence resulting in in-depth study or studies of issues important to the local high school community, high school students in general, or society
*Courageous, responsible handling of controversial issues despite threat or imposition of censorship
*Variety of journalistic experiences handled in a quality manner
*Sustained and commendable work with community media

Award recognition

  • A panel of local professional journalists and educators evaluate entries.
  • The scholarship of $2,000 goes to one winner.
  • The winner will be announced at the spring WJEA Awards Banquet.
  • The winner’s name will be published in WJEA’s e-newsletter and on the WJEA web site.
  • The parent(s)/guardian(s), adviser and principal of the recipient will be notified and a press release will be sent to local media.

Previous recipients

2023  Kathryn Shelden, Inglemoor
2022  Alexandria Bunn, Bellaramine Prep
2021  Abigail Sonnichsen, Mead High School & Ellie Sullivan, Hanford High School
2020  Arjun Thomas, Shorewood HS
2019  Greta Forslund, Timberline HS
2018  Tina Dang, Cleveland STEM HS
2017  Ronnie Estoque, Cleveland STEM HS
2016  Paxton Merten, Mountlake Terrace HS
2015  Bryce Newberry, Wenatchee HS
2014  Emma McIntosh, Shorewood HS
2013  Abby Zieve, Roosevelt HS
2012  Olivia Smith, Cleveland HS
2011  Nicole Jennings,  Mount Vernon HS
2010  Amelia Furlong, Mount Vernon HS
2009 no applicants
2008  Emily Rome, Charles Wright Academy
2007  Cassandra Kapp, Peninsula HS
2006  Maggie Taylor, Mt. Vernon HS
2005  Katie Weeks, Wapato HS
2004  Julian Sterbick-Myers, Wenatchee HS
2003 Katie Baumgartner, Inglemoor HS

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Lu Flannery Outstanding Journalist Award