Mundelein High School

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Newspaper staff earns seven awards

Jordyn Reiland, MHS Class of 2011 speaks with students about being a professional journalist

The staff of the student-produced newspaper The Mustang earned seven awards in this year’s Illinois Journalism Education Association’s (IJEA) Newspaper & Digital News Media Contest (Division 3) after a year in which the staff had to find alternative ways to interview, report and publish during a pandemic.

“Perseverance is the best word I could use to describe this year’s staff,” Adviser Michelle Didzbalis said. “The staff was small with two editors and six reporters, five of those reporters being freshmen who had to learn how to do journalism remotely in a school setting they were new to themselves. Yet, the staff was always willing to go to plan B, C, D or Z to get their articles done. They should be proud of what they were able to accomplish this year given the circumstances,” she said.

While the staff normally produces six editions a year, this year’s staff focused on creating content solely for its online platform and a printed Class of 2021 senior edition that came out in May.

Below are the seven awards the staff received; individual articles can be reviewed at

Photo Caption: Jordyn Reiland, Class of 2011, joins a Zoom call with The Mustang journalism staff as a guest speaker on Feb. 24 to give her perspective about being a professional journalist. The Mustang staff then wrote a features piece on the event, and the article won third place in IJEA’s Newspaper & Digital News Media Contest for Best Personality Profile.  

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