AMY HUANG & KELSEY PHARIS
Senior Katie Pickrell was named the 2016 Colorado Journalist of the Year at 10:04 a.m. Pickrell is Mountain Vista’s fourth consecutive winner.
“I feel like I’m going into cardiac arrest,” Pickrell said. “I don’t even know. I’m so excited and I totally wasn’t even expecting it.”
Pickrell has been on the Mountain Vista Media staff since her sophomore year. She became an editor second semester of her junior year, moving up to co-editor-in-chief her senior year.
“It’s been a lot of hard work since I joined the program my sophomore year and I couldn’t have done it without all of my friends and all of the other editors before me,” Pickrell said.
Pickrell has been involved in every aspect of Mountain Vista Media from writing copy to running broadcast. She has played a key role in the newsmagazine and yearbook.
“Katie works harder than anyone I know,” senior co-editor-in-chief Kelsey Pharis said. “She is so dedicated and I am not surprised at all that she won. She deserves it more than anyone and I couldn’t be happier or more proud.”
For Pickrell, Mountain Vista Media has been more than just a co-curricular activity, it has driven her to work harder and be more involved at Mountain Vista.
“My freshman year, I was really uninvolved but Mountain Vista Media helped me get involved in the school and become a better student,” Pickrell said.
Mountain Vista Media has built important relationships for Pickrell.
“We met in Journalism one and hit it off immediately,” Pharis said. “Ever since then we have been best friends and worked our way up the program together to becoming co-editors-in-chief.”
“It’s been so much fun to work with Katie. I actually hated her at first but I’m so glad I actually started to like her because she’s been truly amazing to work with and she’s a great friend. I’m so proud of her,” senior co-editor-in-chief Amy Huang said. “I’m so excited for Katie. She’s worked so hard for this. Her portfolio was amazing in every aspect.”
While Pickrell cites the help of many people in this process, adviser Mark Newton has been a big inspiration to her.
“If it wasn’t for the relationship I have with everybody in this organization and Newt’s leadership of it, I never even would’ve considered applying,” Pickrell said.
Newton is no stranger to welcoming the Colorado Journalist of the Year. For Newton, Pickrell’s win is another way to grow as an adviser.
“It’s so fun to watch. It’s enjoyable to see a student keep challenging herself over and over, pushing abilities, learning new skills, being fearless, failing sometimes and succeeding more often than not,” Newton said. “And, most importantly it’s an honor to be a very small part of her success. I am so humbled by her attitude, talent and intellect.”
This is just the beginning for Pickrell.
“I’m going to Disneyland! Just kidding,” she said.
She will submit her portfolio for the National Journalist of the Year competition. The winner will be announced April 17, 2016 at the National High School Journalism Convention in Los Angeles, Calif. She will attend the University of Colorado at Boulder in fall 2016 and plans on majoring in journalism and political science.
“I want to be the White House photographer but I know that’s completely unrealistic,” she said. “Because of how our media program is set up, I know a lot about writing and design and reporting and photography which will enable me to go far in a modern media world, even if I don’t make it to the White House.”