Tooting Our Own Horn: NEWSPA Awards 2019

Dietel leads with 11 awards

Members of the West Bend Current set a school record with 28 individual awards in a statewide contest for high school journalists.

Fourteen writers for the Current, a news website produced by students at West Bend East and West High Schools, were recognized in the 2019 Northeastern Wisconsin Scholastic Press Association contest. The student reporters earned first place in eight categories and the website earned blue ribbon honors in the publication category.

“Once again this year, your website is chock-full of thorough, thoughtful coverage,” one of the judges said.

Editor in chief Samantha Dietel led the staff with 11 awards, placing first in five categories. She received top honors in a special, one-time category called Stories That Promote Change for her article about students asking the district to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Entries were judged by Jamie Stark, a reporter known for covering Latin American issues like child migration, drones and Internet access.

Dietel’s five-part series about school safety earned top honors for in-depth reporting. Her investigation of the music department budget and interview with an East graduate who created the artwork for the 2018 Milwaukee Film Festival garnered blue ribbon honors for general news, feature news and news photo.

Caitlin Marsch took first place for her academic news reporting about the district’s decision to close Pathways Charter School. In the entertaining feature category, Lily Mottet received top recognition for her story about how leftover paint renewed the East/West rivalry. Abby Gawrych earned blue ribbon honors for a personality profile of a West graduate returning to teach choir.

The Current competed in the large school division of the NEWSPA contest. The student news site is advised by Eric Beltmann.

Full List of Awards


Samantha Dietel, Editor in Chief


Elise Marlett


Lily Mottet


Caitlin Marsch


Abby Gawrych


Kael Beltmann


Rachel Gergetz


Auburn Larson


Justin Scherzer


Alissa Ihlenfeld


Lauren Oppermann


Grace Peplinski


Priyanka Trivedi


Andrew Jung


The Current Website

  • Blue ribbon honors

(Photo by Darick Fait for the Current.)

1 Comment

Filed under School News and Features

One response to “Tooting Our Own Horn: NEWSPA Awards 2019

  1. Laura Lehman - Samantha’s grandma

    Congratulations everyone!

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