Alyssa Freyman, Editor-in-Chief of The Bird Feed at South Forsyth High School in Cumming, Georgia, has been named the 2019 Georgia Champion Journalist by the Georgia Scholastic Press Association and the Journalism Education Association. The award recognizes the top high school senior journalist in the state.
Valeria Garcia-Pozo, Senior Copy Editor at Clarke Central High School’s ODYSSEY Media Group, was the runner-up in the competition.
The winners were selected from a pool of 12 candidates, each with portfolios packed with academic achievements and journalism accolades. Portfolios were scored in the following categories: candidate background; news gathering; writing; editing; design; multimedia broadcast; photojournalism; web; law and ethics; leadership and team building; news literacy; entrepreneurship; and candidate reflection.
The nomination of Freyman included comments about her “marked leadership, endearing personality, and true dedication to excellence.” In addition to her role with The Bird Feed, she is actively involved in a variety of extracurricular endeavors, including National Honor Society and DECA. She is the recipient of a Journalism Honor Roll award from the National Scholastic Press Association for her dedication as a NSPA member. Freyman is also involved in her community where she volunteers regularly at Meals by Grace, providing food for those in need. She is advised by Clori Rose-Geiger.
Freyman will receive a $100 prize and be recognized at the GSPA Workshop and Awards April 9. She also moves on to represent the state in the Journalism Education Association's National Journalist of the Year competition.
In addition to the senior Georgia Champion Journalist of the Year, the GSPA honors the top high school junior journalist in the state. Elena Gilbertson Hall was selected as the Georgia Junior Champion winner and Mackenzie Caudill was the runner-up. Both are on staff with the Clarke Central ODYSSEY Media Group.