Katie Anthony: DGS’ first-ever All-State journalist

Jonah Ocuto

More stories from Jonah Ocuto

Issue 3
January 25, 2019
May 18, 2018
May 18, 2018
Issue 5
May 18, 2018

Every year, the best journalists in Illinois send in excerpts of their work in order to be nominated as a member of the Illinois Journalism Education Association (IJEA) All-State Journalism team — a recognition from IJEA of staff members who are “indispensable to their respective school media.” Competition is fierce and making the team has never happened before in DGS’ history; that is, until now.

Katie Anthony is a senior at DGS, and currently serves as the Blueprint’s Print News Editor. After a hectic year of big stories and personal triumph, Anthony’s grit was rewarded by becoming DGS’ first-ever member of the All-State team.

“My friends were at state for Journalism, and my friend texted me, and it was just a picture of my name on a list that said, ‘Congratulations to the All-State journalists’… I didn’t really understand what was happening, it was crazy,” Anthony said.

Anthony elaborated on how she earned the honor.

“Basically people from all around the state apply for it and students are picked based on how much they’re involved with their publication. Mrs. Long sent me an email and said she wanted to nominate me … I wrote the essays in a day, submitted some of my work and Mrs. Long wrote a couple of things for it.” Anthony said.

Anthony’s inclusion in the team comes with a special weight not only to her, but to the school as a whole. Mary Long, the Blueprint’s advisor emphasized this.

“It’s nice to see when students are recognized in the writing world, because generally, you’re not… no one ever really says ‘good job.’” Long said.

However to those who know her, Anthony’s induction was a testament to her dedication as a journalist.

“Katie is fearless — you can give her the hardest topic to talk about her, and send her to interview an authority … she’ll walk down with that Katie walk and smile, all while acting professional and well-prepared. The adults in the building really respect her,” Long said.

Anthony’s boyfriend, Frederic Fosco, spoke on Katie’s work ethic.

“Katie is constantly, and I mean constantly thinking about or working on things for the Blueprint. She’s written long articles in one day, and did such a good job not only writing but promoting it that multiple news outlets/pictures to use as a main source. I have never seen her happier than when she saw people outside of the Blueprint were using her work…  that right there shows how committed she is to anyone that she reports for,” Fosco said.

Senior Bridget Barnebey is a longtime friend of Anthony. She also gave testament to Anthony’s drive.

“It’s clear journalism is Katie’s passion, it’s the class she enjoys most during the day and puts the most into. Katie deserves the honor because she goes above and beyond what any normal high school student would do. She puts the Blueprint first inside and outside of school and is always chasing after a story,” Barnebey said.

According to Long, Anthony doesn’t just write great stories on her own, rather she inspires others to push themselves to be the best journalist that they can be.

“People look  up to Katie especially for news writing; if a novice writer is struggling, they’re more likely to talk to her than others. She leads by example — she’s not loud or in-your-face — she’ll have private conversations, get her section together and she just gets the job done,” Long said.

Anthony remains adamant that being inducted into the team wasn’t the best thing Blueprint has done for her — instead, it’s the memories she’s made that have been the greatest gift.

“One of my favorite moments this year was when our publication won the Golden Eagle. We were all just kinda sitting there — definitely the most excited school to win it — it was just wild,” Anthony said.

Amidst the stress of an active newsroom, Anthony remains sure in her belief that the people around her have made the experience more enjoyable and satisfying than an award ever could.

“Working with my staff everyday has been a highlight of this experience. I’ve met some of my best friends through the Blueprint … I would have never applied for [the All-State team], or done any work for it without the people on staff. At the beginning of the year, I was a much different person than I am now, but since I’m working on these projects with my friends, it doesn’t feel like ‘schoolwork.’ All the people around me are just as inspired and driven to be great people,” Anthony said.