Students Attend TAJE San Antonio Fall Fiesta


Jesus Trujillo, Staff Member

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Members of the Cy Falls Press attended the TAJE convention for journalists in San Antonio Oct. 15 through 18 and competed in various contests related to writing, photography, and broadcast. 


“I was really excited, even though I’ve been in yearbook for my fourth year now, I’ve never been to a camp,¨ Yearbook Editor in Chief Emily Morgan (12) said. ¨Getting to go to a place that was more hands-on was really exciting.¨

( Photos by Astrid Zelaya)

Seven Cy Falls Press students and their advisor arrived the night before to allow time to prepare for the registration and contests the following day. To also help make the drive and trip as whole more memorable, they made a quick stop at Buc-ee’s on their long trip to San Antonio. They were not able to stay at the official TAJE convention hotel as it was already fully booked. Instead, they stayed at a different Hyatt hotel not too far from the convention hotel. 

¨It was a really nice hotel, and we had a great view,¨ Morgan said. ¨We were able to take some really cool time-lapse photos and videos of the intersection that we were next to, and we got to use those for some Instagram posts.¨

( Photos by Astrid Zelaya)

Saturday afternoon they started with the welcome assembly and Keynote speaker 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley. Scott Pelley served as Anchor and Managing Editor of The CBS Evening News. In more than 30 years at CBS News, Pelley has covered the major stories of the times and interviewed the newsmakers who have changed the world. 


“I was really excited beforehand, like before we got there, like when I learned that he was going to be the guest speaker, because he’s always been someone that I look up to as a journalist,” Summer Folwell (12) said. “He has his little memo that he writes with all of his autographs. It’s “Seek the truth”. So he’s basically saying that as a journalist,  you’re not supposed to be biased, you’re supposed to seek the truth and make sure that everyone knows every part of the story so they can make their own informed decision about it. I got to take a picture with him, and I got to talk to him, so that was awesome. That was a really awesome experience.”


After Pelley’s opening speech was finished, the contests were ready to begin. The on-site contests started at 2:15 that afternoon, some of which included competitions in writing design such as Yearbook Theme Page, Headline Writing, Yearbook Copy, In-Depth Package, News Writing, Feature Writing, Review Writing, Sports Feature Writing, and Editorial Illustration. There were also photo contests such as Digital photo, Cell Phone, and Team Scavenger Hunt. Even video competitions that included Broadcast Package, Videography, and Digital Reporting were an option. As an alternative to the contests, an intensive writing session led by David Knight and Scott Winter was taking place at the same time. 



“I did feature and sports reaction [prior to the convention], and then on-site I did like on-site camera photography, so I just went and I took pictures of a category which I was given,¨ Hailey Jackson (11) said. ¨Framing was the last one we did, so I was seeing other people’s work compared to the work I turned in and I kinda felt like it wasn’t the same, so I was really surprised when I went up there. It definitely taught me that like I don’t have to stick to the typical versions to what I’m doing.¨


Sunday was filled with classes to help the young journalists enhance their skills in writing, design, photography and leadership to name a few. They took a quick lunch break and were right back to their classes for most of the rest of their day. All with a few hours to spend before bed checks. 


“I learned new techniques involving design and how to capture a story in a way that could reach any demographic,” Morgan said. “I got to hear how other high school journalists are working, and how depending on their staff, what their workload is and how their teacher wants them to be involved in different activities and their coverage of those schools.”


Their final day consisted of a closing speaker and  the awards ceremony for the contests that took place on the weekend. Some of the Cy Falls Press members received awards including Jackson with an Honorable Mention in the Digital Photo Framing, Breana Ramos with an Excellent Digital Photo in the Spice category, and Maria Colmenares, who was unable to attend the convention, received an Honorable Mention in First Year Photo.  The Cy Falls Press staff of 2020-2021 received Honorable Mention in Best Show Yearbook in the 6A, small yearbook category. After the awards ceremony, they prepared for the long ride back home in which they arrived after school.


¨I was sad that the trip had ended, because I really do like San Antonio and it was nice staying actually like in the downtown area,¨  Morgan said. ¨We left, we traveled about an hour and a half down the road and we stopped at a place for like lunch. So it was kind of like a midway point that we made a memory of.”

( Photos by Astrid Zelaya)