Golden times for the Cyclones in San Fran 

Ana Iacoviello ’25, Sofia Barrera ’25, and Meredith McKenna ’25 celebrate their Honorable Mention Awards in the National Student Media Contest.

Meredith McKenna, Staff Writer

Watching sea lions, catching a Giants game, eating dumplings in Chinatown. Staff members of “The Beat” made unforgettable memories when they traveled to San Francisco last week to attend a Journalism Education Association Convention.

Over the course of three days, Carrollton students, Aitana Bailon ‘26, Valentina Felpeto ‘26, Lola Rodriguez ‘26, Meredith McKenna ‘25, Sofia Barrera ‘25, Andrea Gianulis ‘25, and Ana Iacoviello ‘25, attended workshops and participated in trainings with fellow student journalists from across the country.

These sessions, led by seasoned journalists and advisers, covered topics such as journalistic responsibility and integrity, censorship, and team building. Attendees also learned how to make coverage relevant, interesting and timely, how to cover difficult topics, and how to use social media and design tools to tell stories.

Carrollton students were able to apply some of the skills they learned right away when they competed in on-site writing contests. And they showed that they had been paying attention. 

Meredith McKenna ’25 won honorable mention in News Writing, Ana Iacoviello ’25 won honorable mention in Feature Writing, and Sofia Barrera ’25 won honorable mention in Review Writing against over 1,000 students from across the nation. 

But the trip wasn’t all about work. “The Beat” staff took time to relax and get to know each other too. After long days of sessions, the team made time to cheer on the Giants at Oracle Park, ride a carousel and take photos of Alcatraz at Pier 39, and take a trolley to Chinatown. 

Through this experience, the staff became more aware of how to improve “The Beat” and they felt encouraged to pursue truth and boldly tell the stories of the Carrollton community.

As Sofia Barrera put it, “I learned the importance of free speech in a world where censorship is far too common.”