Brea Olinda High School Students Take Top Awards Orange County Journalism Competition

Brea Olinda High School's journalism program and student-run newspaper, the Wildcat, emerged victorious at the Orange County Journalism Education Association (OCJEA) Division 2 Best of Show competition on Feb. 24. The Best of Show was conducted through online submissions to determine the best overall online publication with the Wildcat surpassing eight other esteemed high schools in Orange County, including Santa Margarita, Mission Viejo, Irvine, Sage Hill, and Fullerton, to place first in Division 2.
The Wildcat reporters have had an impressive year, delivering compelling stories across various beats. From sports achievements to community events and cultural reviews, their coverage is both comprehensive and engaging.
Editor-in-Chief Ellen Kim and News Editor Lauren Ko particularly stood out with their exceptional contributions. Ellen earned her first “Best of SNO” recognition while Lauren earned her second “Best of SNO.” The awards are presented to the top student work produced by School News Online’s high school and college members. 
“Last year, SNO published just 10 percent of 14,000 submissions from 533 schools across the country. This year, the Wildcat has earned seven of the distinctions,” said Wildcat Adviser Alex Koers.
The journey to victory was marked by a series of standout articles published by the Wildcats:
New Lease For Wallows With Long-Awaited "Your Apartment" by Arts Editor Sofia Rodriguez
Five Songs For Five Types of Valentines by Arts Editor Sofia Rodriguez
Disney's Percy Jackson Pulls New Magic From Old Pages by Arts Editor Sofia Rodriguez
Record Rainfall Drenches Orange County, BOHS by News Editor Lauren Ko 
BOTA, CSEA Members Protest For Salary Increase at Rally, Board Meeting by Wildcat Editor-in-Chief Ellen Kim
'I'm Just Mr. Brea': Annual Pageant Returns to the PAC by Wildcat Editor-in-Chief Ellen Kim
Kneed, Proof, Score: Steinmetz Named BOHS Teacher of the Year by Wildcat Editor-in-Chief Ellen Kim
21 Health Occupations Students Qualify For State by Wildcat Editor-in-Chief Ellen Kim
Alexander Chao Crowned 2023-2024 Mr. Brea by Wildcat Editor-in-Chief Ellen Kim
Hanno, Japan Students Visit Brea During Annual Sister City Exchange by News Editor Lauren Ko
WellSpace to Occupy Renovated Room 200 by Staff Writer Jenna Howell Serna
Winter Dance Returns With 'Night in New York' by Staff Writer Sofia Tapia Guillen
In addition to the OCJEA recognitions, the Wildcat has also been named a finalist for the 2024 Online Pacemaker Award established by the National Scholastic Press Association. Pacemaker finalists will be honored and will receive plaques during the opening ceremony of the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention on April 4, in Kansas City, Missouri. 
"Being named a finalist for the NSPA Online Pacemaker -- the top award in scholastic journalism -- is a stunning achievement for our student journalists. The honor reflects the professionalism, tenacity, creativity, and talent of the Wildcats' writers, editors, photographers, and artists. I'm beyond thrilled for these kids who dedicate so much of their time, ernergy, and enthusiasm to the school newspaper," Koers said.