Congratulations to Itzel Luna on being the first SCJEA Journalist of the Year 2021. She was the highest ranking Southern California student among the portfolios submitted by student journalists in California.
Luna was the editor-in-chief of the newsmagazine at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School. She was in the journalism program all four years of her high school career. Each summer, she participated in summer journalism programs or internships, including the Princeton Summer Journalism Program and KTLA Channel 5 morning news.
She is now a freshman at Stanford University where is is contributing to the Stanford Daily and a Cal Matters College Network Fellow.
In 2021, the SCJEA Board of Directors agreed to create a new scholarship that would award $500 to the top JOY student from our member schools. The goal is to ultimately give additional JOY scholarships like our northern California counterpart, JEANC.
In November 2021, Gary Metzker was recognized as one of three people named Friends of Scholastic Journalism. This is the write-up from the JEA website:
"A former journalist with several Pulitzer Prizes under his belt, Gary Metzker has been a full-time lecturer at California State Long Beach, since 2008, and he uses his wealth of knowledge and experience to work with scholastic journalists and their advisers across California.
A mentor as well as a friend, advisers like Michelle Saremi appreciate how Metzker takes advisers and students under his wing, going above and beyond to help them succeed.
“He has driven up to Ventura County from Long Beach just to spend a few hours with my staff and help them with their use of white space or redesign their front page. The 405 traffic doesn’t even deter him,” Saremi said.
Metzker’s enthusiasm and passion for design are evident in all his interactions.
“Gary is more than a friend of scholastic journalism. He is a champion for it,” said Jessica Young, MJE, adviser at Orange Glen High School. “H'e’s a cheerleader, a coach, a die-hard fan and a participant, all rolled into one. I wish every community was as lucky as ours, to have a member like Gary Metzker.”'