FHS Publications travel to Lansing for MIPA

Gracie Warda, Writer

Before most were out of bed, Fenton publication members were well on their way to the MIPA [Michigan Interscholastic Press Association]. This annual conference takes place in busy downtown Lansing, where professional journalists and Pulitzer-Prize winners assemble to spread their knowledge.

“I think that as advisors we all have so much to give that we owe it to each other and we owe it to students to try and bring all student publications in the state of Michigan up, to help everybody.” MIPA instructor and FHS publications teacher Pam Bunka said. “I think it gives you a really great opportunity to polish good lesson plans for your classes at home. Along with the fact that you’re helping other people and you’re doing what you should be doing, it kind of forces you to sit down and say ‘I’m going to teach this ad class, so I want to make it really cool.” So you get a lesson to bring home to your students, your staff as well.”

Though, as we’ve learned, there is little distinction between student and advisor. The InPrint’s very own senior Riley Wilson and Tess DeGayner had the opportunity to teach a session.

“I loved teaching a class, I feel like it was a great opportunity to really put yourself out there and talk to people that are passionate about the same things you are,” Wilson said. “When you attend as a student you feel like you get a lot out of it and you are learning from professionals, people who actually have journalism experience or who are in the journalism business, and I think teaching it makes you realize how cool journalism is. The fact that you’re a student in high school and you’re able to teach other high-schoolers, and you just feel so professional and you feel like you’re capable of so much- journalism or not.”

The event proved to be both an enjoyable and educational experience for those involved.

“MIPA was a really fun experience, we got to go to a bunch of different classes. We got to learn new techniques and different things to help us in our writing,” sophomore Madi Wheeler said. “I think it’s a really good experience for you to learn more and better your writing. I think there’s always something you can learn, and it’s good to because you’re learning from other people. There are a lot of college professors, newspaper and yearbook advisors and some published authors, so they definitely knew what they were doing. ”

However, it wasn’t just the students who gained knowledge from the fall conference.

“I’ve never been to a fall conference when I haven’t learned something,” Bunka said. “It might be something big and Earth-shattering, or it could just be ‘wow, I didn’t know that you could do that.’”

Fentonian and InPrint staff members brought home different techniques which they will apply to the yearbook and newspaper.

“I only taught for the third session, we were there for three sessions. The first session was about a new way of organizing your class, and it was super helpful,” Wilson said. “Second session I went to a critique, so Tess and I went to meet with this lovely lady who looked over our website and our print edition of the paper and gave us helpful tips about what we can do better.”

Considering this year’s fall MIPA a success, attenders of the meeting hope to improve their work and look forward to the upcoming spring MIPA.
PHOTO Tess DeGayner