West Chicago High senior earns superior distinction in National Student Media Contest

West Chicago Community High School senior Dhanveer Gill received a superior distinction, the highest ranking awarded to a high school student, in editorial writing in the fall National Student Media Contest on Nov. 5.

Gill was one of 1,400 competitors at the Journalism Education Association's National Honor School Journalism Convention, held Nov. 2-5 in Boston, Massachusetts. He competed in editorial writing, a category in which he placed fifth in the state through last spring's IHSA journalism contest.

Gill was one of just 92 (6%) students to place in the superior category. During the competition, he was provided with sources pertaining to a contemporary issue and then tasked to write an opinion-based piece of no more than 350 words.

No additional research was permitted. Gill was rated based on his ability to craft a persuasive lead, assert a clear position, examine the opposition's viewpoint, and follow AP style.

"Competing in Boston at the national level is something I will never forget; the preparation for this event has been (literally) years in the making, and I knocked it out of the park," Gill said. "If my self from six years ago saw me today, I think he'd faint from just the idea of being this successful."

For Gill, his fellow Journalism Production staffers played a major role in his achievements.

"I want to begin by thanking my team first: all current (and former) members of the Chronicle and its leadership staff have been some of the best friends I could ask for," Gill said. "I would never have been able to make it this far in my career without them, and all of them have played a hugely important role in putting West Chicago on the map."

Gill is currently the assistant managing editor of the Wildcat Chronicle, a student-run publication at West Chicago Community High School.

Last year, he was part of an award-winning editorial team at the Northern Illinois Scholastic Press Association conference, and placed third in Best Serious Commentary at the Illinois JEA competition.

Two of his articles have also received Best of Student Newspapers Online recognition.

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