The student news site of Bellarmine Preparatory School

The Bellarmine Prep Lion

The student news site of Bellarmine Preparatory School

The Bellarmine Prep Lion

The student news site of Bellarmine Preparatory School

The Bellarmine Prep Lion

Student journalists attend National Scholastic Press Association conference in Boston

On Wednesday, Nov. 1, three students, their teacher, and a chaperone boarded a redeye flight from Seattle to Boston to attend the Journalism Education Association/National Scholastic Press Association convention/conference.

Once junior David Añel, senior Talia Patel, and senior Betty Roberts arrived at Sheraton Boston on Thursday, Nov. 2, at 6:30 a.m., they had only a couple of hours to prepare for the Broadcast Journalism Boot Camp session which would last all day.

At 5 p.m. they met up with their teacher, Jeanne Hanigan, her husband and chaperone Jim Hanigan, and Alumni Director Anne Gintz at the Back Bay Social where Bellarmine hosted an all-ages alumni event. Graduates from all decades attended, and many were former Lion journalism students as well. A special guest included former Social Studies teacher and librarian Leslie Gould who accompanied her daughter, Caitlin Lowrie, to the social.

At 7 p.m., the students and teacher headed to the keynote address featuring key persons (editors and reporters) from the Boston Globe’s investigative team, Spotlight.

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Left to right: Jeanne (Dressel ‘84) Hanigan, John Babbitt ‘07, Mary Anna Joyce ‘23, David Anel ‘25, Taraneh Moeini ‘22, Caitlin Lowrie ‘01, Anne Gintz (alumni director), Jim Hanigan ‘82, Leslie Gould (former Social Studies teacher), Leo Bessler ‘22, Betty Roberts ‘24, Allison Berg ‘23, Talia Patel ‘24, fiancé of Alokya Perera ‘11, Alokya Perera ’11, and Calvin McKenna ‘18. (Photo courtesy of Anne Gintz)
Deven Patel B’18, his sister Talia, and Maria Cesarini B’14 join later as well. (Jeanne Hanigan)
Young alums and current students from left to right: Betty Roberts ‘24, Taraneh Moeini ‘22 (Emerson), Leo Bessler ‘22 (Harvard), David Anel ‘25, Talia Patel ‘24, Allison Berg ‘23 (Boston College), and Mary Anna Joyce ‘23 (Tufts). (Jeanne Hanigan)

On Friday, Nov. 3, students attended breakout sessions including “Tackling student journalism at private schools” and “How to write like Taylor Swift.” From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. the students participated in the National Scholastic Media Contests. (See the results at the end of this article.) In the evening, NSPA offered One Up Games on the Go, including xBox Series 5, Ninetendo Switch, and Playstation 5 consoles along with VR games and 18-hole LED mini-golf.

Saturday, Nov. 4, featured more journalism sessions, but, in the afternoon, the students were able to attend a private Fenway Park tour hosted by Calvin McKenna ’18.

Aiden Patel ‘21 flew in from the Naval Academy to see his brother and sister. He was able to join the other Bellarmine students for a private Fenway tour hosted by Calvin McKenna, Boston Red Sox employee. (Photo courtesy of Calvin McKenna)
The Patel siblings all participated in the Lion journalism program: Aiden B’21, Talia B’24, and Deven B’18. (Jeanne Hanigan)

Sunday, Nov. 5, was a travel day, but Añel, Patel, Roberts and both Hanigans were able to enjoy a Duck Tour in the morning ( before flying out back to the West Coast and to Bellarmine.

Check out the vlog here: A Day in the Life at the NSPA Journalism Conference .

According to, “The National Student Media Contests were all completed online and on site for the 2023 Fall JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention in Boston.

In all, 1,453 students competed in photo, broadcast, graphic design, literary magazine, design and writing contests. There were 601 students recognized with 92 superior, 183 excellent and 326 honorable mention awards.”

Senior Betty Roberts received a superior award and medal for Broadcast Newswriting and senior Talia Patel received an excellent award for Editorial Writing. Junior David Añel had to compete in the Newswriting category, although he would have preferred the design competitions.

About the Contributors
Lion Staff
Lion Staff, Writer
The Lion staff loves to fill in and write about anything Bellarmine Prep-related.
Jeanne Hanigan
Jeanne Hanigan, Teacher/Adviser
Jeanne (Dressel) Hanigan B'84 practices what she preaches or, in this case, what she teaches. An English literature, AP Composition and Journalism teacher at Bellarmine Prep, she is also the founder of the online venue,, a website which celebrates strong and creative prose. She continues to love her newspaper staff, as long as they meet their deadlines and fill the snack jar.