Gibson to Compete at State Friday

Kristen Orsak, Opinion Editor

Celeste Gibson, center, poses with CHS students who placed at Regionals. Gibson was the only student to advance.

The rapid click of computer keys fills the silence of the room. People are studying the prompt and developing transitions. The words pour onto the page in a haphazard manner. Nerves are running high. This is it.

State-qualifier Celeste Gibson will travel to Austin, Texas, on May 3rd and 4th to compete in News Writing at the State Meet.

“I have never advanced to state before,” Gibson said. “This is my senior year, and it is my third year to compete in this event. Honestly, I was just there to do my best and have fun doing what I love.”

In News Writing, you receive a prompt with details about a specific upcoming event. Your goal is then to write a news story, in Associated Press Style, explaining the specifics about the event using the information and interviews you were provided.

“Celeste has been a student of mine every year she has been in high school,” Brookshire said. “She helps a lot when it comes to editing papers and answering questions for younger students. Overall, she is a very talented girl.”

Talent isn’t always what makes or breaks you in journalism events. Often times, it is simply depending on the judges you have.

Celeste Gibson and Student Publications adviser, Sydney Brookshire pose with the District Top Journalism Team trophy and Gibson’s third place medal from regionals.

“I am pretty nervous for state,” Gibson said. “This will be my first and last time to compete at state. I feel like I am either going to do really good or really bad.”

Outside of practicing copy editing skills, the only way you can truly prepare for News Writing is to read and write news stories.

“News is supposed to be unbiased,” Gibson said. “For me, it is hard not to form my own opinion about the material. I push that aside when writing, but it helps me stay interested in the topic while I am preparing.”

All journalism events are subjective. This aspect of the competition makes it fairly difficult because it depends on what the judge thinks about your writing or opinion and not necessarily the paper itself.

“It wasn’t a shock that Celeste made it to state,” coach Sydney Brookshire said. “It was a shock that she didn’t bring other people with her. Going into the regional competition I thought that I would have at least two competitors advance to state. We ended up with only one.”

Celeste will be competing against the top news writers in the state. This gives her the chance to receive an award at the State Meet for News Writing and qualifies her for the Texas Interscholastic League Foundation (TILF) Scholarship.

“This is my last chance to prove myself,” Gibson said. “I’m excited and nervous all the same.”