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The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

A star in the making

Student journalist is recognized for his hard work and persistence
Nathan Buroker
Quinn Burton received the title of 2024 Nebraska Journalist of the Year on March 4, 2024, leaving behind a legacy for years to come.

With a keen eye for detail, a passion for storytelling and dedication to truth, one young Millard West journalist has captured the hearts and minds of readers through his work. Senior Quinn Burton has claimed the title of 2024 Nebraska Student Journalist of the Year, changing the world of journalism one headline at a time. 

After initially enrolling in Intro to Journalism as a freshman, Burton has gotten the opportunity to only expand upon his creativity and overall writing skills within his last four years in the class. Being in all three publications, Burton has displayed his leadership skills through Broadcast Journalism, Yearbook and Advanced Journalism, where he holds the all-mighty position of Editor-in-Chief. 

Millard West’s Journalism advisor, Mark Hilburn, has played a major part in pushing Burton toward success; teaching him the basics while watching him excel on his own.  

“Over the years, seeing him master his techniques while using the same skills that I had shown him in the beginning to help current students on staff just proves how much he has grown and improved as a storyteller and editor,” Hilburn said. “I think Quinn has gotten a lot more confident over these last few years, and that stems mostly from him being Editor- and Chief and taking on more leadership experience. He is incredibly determined; putting a newspaper together isn’t easy and yet he spends so much of his own time while using what he’s learned to build a quality newspaper several times a year.”

Not only has he remained a leading influence on his classmates, but he has also shown time and time again just how his creativity has driven him to success. Beginning the process in early November, Burton put together a portfolio containing everything from his best-written stories to his perfectly crafted newspaper layouts for the judges to view.  

“I built my portfolio on WIX and I gradually began to add different pieces of my work from the past four years into the design that fit the judging criteria,” Burton said. “I mostly followed a rubric that contained all the requirements to display my broadcasting, advanced, and yearbook work. The entirety of the project took quite some time and effort but it was all worth it in the end.”

Burton was able to receive much support from his peers and fellow staff members throughout his time spent in the classroom. As a main representation of Millard West student journalism, he has made a long-lasting mark on all who have had the opportunity to work alongside him. 

“When I heard Quinn had won Journalist of the Year, I was ecstatic. He has worked so hard for this and I’m so glad that he has gotten the recognition that he deserves,” senior Delaney Lueck said. “As a classmate and friend, I know he will do big things, and it’s awesome to have someone represent our school with that title. His work truly speaks for itself and his writing and knowledge are well beyond his years. He is truly remarkable.”

Burton never drops below standard, always putting his all into what he does no matter the size. From the beginning, he has pushed others to their greatest potential while simultaneously making his mark on the school community and evolving into the storyteller that he is today. 

“The whole experience felt truly validating,” Burton said. “The fact that my work was being approved by professional journalists has given me such a boost of confidence, knowing what I do and the time that I spend is worth something much more.”

In the months to follow, Burton will compete against various other state winners for the National Journalist of the Year title. Whether he obtains it or not, a solid foundation for his up-and-coming future has been laid out before him as he continues to go above and beyond with his journalistic work.

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About the Contributors
Carley Bailey
Carley Bailey, Staff Reporter
Carley is a senior starting up her third year on the Millard West CATalyst staff. She enjoys drawing, painting, writing, and listening to all sorts of music in her free time, when she’s not spending time with her close friends. This school year, she’s looking forward to writing plenty of entertainment and opinion pieces and hopes to return to State Journalism for the second year in a row.
Nathan Buroker
Nathan Buroker, Staff Reporter
Nate is a senior and this is his second year on the CATalyst staff. In class, he enjoys writing reviews on new entertainment and doing broadcasts on school related events. Outside of school, Nate enjoys spending time with his friends, trying new restaurants, and working.

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