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Eagle Eye Continues Winning Streak Amidst Pandemic
Christina Yasutomi

The 2020-2021 Eagle Eye Staff gathered together to watch the virtual High School Journalism Awards. This is seventh-consecutive year that HBA's journalism program has won Best in State. Photo courtesy of the Eagle Eye. 

The staff of the Eagle Eye, HBA’s student news source at the high school, has claimed its seventh-consecutive state title while operating under a pandemic. 

“I believe that a lot of credit goes to the students themselves and our teaching team at HBA. A student doesn't just suddenly become a strong writer, illustrator, photographer or filmmaker when they show up at my News Production class; for example, they have been taught how to read and write well—and think critically—in their English classes. Or when we have students who have taken photography or filmmaking courses, they come well-equipped to put their skills to work for the Eagle Eye. Also, I've been fortunate to have students who are willing to try new things, are very receptive to feedback, and ultimately willing to put in the hard work to get something done,” said Eunice Sim, journalism teacher. 

Sim was hired as the journalism teacher in 2013. Since then, she has consistently led the team to the state title. Despite the challenges brought about by COVID-19, Sim continued to run her classes with the same purpose in mind. She adjusted by scaling down the number of projects. 

“I believe it’s OK to do less (in terms of volume), as long as we continue to do excellent work.”

The Eagle Eye received $600 from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the Hawaii Publishers Association and Trade Media Hui for placing first in the Best in State, photo and design categories.

The Hawaii High School Journalism Awards is an annual competition that recognizes journalism programs across the state. This year, 12 high schools participated in the virtual competition, which was co-sponsored by the Hawaii Publishers Association, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s school of communication. In second place is Mid-Pacific Institute followed by Mililani High School. Read more about their big win in this article by Johanna Seng, editor-in-chief.