Nguyen garners state and national journalism honors


Brandi Marlin

Knight Crier Executive Editor Hannah Nguyen at the 2019 School Board Candidates Town Hall.

The role as a high school student journalist can prove to be daunting in a world where paper has turned to screens and websites and a global pandemic has eliminated much of the content a high school newspaper covers. Despite the circumstances, North Penn’s Knight Crier Executive Editor Hannah Nguyen is being celebrated for her achievements in statewide journalism awards competitions. 

“Hannah has developed into a thorough, tough, and detail-oriented journalist, something the world of media needs now as much as ever,” Knight Crier Advisor Kevin Manero said, when reflecting on Nguyen’s growth since being in his class. 

Shortly after the start of April, Nguyen received news that she had won two first place awards for her work in the Pennsylvania Press Club – National Federation of Press Women 2021 High School Journalism Contest. Her article Opinion: The Forgotten Race, a piece highlighting the increased racism towards the asian community amongst the pandemic, received first place in the opinion category. She also placed first on the list for feature stories with One step at a time for Arianna Simpson, a story on a North Penn student’s experience with mental health. 

With the competitions taking place outside the curriculum, Nguyen took the time to see what options were out there for young writers like her. With this year being her third and final as an extraordinary member of the Knight Crier team, she decided to give it a try. 

“It’s an opportunity to see what other people think of my writing, because I’m so used to Mr. Manero and the staff just reading it, along with people in the area, so I thought it would be cool to see if people think my writing is good enough to actually be ranked,” Nguyen said. 

She saw that in recent years, North Penn students received little recognition in these awards and wanted to see if she could use her work to represent the school and break the trend. However, this is a great change from the shy girl who first walked through the doors of K239, and at first contemplated dropping the class. 

“Mr. Manero asked that I write one article before making a decision, and I decided to give it a try. Despite how cliche it sounds, writing that first article truly changed everything for me. From that point forward, Mr. Manero and the staff at the time made me feel like I belonged and that I was a good writer. I joined The Knight Crier initially feeling like my writing wasn’t good enough. But now that it’s been three years, I can honestly say that I am much more confident in my work and that journalism is truly my passion,” Nguyen said.

At the beginning of March, Nguyen also received word that she had placed runner-up in the 2020-21 Dr. Jane Blystone Pennsylvania Student Journalist of the Year Award. The competition required an extensive application process with multiple submissions of her work to build a portfolio along with an analysis of her writing process, an essay, and recommendation letters. Her submissions had to fall under designated sections such as leadership, entrepreneurship, and design. 

“Hannah’s growth as a writer and as a confident person over the last 3 years has been so great to see,” Manero said. 

Nguyen plans to continue her work and pursue a career in journalism. Although the year is winding down and her time here with the Knight Crier is coming to an end, her legacy for effort, commitment, and thoughtful ideas will continue to make an impact at North Penn.