Entering its 57th year of publication, the Sentinel seeks to present the student body with current and thoughtful articles regarding school, local, and world events. The Sentinel is a student-run newspaper that combines the talents of its staff to produce editions that meet the highest standards of scholastic print media. The Sentinel’s staff members are enrolled in the Journalism II course. Students prepare for participation on the newspaper by enrolling in Journalism 1.
During the 2019-2020 school year, the Sentinel earned national, state and local awards for excellence, including First Place with Special Merit from the American Scholastic Press Association. This was the ninth consecutive year that the Sentinel won a first place rating in the APSA contest.
A number of RedHawk journalists also won awards at the local and state level for articles they wrote throughout the 2019-2020 school year.
The Sentinel has also earned a first-class rating with three marks of distinction from the National Scholastic Press Association and a superior and excellent achievement awards from the Scholastic Press Association of Chicago for overall newspaper and overall layout.
Due to the pandemic, the 2020 IHSA high school journalism competition was cancelled. However, in 2019, three RedHawk journalists won sectionals in IHSA, including senior Gina Musso in both copy writing and news writing, senior Georgia Lattas in copy editing and senior Carolyn Yusa in sports writing. Senior Jenna Fessler placed 2nd in photography, junior Cecelia Gibbons placed 5th in editorial writing and sophomore Grace Molenhouse placed 4th in advertising and editorial cartooning.
At the 2019 IHSA state finals, Musso won 5th place in news writing and 2nd place in copy writing, the only RedHawk in school history to win two medals at the state journalism competition. Senior Georgia Lattas won 2nd at state in copy editing.
Since 2011, a total of 28 RedHawk journalists have advanced to the IHSA journalism state final competition, some in two categories. A total of 8 RedHawks have medaled at state since 2011.
A number of RedHawk journalists have also won or placed in competitions hosted throughout the school year by the IJEA, SPAC and the Illinois Women’s Press Association.
Emma Brown ’19 was named to the Illinois Journalism Education Association’s 2019 All-State Journalism Team, an honor achieved by Gianna Miritello ’18 in 2018. Solomon Davis ‘16 was named the 2016 Chicago High School Journalist of the Year by the McCormick Foundation and the Scholastic Press Association of Chicago. Davis was also named to the Illinois Journalism Education Association 2016 All-State Journalism Team.
The Sentinel is advised by Mr. John J. Gonczy, who is a certified journalism educator through the Journalism Education Association (JEA). Gonczy is president of the IJEA, past president and current secretary of the Scholastic Press Association of Chicago. In 2019, Gonczy was inducted into the IJEA Hall of Fame, the first Catholic high school inductee in the history of IJEA. He is also a recipient of the IHSA Distinguished Service Award for his work in bringing the sectional and state journalism competition to the state of Illinois and his continued contributions to scholastic media programs. In 2005, Gonczy received the JEA’s “Rising Star Award” for excellence in advising, the only Catholic high school teacher in the nation to win the honor that year. Gonczy is also a 2010 Golden Apple award finalist.