Renfroe named MS High School Journalist of the Year


This year’s Mississippi High School Journalist of the Year is Laura Renfroe, editor-in-chief of the Hatchie Headlines online student newspaper at Pelahatchie High School.

“Laura Renfroe is the newspaper editor every adviser hopes to one day have; she’s driven, imaginative, tenacious, and, most importantly, dedicated to improving her craft as well as helping the paper grow and succeed,” Hatchie Headlines adviser Laura Grice said. “I have hoped for this moment ever since I read her first article four years ago, and I’m proud of her for putting in the work needed to make this dream come true. I know she will have a major impact on the future of journalism.”


Renfroe will now advance to the national level of the Journalism Education Association’s High School Journalist of the Year competition, where she will compete for up to $3,000 in scholarship award money. As Mississippi’s top scholastic journalist, she will also headline a select group of yet-to-be-announced All-Mississippi honorees at MSPA’s statewide spring convention on Wednesday, March 30 at the University of Mississippi


“I am so honored; I never could have imagined I would get this far when I joined Hatchie Headlines my freshman year,” Renfroe said. “Journalism has truly shaped my high school journey, from connecting me to awe-inspiring people to reminding me, above all, to follow your heart’s passion. No matter what career field I go into, I am eternally grateful for the opportunities and memories journalism has granted me. This has been the most exhilarating adventure. I can’t wait to see how I continue to flourish in the future.”


Renfroe is a senior and plans to study graphic design and journalism at the University of Southern Mississippi. She also plans to study abroad at Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea.   


“For years Laura’s talent has been evident to anyone paying attention,” Mississippi Scholastic Press Association director R.J. Morgan said. “She was the first student ever to earn All-Mississippi recognition from MSPA as a sophomore, and she’s continued improving and perfecting her craft every day since. She’s now a three-time All-Mississippi honoree, another first in our history, and I don’t know of a better standard-bearer in the country for what it means to be a student journalist.”

Renfroe’s winning portfolio can be found here.