Hopped Off the Plane at LAX

The Stampede and Hoofbeat editors took a trip to Los Angeles to attend the National Sscholastic Press Association/Journalism Education Association Spring Convention, as well as explore the surrounding areas



Ava Cornett (‘23) and Brooke Ealy (‘23) capture the moment with a selfie on top of a cliff in Malibu on their first day of the Los Angeles trip.

Sofia Chianella, Editor

It was April 6 when members of the Stampede and Hoofbeat staff landed at LAX airport, ready to start the adventure that would take place over the next four days. The first immediate stop after getting off the plane was In-N-Out Burger, a food chain with locations primarily in the Southwest, leaving these Florida students excited to eat at a place they never had been to before. 

With new experiences occurring for these nine teenagrers, Kole Kemple (‘22) felt that he was able to bond with his friends on the trip as they traveled to different places in the Los Angeles area. 

“I really loved going to the Beachwood Cafe. The cafe held significance to our group because we’re all huge Harry Styles fans so it was really cool,” Kemple said. 

Holding the title of editor in chief for the Stampede yearbook alongside Kemple, Cate Miller (‘22) shared mutual feelings of accomplishment with her year-long partner as the yearbook got inducted into the National Scholastic Press Association Hall of Fame. The yearbook also earned ninth place as Best in Show for the entire convention of award-winning yearbooks.

“It was surreal. We knew we were getting into the Hall of Fame but Best in Show was an amazing surprise to us all. It really showed us that our hard work doesn’t go unnoticed,” Miller said. 

As this year’s Student Life Editor for the yearbook and next year’s People Managing Editor, Brooke Ealy (‘23) described this trip as the best weekend of her life. 

“Going to Venice Beach was the best part because of the laid back vibe and the variety of gift shops,” Ealy said. 

With day one of the trip consisting of trips to In-N-Out Burger, Venice Beach, and Malibu, day two followed with experiences at Hollywood, UCLA, the Griffith Observatory, Rodeo Drive, the Beachwood Cafe, and numerous other stops. Day three consisted of beneficial journalism workshops and competitions that all students participated in, leading up to day four,  consisting of the Grammy Museum and a dinner out in Los Angeles.  

“It is very important to me to take my students on trips like this, because they get to learn from journalism leaders and peers from all across the country. And it’s a goal of mine to take them to see the sights in every city we visit. Next year we head to San Francisco,” McNulty said.