Zoe Butler awarded Missouri Student Journalist of the Year

The co-editor-in-chief of the Dart was awarded through both the Journalism Education Association and the Missouri Interscholastic Press Association.


President Nan Bone, from left, reporter Lisa Benson and Zoe Butler pose for a picture during Benson’s tour Feb. 27. Butler will compete on a national level for journalism. photo by Trang Nguyen

by Faith Andrews-O'Neal, Writer

Dart co-editor-in-chief and senior Zoe Butler has been awarded Journalism Education Association (JEA) Missouri Student Journalist of the Year. She was also awarded Student Journalist of the Year by the Missouri Interscholastic Press Association (MIPA), which is the only other state journalism organization.

When receiving her MIPA award, Butler was alerted by a text from Dart advisor Brad Lewis, telling her to check her email. She had a premonition that it would involve the award, but was not certain.

“It wasn’t real until I was looking at the email, and honestly I was speechless,” Butler said. “This was the only time I’ve ever cried from being overjoyed. I ran into the kitchen and told my mom, and we were both screaming and just beyond ecstatic. She made me call each of my family members right then and tell them the news.”

Shortly thereafter, Butler received word that she received the award from JEA.

The school was visited by 41 Action News reporter Lisa Benson because she was reporting on the influence of an all-girls school. President Nan Bone toured Benson around the school and coincidentally stopped by the journalism room. After learning Butler had won Missouri State Journalist, she congratulated Butler.

The senior credits her journalistic experience at the school for her success.

“These past years especially, I’ve fully devoted myself to newspaper,” Butler said. “It was freshmen year journalism when I really got my foundation. I’ve been lucky to be able to explore my writing ever since then. It’s also the place that I met and worked with some of the most influential people in my journalism experience.”

The JEA Missouri Student Journalist Award qualifies Zoe Butler to compete with other student journalists from around the country for the National Student Journalist of the Year contest.