Sagamore Hills Native Recognized in Best of Press Awards

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WINONA LAKE, IND. —Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy alumna Brittany Misencik of Sagamore Hills received recognition from the Illinois Press Association in their 2021 Best of Press Awards, earning third place in the “Rookie of the Year” category. Misencik, a 2020 Grace College graduate, is now serving as a general assignment reporter for the Centralia Morning Sentinel in Centralia, Illinois.

“It’s impressive enough that Brittany graduated from college and launched a journalistic career during the pandemic shutdown — let alone received statewide recognition during her first year on the job,” said Dr. Lauren Rich, chair of the Department of Humanities at Grace College. “We know that this is just the beginning of Brittany’s impactful career,” she added.

Misencik majored in secondary English education and minored in journalism at Grace. After applying for multiple teaching positions, the pandemic shifted Misencik’s career plans; she decided her shot at journalism was “now or never.” “I hoped that someone would take a chance on me, fresh out of college with a teaching degree,” said Misencik.

David Penticuff, editor at Centralia Morning Sentinel, was that someone.

“Brittany is very talented and very enthusiastic about putting herself to work for people in our community. In many ways, Brittany is an old-fashioned reporter who is concerned about telling stories that can change the community. She does the things that are historically the best parts of journalism; she’s fair, she’s accurate, and she works hard. She’s an editor’s dream,” said Penticuff.

Misencik’s background in education came in handy. She was assigned several stories about the challenges of education through the pandemic. A number of those stories contributed to her winning “Editorial Rookie of the Year,” which Penticuff nominated her for.

“It was incredibly special for me to see the growth in my writing and the support and from David, who spent a lot of extra hours for line-by-line edits with me in the first few months I started,” said Misencik. “He pushes me each day to write pieces that bring light to issues in the community, even if they ruffle feathers,” she said.

Looking ahead, Misencik still hopes to teach language arts one day. But now, her hopes include adding some journalism courses to the mix.

Learn more about the journalism major at Grace College at www.grace.edu/programs/journalism/.

Photos Attached: Sagamore Hills native Brittany Misencik, received recognition from the Illinois Press Association in their 2021 Best of Press Awards.