The official site of Texas Association of Journalism Educators


The official site of Texas Association of Journalism Educators


The official site of Texas Association of Journalism Educators


Prosper’s Amanda Hare Named Journalist of the Year

Leaning into her microphone, senior Amanda Hare records episode five of the “Over the Popcorn Bowl” podcast. In the episode, Hare discusses Netflix’s new movie “Red Notice” with seniors Gabriella Winans, Alyssa Clark and Christi Norris. The four journalists hosted the first season of the podcast where they reviewed movies. (Photo by Caleb Audia)

Prosper High School senior Amanda Hare represents Texas as its 2022 Journalist of the Year and will compete for the national JOY title in the Journalism Education Association contest. As the Texas winner, Hare will receive the $1,500 Bill Taylor Memorial Scholarship, sponsored by Balfour Publishing.

The Texas Association of Journalism Educators’ JOY committee reviewed eight portfolios from applicants from across the state in late February. Judges chose Hare to represent scholastic journalism in Texas based on her diverse work samples that were strong in all areas.

“It is obvious that the ‘shy freshman with a lot of social anxiety’ has flourished into a confident journalist and leader,” one of the judges noted.

Hare serves as the executive editor-in-chief of Eagle Nation Online and is the first student from Prosper to be named as the Texas JOY.

“I began my journalism career as a writer my freshman year, but over these past four years, I’ve found a love for all journalistic mediums,” Hare said. “I’ve found a home in Eagle Nation Online where I get the privilege of reporting for my community while doing what I love.”

Under Hare’s leadership, Eagle Nation Online became the first paper in the nation to earn SNO’s Distinguished Site Award this school year and helped the publication earn the Quill and Scroll Gallup Award. The publication was also named a 2022 Pacemaker Finalist March 3.

“No matter the assignment, Amanda finds the story behind the event,” Prosper adviser Lisa Roskens said. “In addition, she sees no assignment as too small or too large. She questions, helps and leads others to the truth they need.”

Entries were judged by a panel of three people who analyzed applicants on 11 categories including leadership, writing, reporting and visual communication using the rubric established by JEA.

The judges agreed Hare’s was the top portfolio judged for the competition this year, and each section exceeded the expectations needed to meet the criteria for points.

It was also clear Hare’s leadership establishes a positive environment for her staff. Furthermore, Hare’s personal reflection of her work in her portfolio revealed a mature insight and growth as an editor.

“She embodies the true spirit of the free press that we need to uphold,” ENO editorial board member Alyssa Clark said, “because her greatness will touch the world.”

Hare will represent Texas in the JEA national JOY competition and will be recognized at the JEA/NSPA National Spring Journalism Convention April 7-9 in Los Angeles, where the national winner will be named.

The judges also awarded first runner-up to Kathleen Ortiz from Kingwood Park High School and second runner-up to Austin Williams from St. Mark’s School of Texas.