CCJH Student Ragan Stoltz Named Journalist of the Year Award

APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. - May 3, 2022 - PRLog -- National recognition is shining once again on a student journalist at Cactus Canyon Junior High, 1575 W. Southern Ave. in Apache Junction.

Ragan Stoltz, the yearbook editor at CCJH was recently honored in Los Angeles as the Journalism Education Association's 2022 Aspiring Young Journalist (

Stoltz was honored for her excellence in the following areas:
  • Skilled and creative use of media
  • Inquiring mind and investigative persistence
  • Courageous and responsible handling of issues
  • Variety of journalistic experiences
  • Sustained and commendable work with school media

In his nomination letter, Cactus Canyon adviser Jason Davis, CJE, praised Stoltz for eagerness that helped her become the Oro yearbook's first seventh grade editor in chief.

"Ragan gets it done," Davis wrote. "As a seventh grader, she was the first to go cover an event when we had no one else to do it. If we needed something, she stepped up. It never mattered to Ragan if it was her first time or her 50th, she took it on.

In his letter Davis continued to highlight Stoltz's dedication and progress.

"As an eighth grader this year, she continued to grow into her leadership role. Her ambition for success keeps other students motivated and on track."

Stoltz highlighted the importance student journalism plays on campuses and in the community in an essay she submitted.

"Without student journalists the student's only form of information would be gossip, filled with many unreliable sources," Stoltz wrote. "Student publications also allow a new level of creativity and freedom of expression for students. It can help teach them about their rights as citizens and that they are allowed to report on anything without being afraid of backlash because of it. Journalism teaches people that it's OK to tell the full story and that they shouldn't be afraid of the truth."

Stoltz is helping create an ongoing precedent at the school. Two years ago another CCJH journalist (, Tiffany Hutcheson, won the same national award. Both students will in the same program that is now offered at Apache Junction High School, 2525 S. Ironwood Drive in AJ.

Even more accolades and opportunities could be in store for local students in the Apache Junction and Gold Canyon area.

Recent changes in enrollment will offer a number of prospects for more students as AJUSD will welcome sixth graders to the junior high in the 2022-2023 school year. Advantages include the opportunity to take more electives, participate in sports, and access to more student wellness programs.

Registration for all new students who wish to enroll in Apache Junction Unified School District

schools are currently being accepted at all school locations. For more information about AJUSD or its schools or departments visit

Sally Marks
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