Parkway Central teen’s persistence leads to top journalism award

Abby Prywitch

By Eric Berger, Associate Editor

After the Washington Nationals won the World Series in 2019, Abby Prywitch and her fellow student journalists at Parkway Central High School brainstormed an idea about an alum they would like to interview: Max Scherzer, a star pitcher on the Nationals.

“Right away, I knew that I really wanted to do that story, so I volunteered for it,” said Pyrwitch, who is Jewish and serves as editor-in-chief of Corral, the school’s newspaper.

But it would not be an easy assignment. 

Her persistence in reporting on Scherzer and a number of other well-written stories recently earned Prywitch the 2021 Student Journalist of the Year award from the Missouri Interscholastic Press Association. 

“As the editor-in-chief, she completed a redesign of the newspaper this year, during a pandemic, no less,” Christine Stricker, a Parkway Central teacher and the student newspaper adviser, wrote in a letter recommending Prywitch for the award.

“Abby is not afraid of a challenge. Last year, she worked hard to get in contact with an alum who won the World Series. She was determined and kept making phone calls (that other students would be afraid to do) until she made contact with the player. Her story, so well written, continues to be our most read story – of all time – on our website.”

Her story, headlined “Alum Wins World Series: His advice for young players: ‘Continue to get better,’ ” was published Dec. 19, 2019.

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The Missouri Interscholastic Press Association recognized Prywitch during the 52nd annual Journalism Day on Wednesday, March 31, on the Whova app. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3sFw0f0

After taking the Scherzer assignment, Prywitch worked to find someone who taught with Scherzer’s aunt, a former educator at Parkway Central. She managed to connect with the aunt, who connected Prywitch with Scherzer’s parents.

“They said [Scherzer] was super busy, obviously, since he had just won the World Series, but they would check with him,” said Prywitch, who belongs to Congregation Shaare Emeth.

The right-hander found the time to talk with Pyrwitch and shared advice for aspiring athletes.

“You got to put in the work and put in the practice to really hone your craft and continue to keep marching forward in order to try and make it to the next level,” Scherzer told Prywitch. 

Prywitch said: “That was the most cool experience I have had in journalism because usually I am just interviewing students, so to get to interview someone as big and popular as him was a really cool experience.” 

Prywitch, 17, submitted the Scherzer story and a portfolio of clips for consideration for the journalism award. She was on a spring break trip in Florida when Stricker texted her to let her know she had won.

“I was super excited, and I was also really shocked,” Prywitch said. “It’s probably the biggest award I have ever won.” 

Prywitch, a senior, plans to attend Indiana University Bloomington in the fall and study education and journalism. 

She would like to specialize in elementary education but said, “Journalism is something I want to carry on into my future.”