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Higgins, King Win at Bigler

By: Kendall Farthing/Junior Writer

Blue Ridge seniors Tim Higgins and Foxlynn King were honored at the Tom Bigler Conference on Friday, March 31, 2023 with first place awards for sports writing and online layout respectively.

The Tom Bigler Conference is held annually at Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, PA and is named in honor of Tom Bigler, a former professor of communication studies at Wilkes University and a local award-winning journalist.

According to the Wilkes University website, “Bigler taught journalism and ethics courses, was faculty adviser to The Beacon, Wilkes University’s student newspaper, and started an annual high school journalism conference.”

The annual conference is meant to bring high school journalists together with media and communications representatives, most of them local.

This year’s keynote speaker was Sam Goodwin, an American who was imprisoned in Syria in 2019. Goodwin told the crowd how his sister’s friendship with a Mideastern woman facilitated his release.

“I thought his story was really cool,” says Blue Ridge junior Julie Serra. “I liked how he told it as a lesson in perseverance.”

In addition to the keynote speaker, Bigler attendees The contest portion of the conference recognizes outstanding writing, photography, design/layout and production among student journalists.

Higgins, who mostly writes the social media posts for the Raider Reader, says: “Winning the sports writing award was pretty exciting, I’ll admit it.”

Foxlynn King is the Raider Reader’s editor-in-chief and also a first-year journalist. She says: “I am really honored to be in the position I am in, especially as I started in the second semester.”

According to advisor Kimberly Davenport, this year has been one of rebuilding.

“All our students this year are new to the journalism program, so I believe the two awards are a really nice recognition for Tim and Foxlynn. Both are valued members of the staff and I am really glad to have them on board. I am going to miss their contribution next year.”

In all, 22 Blue Ridge students attended the Bigler Conference. Other Raider Reader journalists nominated for awards include:

Blue Ridge students at the Bigler Conference, Wilkes-Barre, PA on Friday, March 31, 2023.

Read Tim Higgins’ award-winning article here:

See Tom Bigler’s biography here:


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Kendall Farthing
Kendall Farthing
Kendall is a senior that is striving for greatness in school to pursue her dream in Zoology. Kendall plays softball, basketball. She golfs and also skis. Skiing is her favorite thing to do in the winter but softball is her number one interest, overall. In Kendall's free time, she enjoys the company of her friends and family. Kendall loves to be outdoors, especially hiking and geocaching with the school's geocaching club.
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