About the Portfolio of the Year Contest

The Kansas Scholastic Press Association recognizes the best individuals in Kansas scholastic journalism in four different categories– design, photojournalism, video and reporting. Based on their submitted portfolios, KSPA judges select the best in each category and division. This contests is open to any student journalist on a staff with a current KSPA membership. Here are the 2021 Portfolio of the Year winners.

Photojournalist of the Year

5A/6A & Overall Winner:

Jessica Witt: Blue Valley Northwest

Quote about Jessica’s work from a KSPA judge:

Jessica’s work was a great example of finding photos at interesting moments and then being able to do something just a bit different or unique with them that helps make the photo memorable. Be that finding a unique perspective to shoot the photo from or capturing THE precise moment of maximum energy/joy/storytelling efficacy, Jessica’s work stood apart from the other applicants. Technically, every image was really strong and every image was one that elevated the image beyond just a snapshot taken but a photography made with intent and skill.

Videographer of the Year

5A/6A & Overall Winner:

Lawder DeSantis: Shawnee Mission East High School

Quote about Lawder’s work from a KSPA judge:

This submission had all the earmarks of strong visual storytelling: good story selection, coverage of a variety of topics, strong shooting, writing, editing that tell a story. Nice incorporation of NAT sound in packages. Simply an overall strong compilation of stories, set apart from other entries by the variety of topics covered, as well as the use of reporter narrative/track in some of the packages.

Designer of the Year

3A/4A Winner

Alyssa Andoyo: Chanute High School

Quote about Alyssa’s work from a KSPA judge:

This designer is not only a gifted artist, but is skilled in a wide-range of work. Alyssa showed she can create spotlight photo illustrations, excellent editorial cartoons and even advertisements. All her work is reader-friendly, engaging and looks professional.

5A/6A Winner& Overall Winner

Catherine Erickson: Shawnee Mission East High School

Quote about Catherine’s work from a KSPA judge:

Stunning. It’s the first and last word that comes to mind when describing this designers wide-range of work. From movie reviews, to covers, to news stories, and to in-depth spreads, Catherine creates engaging designs that make readers want to read. The most stunning design (even if readability does come into question) is the Sexual Assault spread – breathtaking. Catherine clearly designs with her heart, mind and soul. Well done!

Writer of the Year

5A/6A & Overall Winner:

Catherine Erickson: Shawnee Mission East High School

Quote about Catherine’s work from a KSPA judge:

The student wrote well-researched and interesting articles about varied topics. She submitted a feature, analysis, news story, opinion and center-spread type of story. There were details and quotes that added to the articles. Several of the stories can also have follow-ups as they are of ongoing interest to the school community.