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 2022 Portfolio of the Year winners.

Photojournalist of the Year

3A/4A & Overall Winner: 

Austin Van Meter: Rock Creek High School 

Quote about Van Meter’s work from a KSPA judge:

“It’s a chore to decide who’s the best out of a really strong group of photographers. But Austin’s portfolio is truly excellent. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of these images earn honors at national contests, nor would I be surprised to see the portfolio be in the running for photojournalist of the year.”

5A/6A Winner: 

Gabbie Granoff: Shawnee Mission South High School 

Quote about Granoff’s work from a KSPA judge:

“A lot of great variety in the images in this portfolio. Sports, theatre, classroom/pep assemblies, there’s images of every sort and the images are all excellent. The images all are at the moment of peak action and are technically excellent.”

1A/2A Winner: 

Cheyenne Crow: Flint Hills Christian School

Quote about Crow’s work from a KSPA judge:

“A nice variety of photos. You’ve got some images that show a nice slice of life at your school.

Videographer of the Year

5A/6A & Overall Winner:

Stahley Sears: Maize Career Academy

Quote about Sears’ work from a KSPA judge:

“What made Stahley Spears’ portfolio shine was a variety in topics and storytelling styles balanced with strong videography, solid use of nat sound, exceptional soundbites driving the stories, well-designed on-screen graphics for stats and top notch editing. From the theater to the wrestling mat, Stahley’s work makes powerful verbal-visual connections between soundbites and voice overs with the action footage. Well done!


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See more of Sears’ work:

Sharing the spotlight

Money and more-why the majority of Maize teachers have considered leaving education

Beyond takedowns and pins

How is your sleep affected by screen time before bed?

3A/4A Winner:

Graham Brown: Heritage Christian Academy

Quote about Brown’s work from a KSPA judge:

“HE IS THERE! The first part of journalism is being THERE for the moment, inviting oneself into other people’s lives, then telling their story in their words and actions. From the sidelines to the halls and locker rooms to events – each uses creative angles, strong storytelling images with strong technical skill. This videographer knows how to collect clean audio and super strong B-roll.


[arve url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOaZPvSvSDA” aspect_ratio=”560:315″ loop=”no” muted=”no” /]

See more of Brown’s work:

HCA E-Sports Minecraft Ep 1

Brian Hawthorne St. James Mix


Pinky gets STURDY at the Fall Social?!

Designer of the Year

3A/4A Winner & Overall Winner

Delaney Johnson: Bishop Miege High School

Quote about Johnson’s work from a KSPA judge:

“Delaney clearly understands not only the technical aspects of design, but more importantly how to use elements and principles of design to interest readers. This design portfolio shows a depth of skills and a designer who lets the story lead the design.”

5A/6A Winner

Peyton Moore: Shawnee Mission East High School

Quote about Moore’s work from a KSPA judge:

“Many of the designs are able to convey emotion to the viewer – this ability to combine technical skills and abilities with the ability to connect with readers is powerful.”

Writer of the Year

5A/6A & Overall Winner:

Francesca Stamati: Shawnee Mission East High School

Quote about Stamati’s work from a KSPA judge:

“A maturity of journalistic writing that harnesses the power of contrasting sentence structure. Our best portfolio shows an impressive range of news and features, each built upon thorough reporting. The storytelling — and the writing — are air tight. Excellent work.”


Claire Wicker: Bishop Miege High School

Quote about Wicker’s work from a KSPA judge:

“A story on school security and a theater profile distinguish this portfolio. Both have depth. They employ frequent direct quotes from strong primary sourcing, with crisp sentences and a lively paragraph structure.”