The Kansas Scholastic Press Association

providing support and leadership in scholastic journalism

The Kansas Scholastic Press Association is a non-profit organization composed of Kansas scholastic journalism students and their teachers. The organization is committed to excellence in journalism at all levels and views its focus as one of providing journalism education leadership for Kansas teachers and students. The KSPA provides a support system through its contests, conferences and scheduled activities.

Join the KSPA

Go to the Membership page to join the most local, active and expert group of journalism educators around!

KSPA’s History

The Kansas Scholastic Press Association has a proud history of serving scholastic journalism programs in the state. Prior to the founding of KSPA in the early 1970s, the Kansas Organization of Publications and Advisers (KOPA) was the state press group that served advisers.

Housed at the University of Kansas for its entire history, KSPA has been led by five directors: Dana Leibengood, Jackie Engel, John Hudnall, Jeff Browne and Eric Thomas. KSPA is unique in many aspects, but the most obvious are the on-site regional and state competitions. These competitions, in 21 areas of journalism at State, help keep the organization and its members involved and active.

The precursor to KSPA was an organization called KOPA, the Kansas Organization of Publications and Advisers, founded in 1967. KOPA’s mission was to serve the school publication advisers in Kansas. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, KSPA coordinated the contests with KOPA, including the first State Contest in 1972.

Other states have followed the “Kansas model” in creating their scholastic press associations. In 1970, retired high school publications adviser Dorothy Greer moved from Kansas to Colorado upon her retirement. She took the KOPA/KSPA blueprint with her and established the Colorado High School Press Association. In 1994, the Freedom Forum published its review of scholastic journalism, “Death by Cheeseburger.” In that publication, the Kansas Scholastic Press Association was cited as one of seven leading press associations in the country.