The KSPA October monthly contest has spotlighted the exceptional talent within the Kansas high school journalism community. Several schools demonstrated exceptional talent across various categories. Shawnee Mission East High School conquered the competition, claiming first place in “Yearbook Copy,” “Opinion Writing,” “Infographics” and “Video Production.” Their well-rounded skills in written journalism, design and multimedia storytelling showcased their commitment to journalistic excellence. Mill Valley High School also made a significant impact, securing first place in “Sports Writing,” “Multimedia Storytelling” and placing in several other categories. The diverse strengths of these schools, coupled with standout performances from Olathe West High School in “Photo Illustration” and Maize Career Academy in “Video News,” highlighted the high caliber of journalism across Kansas high schools in this month’s competition.
Standout individuals in this contest include Alexis Clifton of Ulysses High School (Academics Photography), Maggie McCauley from Bishop Miege High School (Portrait), Greta Grist of Shawnee Mission Northwest H.S. (Opinion Writing), Ren Park of Shawnee Mission South High School (Feature Writing), Annie Self of Olathe West High School (Photo Illustration), Laci Lister of Olathe West High School (Sports Photography), Addie Moore of Shawnee Mission East High School (Infographics) and Meg McAfee from Mill Valley High School (Sports Writing). These students demonstrated exceptional journalistic skills and creativity in their respective categories.
- first place: Academics Photography: Alexis Clifton: Ulysses High School
THE POWER OF LITERATURE. Preparing for a project in her Young Adult Literature class on Sept. 29, Anay Almanza, 11, writes quotes about the themes and characters in the book “Whirligigs,” by Paul Fleischman. As Almanza reviewed various literary terms, she also learned to connect the characters to her own life. Teacher Misti Becker thought “this was a good way to review terms so they could identify them in a piece of literature,” Becker said. “It (literature) is a good way of learning about ourselves and the human condition.”
- second place: Academics Photography: Idalia Corral: Ulysses High School
ORGANIZED THOUGHTS. Fulfilling a requirement for his Public Speaking class, Baylor Deyoe, 12, demonstrates how to put a halter on his Angus heifer on Oct. 12. Deyoe also explained how to groom and prepare his animal for showing. “Students give their best speeches about things they care about and know about,” instructor Tamra Rundell said. “The most important thing about a speech class is learning how to organize your ideas so you can speak.”
- third place: Academics Photography: Maggie McCauley: Bishop Miege High School
Focused on her new muscle model of the arm, junior Jane Werner builds a visual of the triceps and biceps on a skeletal body. In the new Human Body Systems class at Miege the students build upon a model with every new muscle that they learn. “The most fun muscle that I’ve learned about so far is all the face muscles and the way they function and move and it’s weird to see how they work when we talk,” Werner said.
first place: Portrait: Maggie McCauley: Bishop Miege High School
As she sits in Miss Baher’s Catholic Women’s Empowerment Club freshman Maiya Contreras laughs with her friends and helping other women in need by making words of encouragement cards for women with breast cancer. Catholic Women’s Empowerment Club helps other women in need and help the women the Kansas city area.“ We were laughing about how I couldn’t spell a word correctly for the card I was making and now its a funny joke I have with the girls in the club,” Contreras said.
second place: Portrait: Madi Nelson: Bishop Miege High School
Eyes ahead, freshman Griffin Bloemker pushes through the heat to secure first place in the Miege Invitational held at North Campus. Overall, the team placed first at the meet. “It was close to the majority of the race and then the person that was running with me fell off,” Bloemker said.
third place: Portrait: Anna Sandage: Blue Valley North High School
Freshman varsity volleyball player Reese Maslowski shares an embrace with head coach Matt Allin after losing in the 6A State Championship game. The team fell to the Mill Valley Jaguars in two sets and ended the season with a 38-4 record. “It hurts losing like that,” Maslowski said. “To get so close to the victory and not quite get it was really emotional.”
- first place: Yearbook Copy: Ashley Freund: Shawnee Mission East High School
- second place: Yearbook Copy: Charlotte Wissel: Shawnee Mission East High School
- third place: Yearbook Copy: Sarah Stein: Shawnee Mission East High School
- first place: Opinion Writing: Greta Grist: Shawnee Mission Northwest H.S.
- second place: Opinion Writing: Sydney Barnett: Blue Valley Northwest
- third place: Opinion Writing: Maddie Martin: Mill Valley High School
- first place: Feature Writing: Ren Park: Shawnee Mission South High School
- second place: Feature Writing: Macy Williams: Shawnee Mission North High School
- third place: Feature Writing: Q Duxler: Salina Central High School
first place: Photo Illustration: Annie Self: Olathe West High School
second place: Photo Illustration: Isabelle Prô, Allison Mayhew: Lawrence Free State High School
Shelby Miller’s Graphic Design 1 class works on their design principles. Senior Sarah Masterson has been in the graphic design program for two years and said that being absent for instruction affects her ability to complete assignments. “It is hard for me to make the work when I am not there, so I end up putting it off,” Masterson said. “It gets to the point where it affects my grades long term.”
third place: Photo Illustration: Lila Vancrum: Blue Valley Northwest
Sophomore Olivia Ursama is involved in cheerleading and marching band. “Gamedays can be stressful doing both band and cheer,” Ursama said. “I have gotten used to it since it is my second year, but it can still be stressful because I have to be on time for both groups.”
- first place: News Writing: Sydney Barnett: Blue Valley Northwest
- second place: News Writing: MC Dunn: Bishop Miege High School
- third place: News Writing: Evan LeRoy, Will Schieber , Elizabeth Summa: Mill Valley High School
- first place: Yearbook Layout: Laurel Hansen: Shawnee Mission North High School
- second place: Yearbook Layout: Emma Torres: Leavenworth High School
- third place: Yearbook Layout: Callie Cahoy: Mill Valley High School
Student Life Photography
first place: Student Life Photography: Teryn DeBey: Shawnee Mission North High School
Closing out the homecoming assembly, sophomore Kylie Carrender cheers on fellow drumline member senior owen english while he performs the ‘Mary’ solo. At the end of the assembly the crowd rushed the gym floor and gave spirit hands to encourage the drumline. “That was my favorite pep assembly so far,” Carrender said. “I love the drumline and am so grateful to be able to participate in assemblies with them.”
second place: Student Life Photography: Kaylin Bergeron: Blue Valley West High School
At the Blue Valley West homecoming football game on October 13, senior Lydia Ungashick shares a big smile with her mother after being announced queen. She was later given the honor of crowning the king in front of alumni, family, friends, and students.
third place: Student Life Photography: Haylee Bell: Shawnee Mission Northwest H.S.
Freshman Beatrix Sears draws with chalk Oct. 5 by the Northwest entrance. Sears was drawing Koromaru, a character from the game, Persona 3. “[Koromaru is] very close to my heart and has helped me with my depression and anxiety,” Sears said. “So I thought it’d be fitting in the sense that you were supposed to write nice messages.”
- first place: Sports Photography: Laci Lister: Olathe West High School
SANDY SHOTS Alaina Evans (9) plays at St Andrews Golf Club on Oct. 2. Along with the rest of the Girls Golf varsity team Alaina is making different and exciting shots throughout the match. “I usually try and flatten my club face so I get under it and you have to hit behind the sand or else you’re going to hit it a lot further than you usually want to,” Evans said. Photo By: L. Lister
- second place: Sports Photography: Katie Gillian: Blue Valley West High School
BREAKAWAY. Tearing through the banner, Blue Valley West senior Carson Flake leads his teammates to start off the game strong. On Sept. 2, 2023 the BVW boys soccer team defeated Shawnee Mission West with a final score of 2-1 making them champions of the annual Fat Cat Tournament. “Breaking through the banner is always extremely exciting. I love hyping up the team so we all have the energy to start each game,” said Flake.
- third place: Sports Photography: Abi Limbird: Shawnee Mission East High School
- first place: Sports Writing: Meg McAfee: Mill Valley High School
- second place: Sports Writing: Kate Lucas : Shawnee Mission East High School
- third place: Sports Writing: Alyssa Gagnon: Blue Valley Northwest
- first place: Infographics: Addie Moore: Shawnee Mission East High School
- second place: Infographics: Kinlee Boggs: Shawnee Mission North High School
- third place: Infographics: Avery Clement: Mill Valley High School
- first place: Video News: Haley Barnard, Stahley Sears: Maize Career Academy
- second place: Video News: Arjun Chitale, Michelle Young: Blue Valley West High School
- third place: Video News: Colson Knight: Mill Valley High School
News Page Design
- first place: News Page Design: Callie Dyches: Blue Valley High School
- second place: News Page Design: Gabby Anderson: Bishop Miege High School
- third place: News Page Design: Anjali Kambhampati: Blue Valley North High School
- first place: Multimedia Storytelling: Aubree Ermisch, Avery Clement, Barron Fox: Mill Valley High School
- second place: Multimedia Storytelling: Sarah Masterson, Maria Mosconi: Lawrence Free State High School
- third place: Multimedia Storytelling: Siera Keyser,Hadley Johnston: Salina Central High School
- first place: Video Production: Preston Hooker: Shawnee Mission East High School
- second place: Video Production: Ryder Hendon, Alex Sajna, Mason Sajna: Shawnee Mission East High School
- third place: Video Production: Melanie Coombs, Emma Wilks: Maize Career Academy