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Congratulations to the 2024 April Monthly Contest Winners!

The KSPA April monthly contest wraps up the school year as the final contest of the year.

Over the course of the 2023-2024 school year, the monthly contests gathered 901 entries over the seven months. This installment of the April contest gathered the most entries of any April monthly contest during the past seven years with 122 entries.

The strongest showing by one school came from Shawnee Mission East, earning nine total awards. Among those placings were four first-place awards, three second-place awards and two third places. Other schools earning many awards this month: Lawrence Free State (5); Bishop Miege (4): Blue Valley Southwest (4); Shawnee Mission North (4); and Mill Valley (4).

Congratulations to the winners of the contests this month and throughout the school year.

Academics Photography

  • first place: Academics Photography: Anahi Silva: Shawnee Mission North High School

Making time for changes, senior Eric Valdez said he was excited to fix and change up his car by putting spacers on the lift. “I was feeling ready to finally fix up my vehicle,” Valdez said. His goal was to redo the alignment to his car in his auto tech class.

  • second place: Academics Photography: Caroline Martucci: Shawnee Mission East High School

Juniors Breanna Quigley and Brigid Cronin attempt to stretch a balloon over a cut-open plastic bottle as junior Mackenzie Loeb holds the bottle. Anatomy class did an activity to learn about the lungs on Thursday, April 11.

  • third place: Academics Photography: Ragan Dobbins: Blue Valley High School

Focused on her painting, sophomore Bryanna Lausten develops her skill. Lausten said she learned a lot in Painting I and would recommend it anyone looking for an art class. “I was able to express my creativity,” she said. “I don’t want to pursue it in my future because I don’t want to be a starving artist and not make money — I’d rather go into radiology.”

Feature Writing

  • first place: Feature Writing: Avery Anderson: Shawnee Mission East High School: LINK
  • second place: Feature Writing: Sri Trikona, Addie Aadland: Blue Valley Northwest: LINK
  • third place: Feature Writing: Ada Lillie Worthington: Shawnee Mission East High School: LINK


  • first place: Infographics: Sophia Brockmeier: Shawnee Mission East High School

  • second place: Infographics: Avery Clement: Mill Valley High School

  • third place: Infographics: Emma Vogt, Gabby Anderson: Bishop Miege High School

Multimedia Storytelling

  • first place: Multimedia Storytelling: Emma Clement, Evan LeRoy, Avery Cole, Molly Griffin: Mill Valley High School: LINK
  • second place: Multimedia Storytelling: Nathan Kramer: Lawrence Free State High School: LINK

News Page Design

  • first place: News Page Design: Greta Grist: Shawnee Mission Northwest H.S.

  • second place: News Page Design: Katie Campbell: Lawrence Free State High School

  • third place: News Page Design: Jules Shumaker, Avery Clement: Mill Valley High School

News Writing

  • first place: News Writing: Grace Rau: Shawnee Mission Northwest H.S.: LINK
  • second place: News Writing: Mya Roberts: Olathe South High School: LINK
  • third place: News Writing: Aidan Fayette, Katharine Lopez-Couto: Blue Valley Southwest High School: LINK

Opinion Writing

  • first place: Opinion Writing: Kai McPhail: Shawnee Mission East High School: LINK
  • second place: Opinion Writing: Rylee Green: Shawnee Mission Northwest H.S.: LINK
  • third place: Opinion Writing: Claire Vespestad: Blue Valley Southwest High School: LINK

Photo Illustration

  • first place: Photo Illustration: Adelyn Cellio: Blue Valley Southwest High School: Cover of the 2024 senior issue

  • second place: Photo Illustration: Prajwal Adhikari: Blue Valley Northwest: Underage gambling is a common practice that can lead to a variety of consequences.

Portrait Photography

  • first place: Portrait: Maddy Mullins: Blue Valley West High School

Colorful Traditions. On April 2, at the Blue Valley West diversity assembly senior Gabriela De Lima shows her Mexican culture through a traditional dance. The assembly showed off different cultures through a variety of performances and with De Lima’s performance students saw how colorful the traditional folklórico dress is. “I thought it was really fun, and it allowed me to show people something that I am proud of,“ De Lima said.

  • second place: Portrait: Allie Elton: Olathe South High School

Preparing on the on deck circle, senior Colin Guerra practices his swings before pitching on April 15. Tensions were high for the players with playing against their rivals, Olathe East. “I felt the rivalry between the two. I felt like we had to beat them and it’s pretty competitive,” Guerra said. I’m really proud of my team. We work really hard and we can beat anyone.”

  • third place: Portrait: Kate Pedrotti: Bishop Miege High School

As they laugh together, seniors Frances Schwarz and Abigail Harden come out to support the girls lacrosse team. The team won their game against Lee’s Summit at home 11-3. “Francie and I like to do everything together,” Harden said. “Even if we are some of the only people at the game, we cheer loud and have fun with it.”

Sports Photography

  • first place: Sports Photography: Blaine Leyden: Olathe South High School

Rebounding from a tough lie, sophomore Sam Denke pops his golf ball up out of the sand and onto the green. Deneke emphasized putting spin on this ball to stick it next to the pin. This shot started the comeback to his round as he almost dunked the ball in the hole at Prairie Highlands. “My goal was to put tons of spin on [the ball] and stick it within five feet,” Deneke said.

  • second place: Sports Photography: Paige Bean: Shawnee Mission East High School

Senior Marin McElhinney jumps into a firebird on Apr. 11. during the varsity jazz routine of ‘Snow Angel’. The Lancer Dancers perform all of their routines from the year at their annual spring show. This was the last regular number before the seniors group number.

  • third place: Sports Photography: Isabelle Prô: Lawrence Free State High School

Cheering loud, sophomore Ben Graves celebrates after running home to win the game. The Firebirds beat Olathe Northwest in extra innings on April 4. “It felt good to come through with that base hit in extra innings to win the game,” Graves said.

Sports Writing

  • first place: Sports Writing: Daniel Sullivan: Bishop Miege High School: LINK
  • second place: Sports Writing: Sofia Ball: Shawnee Mission Northwest H.S.: LINK
  • third place: Sports Writing: Lucy Stephens: Shawnee Mission East High School: LINK

Student Life Photography

  • first place: Student Life Photography: Laurel Hansen: Shawnee Mission North High School

With the moon eclipsing the sun above the school, Environmental Ed students junior Aleana Ross and senior Emilia Henry stood with their class on the Practice Field. The girls shared a pair of glasses to watch as the moon eclipsed the sun at 90% totallity at 1:48p.m.. “I was very grateful Emi was gracious enough to share her glasses with me as it was very tempting not to stare at the sun,” Ross said. “Overall I had a lot of fun and felt lucky I was able to witness it.”

  • second place: Student Life Photography: Anders Benson: Lawrence Free State High School

In shock, senior prom court member Tehya Jacobs makes her way to the stage to receive her title as prom queen. Tehya Jacobs was crowned alongside prom king Nolan Craig at Abe and Jakes on April 19. “I would’ve never guessed I was going to win,” Jacobs said. “It’s a great feeling to have before graduation.”

  • third place: Student Life Photography: Bella Bachand: Blue Valley Southwest High School

Pulling the rope, sophomore Ariel Campelo participates in the tug-of-war game with her advisory class on April 12.

Video News

  • first place: Video News: Ava Mendez: Mill Valley High School: LINK
  • second place: Video News: Preston Hooker, Ryder Hendon, Alex Sajna, Mason Sajna: Shawnee Mission East High School: LINK
  • third place: Video News: Kate Miller, Kevin Chacon-Rivera: Gardner-Edgerton High School: LINK

Video Production

  • first place: Video Production: Alex Sajna, Mason Sajna: Shawnee Mission East High School: LINK

Yearbook Copy

  • first place: Yearbook Copy: Macy Williams: Shawnee Mission North High School: LINK
  • second place: Yearbook Copy: Kate McGuire: Bishop Miege High School: LINK
  • third place: Yearbook Copy: Lilly Wall: Lawrence Free State High School: LINK

Yearbook Layout

  • first place: Yearbook Layout: Jaxon Coleman: Maize South High School

  • second place: Yearbook Layout: Emily Peterson: Blue Valley Northwest

  • third place: Yearbook Layout: Noah Panjada: Shawnee Mission North High School

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