Every new teacher knows the feeling of excitement of having your own classroom and your own students for the first time. Those new teachers also know how daunting that moment can be — especially when the class produces a newspaper, yearbook or other media.

KSPA’s mentoring program is here to help. We pair you up with a mentor — someone who knows the joys and challenges of being a publications adviser. These partnerships provide new teachers with the support they need to be successful.

Member pricing

  • PLUS: Your KSPA membership is free too!

Mentors and mentees celebrate together

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Each new year means a whole new set of challenges for your staff: new staff members, new leadership roles, new ideas, new skills. The fall conference series from KSPA puts a day of learning right in your area of the state. Join professional journalists, university faculty and teachers for break-out sessions that your students will love. Kick off the year with this inspirational event.

Also…our on-site critiques allow you to sit down with an expert and get feedback on your most recent publication during the day of the fall conference event.

Member pricing

  • REGULAR REGISTRATION: $15 per attendee
  • LATE REGISTRATION: $18 per attendee

A staff receiving a critique at the fall conference



Your staff works tirelessly to make the best publication you can. So, you deserve expert feedback too. The All-Kansas critique provides your staff with both congratulations for work well done and advice for how to improve. We recruit the professionals who will give honest feedback and who understand the latest in yearbook, newspaper, websites and video journalism.

Also…the top publications are name “All-Kansas” and earn special recognition: announcement at our year-end awards ceremony, a plaque for the classroom and recognition through our social media and website.

Member pricing

  • All-Kansas News Publication Critique $60 per critique
  • All-Kansas Yearbook Critique $60 per critique
  • All-Kansas Website Critique $60 per critique
  • All-Kansas Broadcast Critique $60 per critique




Teachers know that prompt feedback helps students learn. Our monthly contests provide just that kind of immediate response. Plus, the recognition of winning! Almost any piece of journalism that students produce can be entered — from infographics to opinion writing, from yearbook design to multimedia storytelling.

Contests are scheduled for August/September, October, November, December/January, February, March and April, with deadlines at the end of each month.

Also…all of the top entries are displayed on our website, so that your students can see their incredible work showcased. Plus, you can use the winning work to spur classroom discussions on the latest excellent work in student journalism.

Member pricing

  • Photo of the Month $140 pays for up to 4 entries per month for seven months
  • Story of the Month $140 pays for up to 4 entries per month for seven months
  • Design of the Month $70 pays for two entries per month for seven months.
  • Multimedia of the Month $70 pays for two entries per month for seven months.

Monthly contest winner, Sam Bartlett of Maize High School for photo illustration



KSPA proudly recognizes two high school award winners each year: the Kansas Student Journalist of the Year and the winner of the Courage in Journalism Award.

KSPA conducts the statewide High School Journalist of the Year contest for the Journalism Education Association. The Kansas High School Journalist of the Year is named in February and the winning portfolio is forwarded to JEA for the national competition. KSPA recognizes winners in three classifications (1A/2A, 3A/4A and 5A/6A) and awards $750 to each, with the overall winner earning another $500. The JEA national winner earns $3,000, and runners-up earn $850.

Started in 2019, the Courage in Journalism Award continues the legacy of Mary Beth Tinker, who challenged her school all the way to a victory at the Supreme Court. Winners of this award showcase bravery in their work as student journalists for the school publications.

Also…KSPA presents the Mary Patrick Aspiring Journalist Award to a middle school student who has shown publication excellence. The winner receives a scholarship to one of the state’s summer journalism workshops.

Student Awards

  • Overall Kansas Student Journalist of the Year
  • 1A/2A, 3A/4A and 5A/6A Kansas Student Journalists of the Year
  • Courage in Journalism Award
  • for middle school students: Mary Patrick Aspiring Journalist Award

2019 Kansas Student Journalist of the Year Nicole Marie Konopelko of Pittsburg High School with KSPA executive director Eric Thomas



We bring the contest to you! Traveling to a national contest to have the experience of competing can be expensive and time-consuming. The KSPA Regional Contests uses six university campuses around the state to make the contest convenient and accessible. You even get to choose the campus that suits you best.

We offer 19 categories so that every student on your staff can compete. Each contest provides a specific challenge for students to design, write, photograph or draw. And each entry receives individualized feedback. It’s a signature KSPA event that you won’t want to miss.

Also…students who earn awards at their Regional Contest advance to the State Contest where they can earn further awards and receive more expert feedback.

Member pricing

  • Cost per entry: $12 per school

Regional Contest winning entry by Lainie Duckworth & Libby Frye of Shawnee Mission East High School



The culminating event in the KSPA calendar is the State Contest in May at the University of Kansas campus. Students from across the state gather for a day of recognition, competition and fun.

Students can be crowned as state champions. (And yes, we provide medals!) Plus, the schools that earn the most points as a team compete for the Sweepstakes Award, recognizing them as the top students in their 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A or 6A class.

Also…advisers meet to celebrate teacher and professional awards at our annual brunch. It’s a great time to share a table and ideas with teachers from around the state.

Member pricing

  • Cost per entry: $12 per school
  • Adviser Brunch: approximately $16 per person

Winning photography by Sophie Osborn of Chanute High School



Let us take one thing off your full to-do list. We can forward your registration along to JEA if you make a payment to us. Plus, registering through KSPA provides us a little extra financial support.

Member pricing

  • Adviser registration $70