Senior Tim Shedor from Shawnee Mission East High School has been named the Kansas 2010 High School Journalist of the Year.
Shedor is the co-editor-in-chief of East’s award-winning newspaper, The Harbinger.
“I do journalism because I have not found a class that can teach me, reprimand me, and correct me as quickly as journalism can,” Shedor wrote in the essay that accompanied his voluminous JOY application.
Shedor has been on the Harbinger staff since his sophomore year, when he first caught adviser Dow Tate‘s attention.
Over the last three years, Shedor has developed into “a strong focused leader of the 42-person (Harbinger) staff,” Tate wrote in his letter of recommendation.
Shedor will be recognized at the KSPA State Contest on May 1 in Lawrence, where he will be awarded a $1,000 check.
The second- and third-place winners will also be recognized at the State Contest.
Nikki Wentling from McPherson High School will accept the $500 prize that comes with second place, and Phoebe Unterman from Shawnee Mission East will accept the $250 that comes with third place.
Wentling is the editor-in-chief of the High Life, McPherson’s paper, which she joined three years ago as a freshman.
She has persevered through a difficult senior year during which the High Life made national news, and the paper changed advisers mid-year.
She summed up her year: “These three months have given me lasting bonds of friendship with those who stuck with me, a new outlook on journalism and life, and the three best months of my journalistic career so far. Receiving this award would be a tremendous honor, but those moments are more important to me than any award I could receive.”
McPherson Principal Bret McClendon said he will miss Wentling’s leadership next year.
“Nikki’s someone I can lean on, ask questions of and learn from,” McClendon said after learning of Wentling’s award. “I am very proud of her.”
East’s Unterman shares editor-in-chief duties with Shedor, and she has been on The Harbinger staff for three years.
In her essay, Unterman took pride in her role as a storyteller, and she wrote that she hopes to pursue a career in investigative journalism.
Unterman’s portfolio included numerous examples of her storytelling ability, but also featured her work as a multimedia journalist, particularly in helping build a strong Web presence for The Harbinger.
Adviser Tate noted Unterman’s creativity and leadership skills in his letter of support.
The KSPA High School Journalist of the Year selection committee consisted of faculty from the University of Kansas, Kansas State University and Wichita State University.
Shedor’s portfolio will be forwarded to the national Journalism Education Association Journalist of the Year committee, and he will be eligible to win $5,000 as the national winner. Shawnee Mission East boasts two national winners in the last five years: Amanda Allison in 2007 and Libby Nelson in 2005.