Tanner Maxwell of Goddard High School has been named the 2011 Kansas High School Journalist of the Year.
Maxwell has been editor in chief of The Lion’s Roar newspaper for the past two years, during which time the paper has received both a national Best in Show at the spring 2010 NSPA convention and a 2010 Pacemaker award at the fall 2010 NSPA convention. The Pacemaker is considered the Pulitzer Prize of high school journalism. Further, Maxwell has won awards at both the state and national level for his reporting, his illustrations and his broadcast work.
Judges noted not only Maxwell’s excellence in reporting and design, but also his courage in reporting controversial stories that stirred the Goddard community to act.
Maxwell will receive a $1,250 award from the Kansas Scholastic Press Association for this honor, and his JOY portfolio has been forwarded to the Journalism Education Association, where it will be entered in the national JEA High School Journalist of the Year competition. Maxwell is eligible for up to $5,000 at the national level. The national winner and runners-up will be announced at the annual JEA/NSPA convention in Anaheim, April 14-17.
Kansas runners-up Logan Heley and Andrew Goble, both of Shawnee Mission East, were cited by judges as strong journalists with impressive portfolios.
Riley Mortensen of Bonner Springs High School earned the Class 3A/4A Journalist of the Year award. In addition to serving as the editor of the Pow Wow, Bonner Springs’ High School newspaper, Mortensen has contributed photographs to the Wyandotte Daily News and written stories for a professional website, The Birdhouse Project. Mortensen will receive $750 from KSPA as her award.
Halee Thompson of Phillipsburg High School earned runner-up honors in Class 3A/4A.
There were no entries from students at 1A/2A schools.