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Kansas students bring home awards from JEA/NSPA contests

Once again, students from Kansas high schools and middle schools brought home more than their share of honors at the JEA/NSPA national convention in Anaheim, Calif.

Saturday’s National Scholastic Press Association awards ceremony was laden with mentions of winners from the Shawnee Mission district. NSPA Executive Director Logan Aimone paused from reading the list of winners and noted the Shawnee Mission district’s journalism.

The crowning Shawnee Mission achievement came during the Best of Show competition for yearbooks 325 pages or longer: SM Northwest finished first, SM East second and SM North third in the contest, which draws yearbooks from across the country. Blue Valley High School’s yearbook finished ninth in the same category, giving Kansas four of the national contest’s top nine yearbooks.

Shawnee Mission schools and Maize South Middle School also brought home NSPA’s most prestigious award, the Pacemaker, high school journalism’s Pulitzer Prize.

Here is the list of Kansas publications that received Pacemakers in Anaheim:

  • Harbinger Online (Online Publications) Shawnee Mission East HS; editors Logan Heley, Patrick McGannon and Maggie Simmons; adviser C. Dow Tate
  • Indian (Yearbook) Shawnee Mission North HS; adviser Becky Tate
  • Hauberk (Yearbook) Shawnee Mission East HS; editors Whitaker Sherk and Jordan Dietrich; adviser C. Dow Tate
  • Lair (Yearbook) Shawnee Mission Northwest HS; editors Anne Unruh and Lauren Minick; adviser Susan Massy
  • Stampede (Yearbook) Maize South MS; editors Kristi Huynh, Anna Weaver, Natalie Bach, and Jacklyn Brock; adviser Mary Patrick

Here are the Best of Show winners from Kansas:

Publication Website Small School

1. The Harbinger, Shawnee Mission East HS, Prairie Village, Kan.
Logan Heley, Patrick McGannon, Maggie Simmons, editors
C. Dow Tate, adviser

Newspaper Special Edition

8. Epic, Shawnee Mission West HS, Overland Park, Kan.
Lana Fanous, editor
Amy Morgan, adviser


7. The Northwest Passage, Shawnee Mission Northwest HS, Shawnee, Kan.
Maria Davison, Stephanie Spicer, editors
Susan Massy, adviser

9. Epic, Shawnee Mission West HS, Overland Park, Kan.
Lana Fanous, editor
Amy Morgan, adviser

Yearbook 325+ Pages

1. Lair, Shawnee Mission Northwest HS, Shawnee, Kan.
Lauren Minick, Annie Unruh, editors
Susan Massy, adviser

2. Hauberk, Shawnee Mission East HS, Prairie Village, Kan.
Whitaker Sherk, editor
C. Dow Tate, adviser

3. Indian, Shawnee Mission North HS, Overland Park, Kan.
Alexis Reid, Annie Basham, Ben Enyart, Sarah Hendee, editors
Becky Tate, adviser

9. Reflections, Blue Valley HS, Stilwell, Kan.
Gretchen Hess, editor
Jill Chittum, adviser

Junior High Yearbook

1. Stampede, Maize South MS, Wichita, Kan.
Anna Weaver, Jacklynn Brock, editors
Mary Patrick, adviser

In addition to those winners, 29 Kansas students won Write-Off awards from the Journalism Education Association at Sunday’s awards ceremony. The write-off contests were held on Friday. Entries are judged as either Superior, Excellent or Honorable Mention.

Of the 1,454 participants from around the country, 502 received awards.

Here are the Kansas winners:

Superior (7)

  • Matt Gannon, SM East, Sports Writing
  • Helena Buchmann, SM East, YB Copy/Captions: Academics
  • Callie Byrnes, SM North, YB Copy/Captions: Clubs
  • Brittany Bonsignore, SM Northwest, Yearbook Sports Photography
  • Elaine Odum, SM West, Yearbook Sports Photography
  • Grant Heinlein, SM East, Newspaper Sports Photography
  • Alissa Pollack, SM East, Yearbook Student Life Photography

Excellent (7)

  • Anna Zheng, Blue Valley, Feature Writing
  • Logan Heley, SM East, News Editing/Headline Writing
  • McKenzie Baker, SM Northwest, YB Copy/Captions: Sports
  • Gabby Riggs, SM Northwest, YB Copy/Captions: Clubs
  • Emily Kulaga, SM East, Computer Design: Headline
  • Natalie Pasley, SM North, Yearbook Student Life Photography
  • David Freyermuth, SM Northwest, Yearbook Student Life Photography

Honorable Mention (15)

  • Holly Hernandez, SM East, News Writing
  • Chris Heady, SM East, Feature Writing
  • Connor Thompson, SM Northwest, Sports Writing
  • Tyler Absher, SM Northwest, Editorial Cartooning
  • Tom Lynch, SM East, Commentary Writing
  • Maegan Kabel, Blue Valley, News Magazine Layout
  • Kat Buchanan, SM East, News Magazine Layout
  • Elizabeth Hudson, SM Northwest, YB Copy/Caption: Academics
  • Max Blanchard, SM East, YB Copy/Caption: Student Life
  • Hannah Walter, SM East, YB Layout: Inside Pages
  • Kate Kulaga, SM East, Computer Design: Infographics
  • Evan Nichols, SM East, Computer Design: Advertising
  • Daniel Magwire, SM Northwest, Yearbook Sports Photography
  • Brendan Dulohery, SM East, Newspaper News/Feature Photography
  • Bailey Kopp, SM Northwest, Photo Portrait

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