Chad Phillips, a senior at Andover High School, has been named the 2013 Kansas High School Journalist of the Year, and Sophia Templin from De Soto High School has been named the Class 3A/4A Kansas High School Journalist of the Year.
Phillips, editor-in-chief of the award-winning Trojan Bluestreak yearbook, will receive $1,250 from the Kansas Scholastic Press Association and his portfolio will be entered in the national HSJOY competition sponsored by the Journalism Education Association. The first-place winner in the national competition earns $3,000, while up to six runners-up earn $1,000 each. Those winners will be announced April 27 at the JEA national convention in San Francisco. Last year’s Kansas winner, Sarah Darby from Mill Valley High School, finished second in the national competition.
Templin will receive $750 from KSPA. Both she and Phillips will receive their checks and be honored May 4 at the KSPA State Journalism Contest’s opening ceremony in Kansas Union’s Woodruff Auditorium.
HSJOY judges unanimously supported Phillips, and they noted Phillips’ “extraordinary” design and photography talents while also noting his strong writing and multimedia skills. Phillips has worked as a photographer and proofreader for SPLURGE! magazine in Wichita. He will major in mass media and science next year as a student at Baker University in Baldwin City.
In her letter nominating Phillips for the award, Andover journalism adviser Kristin Baker wrote that Phillips’ output is outstripped by his desire to learn.
“What fascinated me, however, was not his ability to capture peak action on film. It was his interest in learning all about the different facets of photography and the time he spent developing his craft,” Baker wrote. “It was not unusual for Chad to spend evenings with a tripod shooting photographs of lightning or experimenting with slow shutter speed. Soon he was professionally shooting photographs, from family portraits to action shots at Wichita State University basketball games for a local magazine. And that time spent is only what he did to learn photography; he spent many more hours learning to design and write, and become a well-rounded student journalist.”
Templin has served as editor-in-chief of The Green Pride, De Soto’s student newspaper, this academic year.
Templin will attend the University of Kansas in the fall and study journalism while also pitching for the Jayhawk softball team. Her adviser at De Soto, Michael Sullivan, is excited about Templin’s future.
“I’m a KU grad and a former athletic media relations professional, and I couldn’t be prouder of her accomplishments and goals for the future,” Sullivan wrote in his letter of recommendation.
For the second time in three years, there were no portfolios submitted by students in the 1A/2A classification.