9 students qualify for State journalism competition

Sterling High School student journalists learned today they earned berths to the Kansas Scholastic Press Association State Journalism Contest on May 2 in Lawrence on the campus of the University of Kansas.

Competing in various competitions, 9 of 11 students placed in the top three or received an honorable mention designation, which qualified them for state. Each student could enter up to five competitive categories, but each school could only enter twice in each category.

“We had a total of 37 entries in the 19 available categories at the Regional contest, which is the first step toward being able to compete at the state level,” journalism adviser Todd Vogts said. “Of those 37, 23 entries qualified. I am beyond thrilled. This is a huge improvement from last year, and it is great to see the hard work of the upperclassmen and the underclassmen alike pay off so they can go up against other top journalism programs in the state.”

SHS students competed against other 3A/4A schools on Feb. 26 in  Manhattan at the KSPA Regional Journalism Contest on the campus of Kansas State University. The contests were broken down by on-site, in which students had to physically be in Manhattan to take part, and digital submissions, in which students create journalist works at the high school and uploaded them to judges.

Vogts said the on-site contests largely consisted of writing, editing and cartooning categories, while the digital submissions were geared more toward design and photography.

Every student begins preparations for KSPA contest hoping to win, but ensuring quality entries can be daunting, especially faced with all the other activities the journalism students are involved in.

“The tricky piece to our competition puzzle is time,” Vogts said. “All of my journalism students are heavily involved in activities offered by the high school, and we had yearbook and magazine deadlines to tend with. Factor in the fact we produced our annual two pages for the Hutchinson News’ Student News section at this time as well, and you can see the students were strapped for time. However, they all managed the multiple responsibilities well, and the proof is in the shear number of winners we had. Nearly every student placed in multiple events. It’s outstanding.”

Vogts said his students achieved five 1st-place finishes, four 2nd-place finishes, four 3rd-place finishes and 10 honorable mentions.

The students placing at the Regional Contest and qualifying for State in their respective categories are as follows:

  • Taryn Gillespie, senior
    • 1st Place in Academic Photography
    • Honorable Mention in Advertising
    • 2nd Place in Sports Photography
    • 3rd Place in Student Life Photography
  • Caleb Hendricks, senior
    • 1st Place in Sports Writing
    • 1st Place in News Writing
    • Honorable Mention in Yearbook Layout
  • Kasady Smith, senior
    • 3rd Place in Copy Editing
    • 1st Place in Cutline Writing
    • 1st Place in Newspaper Page Design
    • Honorable Mention in Photo Illustration
    • 2nd Place in Yearbook Layout
  • Baylee Maskil, junior
    • 3rd Place in Photo Illustration
    • Honorable Mention in Sports Photography
  • Veronica Norez, junior
    • Honorable Mention in Editorial Cartoon
    • Honorable Mention in News Writing
    • 2nd Place in Headline Writing and Design
  • Alex Veliz, junior
    • Honorable Mention in Academic Photography
    • Honorable Mention in Yearbook Theme and Graphics (team with Gilmore)
  • Lindsay Gilmore, sophomore
    • Honorable Mention in Feature Writing
    • 3rd Place in Infographics
    • Honorable Mention in Yearbook Theme and Graphics (team with Veliz)
  • Dallas Lackey, sophomore
    • Honorable Mention in Cutline Writing
  • Aniston Ramsey, freshman
    • 2nd Place in Newspaper Page Design
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About toddvogts 843 Articles
Todd R. Vogts, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of media at Sterling College in Kansas. Previously, he taught yearbook, newspaper, newsmagazine, and online journalism in various Kansas high schools, and he ran a weekly newspaper in rural Kansas. He continues to freelance as a professional journalist from time to time. Also, Vogts is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the Journalism Education Association (JEA), and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), among others. He earned his Master Journalism Educator (MJE) certification from JEA in 2022. When he’s not teaching or writing, he runs his mobile disk jockey service and takes part in other entrepreneurial ventures. He can be reached at twitter.com/toddvogts or via his website at www.toddvogts.com.