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Student newspaper earns top honors at KSPA

5/8/2014

By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN

By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN

dobrien@dailynews.net

Rachel Moravek was the top individual finisher for Hays High School at last weekend's Class 5A/6A state competition of the Kansas Scholastic Press Association.

But the HHS senior was more excited about getting the chance to accept a bigger award.

Moravek, who finished third for a second consecutive year with her editorial cartoon, and classmate Aislinn Walters are co-editors of the Guidon, HHS' newspaper.

For a second straight year, the Guidon was named All-Kansas.

Walters was attending a trip for HHS jazz band members and wasn't able to be at the KSPA event, so Moravek gladly went up to accept the award for her staff.

It was the fourth time in the last six years the Guidon, under the direction of advisor Bill Gasper, earned the highest state honor for a Kansas school paper. But this time was really special for Moravek and Walters, who last year were staff members.

"We definitely were hoping for it," Walters said.

"(All-Kansas) was one of our ultimate goals," agreed Moravek, who has qualified for state all four years of her high school career and finished third for two consecutive years in editorial cartoon. "But it was really exciting that we got All-Kansas in four areas this year."

Moravek was referring to categories on which newspapers are judged -- in coverage, writing, design, visuals and leadership. For a publication to earn All-Kansas, it must have an All-Kansas rating in at least three areas, and the Guidon earned that distinction in the first four.

Other top-six finishes at state for Hays High were four honorable mentions (top-six honors): Moravek in news writing and Walters in headline writing, as well as senior Nicole Feyerherm in feature writing, and sophomore Brianna Mathis, yearbook copy writing.

* Numerous other area schools also did well at the state journalism contest, including Thomas More Prep-Marian High School, which had two individual champions.

Junior Owen Toepfer won the editorial writing category in the 3A/4A division, while classmate Lexie Wasinger was first in the sportswriting competition.

Also in the 3A/4A division, Russell's newspaper, the Round-Up, earned All-Kansas recognition. And another area individual state champ was Phillipsburg's Isabella Footh, who won the editorial cartoon competition, while Norton's Hannah Pollock received honorable mention in editorial writing.

In Class 1A/2A, Ellis had two state champs in seniors Sarah Mick (yearbook copy writing) and Brittany Dinkel (sports photo), and Hill City had one first-place finisher in Faith Kenyon (infographics).

Other top-six finishers for the area in 1A/2A were:

* Ellis -- Regan Krause, second, academics photo; Dani Hausler, third, yearbook copy writing.

* Hill City -- Sammie Brown, second infographics, and HM, news page design; Courtney Kenyon, second, advertising; Karel Schulz, HM, news page design.

* St. Francis -- Erik Nelson, second, editing; Aly Schlepp, third, feature writing, and HM, sports photo; Randee Grover, HM, yearbook copy writing; Bailey Merklin, HM, cutline writing, and HM, infographics; CarolEve Harris, HM, editorial cartoon; Hannah Stafford, HM, news page design.