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North Kansas City School District Journalism Students Perform Well at Nationals

All four North Kansas City School District high schools were represented at the Journalism Education Association/National Scholastic Press Association Fall National High School Convention in Orlando, Florida, this last week. Congratulations are in order because all four brought home national awards.

Publications such as yearbook, newsmagazine, broadcast and web entered the “Best of Show” competition. In each category of publication, only the top 10 are ranked as Best of Show nationally. The Staley High School Talon earned Sixth Place for Newsmagazine Special Edition. The Talon magazine staff and Legacy yearbook staff collaborated and created a special issue of the magazine for the Missouri state champion softball team in less than 48 hours. This is the first time in Staley history that a publication has earned a spot among the NSPA’s Best of Show.

In the national “Broadcast Sports Story of the Year” contest, Oak Park High School was recently named a finalist for the first time in school history. The rankings were announced Saturday, Nov. 14. Senior Jordyn Bensyl and 2015 graduate Kaleb Murray were listed as Honorable Mention and ranked sixth in the nation for their “Girls Swim Goes to State” video produced during the last school year. The Story of the Year competition is one of the largest in the country as far as number of entries each year. The winning videos are featured on NSPA’s website (also below) as inspiration for other schools, and will be listed in the Best of High School Journalism book for this year.

“Girls Swim Goes to State” by Jordyn Bensyl and Kaleb Murray

In the Write-Offs Contest, 2,003 individual students competed, 712 placed. Rankings are given from Superior to Excellent down to Honorable Mention. Individual students earned:

North Kansas City High School NTV broadcast:

  • Senior Andrea Gordon, Honorable Mention, Broadcast Commentary

Oak Park High School The AXE broadcast:

  • Senior Bailey McQuillen, Honorable Mention, Broadcast News Writing
  • Sophomore Alexavier Brown, Honorable Mention, Broadcast Package
  • Sophomore Jessica Gold-Barnes, Honorable Mention, Broadcast Package

Staley High School Talon news magazine and StaleyNews.com website:

  • Sophomore Emilie Kerr, Honorable Mention, Feature Writing

Staley High School Legacy yearbook:

  • Senior Rileigh Bates, Superior (medalist), Yearbook Cover / Endsheets
  • Sophomore Kelsey Bennett, Honorable Mention, Graphic Design: Logo

Winnetonka High School Griffin Rites newspaper:

  • Junior Alyssa Magrone, Honorable Mention, Review Writing

In addition, Northtown news magazine teacher Paul Aubrey volunteered his time to judge some of the write off contests.

The Journalism Education Association and the National Scholastic Press Association pair up twice a year to offer the national convention and competitions for high school students. At the convention, students may meet professional journalists, attend one of more than 300 class sessions relating to all aspects of student media production, meet with journalism college representatives, share ideas with peers from across the country, compete in nearly 50 journalism categories, trade their publications and be inspired by new ideas. Attending a convention has proven invaluable to many students over the years.

Article by Christina Geabhart, North Kansas City School District Journalism Lead Teacher

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