At the beginning of this month, my journalism class of five girls went to KU to compete in state journalism through the Kansas State Press Association. We had all made it to state after we sent in our regional works.
I was so excited when I found out we all made it. I had never been to state in anything before, and journalism is something I really care about and want to excel in, so hearing that I was good enough to make it this far was very rewarding.
I made it to state feature writing, editorial writing, and theme and graphics. For theme and graphics, I made a cover, title page and an opening spread and sent it in. My regionals piece for that placed third. Feature writing and editorial writing are a lot like what you are reading now.
As soon as we arrived I knew I loved this city. The buildings and houses were so beautiful, so many pre civil war Victorian houses that I fell in love with. KU’s campus is also gorgeous.
At the competition, I went to my corresponding room to write my feature first. Entering the room was intimidating, seeing all the other people there that are doing exactly what I am, are at the same level or better than me, and want what I want: a state title.
We were all giving a packet of story information, some notebook paper, a pencil, and about two hours to complete our feature. I read through all the information, chose what I thought was important and got to work.
When I left the room I felt pretty confident about what I had created, but was very anxious to find out the results, which I wouldn’t get for hours to come.
Next was my editorial. It was the same procedure as the last, just new story content, and in these you input your opinion. They want you to chose a side and defend it.
I now wish that I had gotten to write this one before my feature, because my brain was still in just sharing the information mode instead of being opinionated. I don’t think I was forceful enough, which will come to show.
When we all completed our sessions, we got to go shopping as a little reward!
We went to Mass Street, which is basically 10 blocks of local shops. It was so chill and people were very nice. I know this is a small-town thing to say, but I loved the business and the upbeat vibe.
There were street musicians and homeless people, and it seemed everyone had their dog out for a stroll. There were lots of independent shops and boutiques, it was very cute and my style.
The art shops were my favorite. There were art prints, pins, cards, and tapestries done by local artist for sale. They were on the expensive side, but if you are a local artist you’ve got to make money somehow. I ended up with a pin and a new purse.
The ride home was the time of sitting on Twitter on the KSPA page and refreshing for hours, waiting for results. After a nap in the car, they started coming through.
Everyone placed in at least one of their pieces. I placed second in my theme and graphics that I sent in, and received honorable mention for my feature. I am still so excited and proud of myself. This is a huge accomplishment for not only myself, but for HHS.
We were all in the car freaking out that we all did extremely well, and our teacher said we could be in the running for the state title. More screaming then followed. Then an hour later the next tweets came through.
We did it. HHS is the 2018 KSPA Class 2A state champion! I am so thrilled to say that. I am so proud of my fellow journalists and thankful to our teacher for getting us this far. I really want things like this to be celebrated just as much as an athletic state title would be, because it’s a huge accomplishment.
Here is to many more state journalism wins for HHS.
Maddy Daniels completed her sophomore year at Hillsboro High School in May.