The Mill Valley High School journalism department earned numerous honors at Saturday’s Kansas Scholastic Press Association State Journalism Contest, including the school’s second 5A state journalism title in the last four years.
Lead by seniors Kristina Milewski, Austin Gillespie and Jillian Mullin, the team of 14 students outpaced Wichita’s Bishop Carroll to win the state title, 39-35. Mill Valley also won state journalism titles in 2004, 2009 and 2010. Click here to read more about the contest.
The following students placed in the state contest:
Senior Kristina Milewski: first places in feature writing and in photo illustration and honorable mention in caption writing
Senior Austin Gillespie: third place in newspaper design and in headline writing and honorable mention in photo illustration
Senior Jillian Mullin: honorable mentions in sports photography, in yearbook design and in yearbook copy writing
Senior Ellen Bodine: first place in yearbook sports writing
Senior Kelsey Floyd: second place in academic photography
Seniors Miranda Snyder, Jenna Middaugh and Haley Woods: second place in video news story
Senior Miranda Snyder: honorable mention in academic photography
Senior Hanna Torline: honorable mention in sports writing
Senior Kelsey Winscott: honorable mention in editorial cartoon
Junior Sydney Wilson: honorable mention in editing
Junior Ryan Fullerton: honorable mention in news writing
Also competing in the contest were seniors Lisa Galvan and Mackenzie Eckman and juniors Alana Flinn and Riley McDonald.
The journalism department also brought home four All-Kansas awards Saturday, the top rating given in the KSPA critique service, for the first time in school history. Mill Valley was the only school in Kansas to earn All-Kansas ratings in the four categories. The 2012 JAG yearbook (editors Rachel Mills and Katherine Beck), the 2013 JagWire newspaper (editors Gillespie, Milewski and Torline), Mill Valley News Online (editors seniors Miranda Snyder and Alec Santaularia and junior Shelby Rayburn) and MVTV (executive producer senior Brenna Iskra and assistant producer Jacob Patterson) earned the ratings. Cindy Swartz is the adviser of MVTV and Kathy Habiger is the adviser of the JAG, JagWire and Mill Valley News Online. Click here to read more about the awards.
The district purchased new technology for the journalism and business departments. Over winter break, the Dell computers in the print journalism and broadcast journalism classrooms were replaced with iMacs, and the business department was given newer Dells.
The decision was approved at the Board meeting in August. According to the district website, 1,274 new computers were subsequently purchased, along with 150 Macintosh computers. The price for the new technology was $1.3 million.
Broadcast journalism Cindy Swartz said the new technology will be a great benefit for her classes. In addition to being faster, the new computers are able to support HD videos, which the previous computers were incapable of. Also, Swartz wants to use the program Adobe After Effects with her students videos, the same program used to make the movie Avatar that could no be used on the old computers.
“It is 100 times better than what we had before,” Swartz said. “We can do things in half the time. I think it will improve all of my classes. In fact, I think I will finally be able to do more with the new technology.”
Junior broadcast student Jacob Patterson is glad to be able to work with the new technology.
“These computers are a lot faster and allow us to work with better material on our projects,” Patterson said. “I am able to edit my stories without them crashing in the middle of them, and they render a lot quicker.”
Business teacher Mark Chipman said the Dells are also going to benefit his classes.
“The computers won’t lock up as much as they have been,” Chipman said. “The machines are a little more powerful, [with] faster processors and [we are] able to have multiple things open at once.”
Shock crossed senior Allison Mackey’s face after finding out she won second place in two competitions at the DUTV Vidcon, a broadcast journalism competition. The competition took place in Springfield, Mo. at Drury University Friday, Nov. 2-Saturday, Nov. 3.
Mackey’s LiveStrong story placed second for overall story, and she also placed second in the anchoring competition.
“There were so many people and really incredibly talented schools there,” Mackey said. “It was awesome that I got those awards out of all those people.”
Along with Mackey, sophomores Savannah Rudicel and Brooke Collins won second in feature story. Journalism teacher Cindy Swartz continued to be proud of their accomplishments.
“It’s really rewarding and they are so genuinely surprised,” Swartz said. “Anytime we win awards it’s meaningful.”
Mackey, with the help of juniors Ty Smith and Jacob Patterson, worked approximately 24 hours on the LiveStrong story, which Mackey said made her award and the competition memorable.
“I really like being able to develop my skills in different areas of broadcasting, from basic reporting to anchoring,” Mackey said. “I really enjoy the competition.”
Seniors Allison Mackey, Hannah Reichle and Avery Laluk joined with juniors Jacob Patterson and Ty Smith winning many awards for an episode they created for the Kansas State Fair broadcast competition on Friday, Sept. 14.
The students had eight hours to put together an episode of three different stories. One was over a sea lion exhibit, one over salt water taffy, and the other was over the 100-year anniversary of the State Fair.
Senior Hannah Reichle said that the process of creating the entry wasn’t as easy as they thought it would be.
”Everything that could’ve gone wrong went wrong,” Reichle said. “You have to be prepared to fight for your story, to fight through the crowd, and can’t be afraid to ask people for interviews.”
Broadcast students have won this competition two years running, so they were happy they could keep the successful tradition going, even through all the stress the State Fair brought.
”It’s nice knowing all the hard work we put in; all the stress, all the blood, sweat and tears paid off,” Reichle said. “We were carrying on the tradition of winning the State Fair.”
MVTV executive staff members Jacob Patterson and Ty Smith highlight this Bonner Springs Haunted House.
The girls soccer teams played DeSoto High School at Livestrong Stadium on Wednesday, April 18.
Thespian Troupe, a national honorary society for gifted actors, has been added as a drama-related club as of Monday, Dec. 12.
The application based club consists of 10 members and meets once a month to arrange activities. The club plans on doing activities throughout the year, organized by club sponsor Jon Copeland.
“As a new troupe, we are deciding what to do this year,” Copeland said. “We plan to make trips to see other high school drama productions in the area.”
Junior Cierra Patterson enjoys sharing her talent with others.
“I joined Thespians because I love theater and the people in it,” Patterson said. “Also, it’s a great way to be creative and have fun.”
Sophomore Tori Kilkenny appreciates being part of the club.
“Thespian society is a great opportunity to get to know other people who share a passion for acting,” Kilkenny said. “I’m so fortunate to be a part of our Thespian Troupe.”
Students gathered around the flagpole on the chilly morning of Wednesday, Sept. 28 to participate in See You at the Pole. A sense of calmness hung in the air as sophomore Jacob Patterson listened to worship songs with fellow students.
“[SYATP] showed me that there are other people in our school that believe what I believe,” Patterson said. “If I ever needed someone to talk to, I know I would have someone.”
A total of 60 students came to SYATP, sponsored by Club 121. Pastor Ken Kendall, father of senior Brendan Kendall, preached and shared a few words of wisdom with the students, then closed with a breakfast celebration.
“It was exciting to know there are so many students who are willing to take a stand in front of their school and let others know, ‘this is what I believe in,’” senior club president Alyssa Young said.
Patterson, along with other students, heard about the event from informational posters, posts on the club Facebook page and during morning and afternoon announcements.
“I had fun and learned something new at the same time,” Patterson said. “It was cool that others around the world experienced the same thing as me.”