Journalism earns fourth consecutive state championship

The team outscored Blue Valley Northwest High School 87 to 84 points

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Avery Gathright, JagWire editor-in-chief

The journalism department was announced 6A state champions at the University of Kansas Saturday, May 6 during the state contest celebration. The department’s win marks the 11th overall and second 6A journalism state title in school history. The team consisted of several JAG yearbook, JagWire newspaper and MVTV students. With 25 entries placing at the state contest, the department had several individual state champions announced at the contest as well.

Senior Gabby Delpleash was part of the first place multimedia storytelling team, which also consisted of juniors Emma Clement and Julia Shumaker and sophomore Maggie Wieland. Delpleash also placed first in the sports writing category and second in the headline writing and design category.

“The team did an amazing job,” Delpleash said. “Everyone really wanted to do well and I’m really grateful that everyone wanted to step up to the plate and do their best. I’m just really proud. I know I say it all the time, but I’m really proud of our staff. I think our staff is exceptional in many ways, we have a work ethic rivaled by no other staff in the school.”

In addition to her team’s multimedia victory, Clement placed first in headline writing and design and second in editorial writing. Clement describes her favorite moments from the celebration, which also included all four Mill Valley publications earning All-Kansas honors, the highest rating in the state.

“My favorite moment probably had to be when we found out that we won as a staff,” Clement said. “I think that was really exciting just to see like everyone really like happy with their performance, but I also just think there’s a lot of like, smaller moments I can feel I don’t know if they won individual first places, or when Dr. Holder was recognized [for being the KSPA Administrator of the Year]. All those little moments really added up to make it a really fulfilling celebration.”

Junior Kate Haney placed fifth in the yearbook copywriting category and was part of the second place multimedia storytelling team, along with seniors Casey Cunningham, Sophia Chang and Ally Sul. Haney explains how her team interpreted the prompt that both multimedia teams had to respond to.

“I did not really like the multimedia prompt,” Haney said. “It said that in the news, people have been saying that students are getting rid of social media in order for their mental health, but they never started a specific source, which I don’t like. I feel like if they’re going to say in the news, they need to list sources that say that. We decided we were going to spin the prompt and we actually did how social media kind of benefits some students. We talked to people who advocate for social media and for awareness of mental health.”

Despite her feelings about the prompt, Haney is proud of the department and her individual performance.

“I think [winning the 6A title] is super cool,” Haney said. “I mean, we won [the 5A title] last year. This year it feels even cooler since I am an editor and I actually didn’t make it last year. Last year I didn’t even make it through regionals, so it’s pretty cool.”

Similarly, Clement is proud of the department’s performance and is looking forward to next year’s competition.

“I’m really proud of us overall,” Clement said. “It just shows all the hard work that we put into stuff this year. Obviously, it’s not like based on publications you actually put out, but it just shows that we have really good potential. I think we really have a good chance to do really well next year as well.”

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