Newspaper, website earns top state award


Both the print and online editions of the Guidon were awarded with All-Kansas honors for the 2017-18 school year.

Newspaper students were recognized for their collective effort when it was recently announced that the 2017-18 Guidon print edition and the Guidon Online were both awarded All-Kansas.

All-Kansas is the top state award presented to student newspapers, websites and yearbooks. Yearbook awards are typically announced late fall, while newspaper and website awards are announced in late spring. Hays High’s newspaper and online edition were named in the Class 4A division.

“All-Kansas is our ultimate goal for our publications, so it goes without saying that I’m extremely proud of the newspaper staff,” journalism adviser Bill Gasper said. “This is the first time that both the newspaper and website have been awarded in the same year.”

Newspapers are judged in five areas—coverage, reporting, visuals, design and leadership. In each of those areas, the judge awards All-Kansas, an Award of Commendation, or an Award of Merit. The newspaper was awarded All-Kansas in two areas and Award of Commendation in three areas, but the judge gave the paper an overall All-Kansas rating.

“The paper’s main strength is in its comprehensiveness,” the judge wrote. “It’s a very sophisticated, impressive product that covers a variety of topics effectively.”

The website, meanwhile, is judged on coverage and content, writing and editing, breaking news, interactivity and multimedia, and design and navigation. The Guidon Online earned the top marks in four of those areas.

“Overall, you have a strong site,” the judge wrote. “Be proud of what you have created and maintained. I loved watching the updates on your site and seeing new stories as they were posted. Great job maintaining a site that is an example of what good sites should be.”

Editor-in-chief of the two publications is senior Lacey Gregory, while senior Amiyah Gonzalez is the assistant editor. Junior Isabelle Braun is the online editor. Other members of the editorial staff include juniors Jacob Maska and Taylor Schiffelbein, who are both sports editors.

Other staff members are seniors Tana Herreman, Elizabeth Lee and Dawson Rooney; juniors MacKenzie Fagan, Scout Perryman and Rebekah Porter; sophomores Hanna Dannar, Allison Hillebrand and Madison Weber; freshmen Allison Brooks, Anna Brull and Alicia Feyerherm.

Gasper said this is the seventh time in his 14-year tenure that the newspaper has won All-Kansas and the second consecutive year for the website. The newspaper has also been a Pacemaker finalist twice and won the award one time. The Pacemaker is a national award and is considered the highest honor a student publication can achieve.

“The awards are a result of many hours of hard work by the staff and a belief of what they are doing is very important,” Gasper said. “And, not only is their work important, they are also learning valuable future workplace skills such as effective communication, teamwork, problem-solving and creative thinking.”