Hannah Sween and Madi Weispfenning win national journalism awards

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Two newspaper students during the 2017-2018 school year have been nationally recognized for the opinionated pieces they completed last year. Seniors Hannah Sween and Madi Weispfenning were named Honorable Mentions and in the top 10 in their categories by the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA).

Last June, about 50 articles from our school were submitted and over the previous summer the NSPA judges went through hundreds of submissions and announced the top 10 for each category this fall. Both Sween and Weispfenning were named Honorable Mentions.

Sween was awarded in the Editorial Writing category. She calls herself a strongly opinionated writer that likes to share her perspectives. Her wish to share her opinions with the world led her to the category of editorial writing.

Editorial writing is important to Sween because, “I put a lot of my own personal feelings into my articles, especially with opinion, because I have such strong opinions. I take pride in the fact that I have strong opinions.”

I put a lot of my own personal feelings into my articles, especially with opinion, because I have such strong opinions. I take pride in the fact that I have strong opinions.”

— Hannah Sween

Weispfenning was awarded in the Cartoon  category. The journey through the class all the way to the end results was worth it for her.

“[To] have my first cartoon be in that event and make it to the top finalists was really like you had it together in the beginning, but you just didn’t trust in yourself,” Weispfenning added.

Being the teacher of students reaching nationally recognized accomplishments is a feeling not all teachers get to experience. Specifically, Weispfenning and Sween getting Honorable Mention awards was an assurement on English teacher and newspaper advisor Rachel Steil’s course plan and teaching methods.

I think it’s really exciting that we had two kids place at that levelAs a teacher, it validates the work that we’re doing [in class],” Steil said.

The results of this competition are an accomplishment to not only Sween, Weispfenning and Steil, but the Pony Express, and the members behind it.

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