Shawnee Mission East senior Celia Hack was expecting just another day in the office of the school’s student publications Thursday morning. Instead, she found out she had received the highest honor for a high school journalist in the state.
Hack’s parents joined Kansas Scholastic Press Association Executive Director Eric Thomas and SM East administrators in surprising Hack with the news that se was the 2017 Kansas Student Journalist of the Year at the start of class. Hack currently serves as the co-editor-in-chief of the Harbinger Online, and has built an impressive portfolio during her high school years, including writing about the movement that started at the school to show solidarity against sexual assault.
Each year, the KSPA names a winner from the high schools in three different enrollment classifications and selects the overall winner among the three. It’s the seventh time in SM East history that a Lancer journalist has won the state honor. Hack now advances to the Journalism Education Association’s National High School Journalist of the Year competition. JEA will name this year’s winner at is spring convention this April in Seattle.
Since journalism advisor Dow Tate began working at the school in 2002, SM East has produced three National High School Journalists of the Year, most recently Julia Poe in 2015.