Works of 10 SM East student journalists are finalists for national awards

SM East sports action photo of the year finalist

There are 10 SM East journalism students who are finalists for National Scholastic Press Association awards this year for their work in SM East's yearbook, The Hauberk, and student newspaper, The Harbinger, which itself is up for a prestigious Pacemaker Award. Above, student Lucy Hartman's picture "Flying High," which is a finalist for Sports Action Photo of the Year. Photo credit Lucy Hartman.

Shawnee Mission East’s highly decorated journalism department has brought in several more national recognitions this year.

Ten SM East students are finalists for awards given out by the National Scholastic Press Association for their work at two student-led publications: The Harbinger, the SM East newspaper, and The Hauberk, the yearbook.

Some of the students are up for multiple awards, and The Harbinger itself is a finalist for a Pacemaker Award, the NSPA’s top prize for student publications.

Three Portfolio of the Year finalists, a COVID-19 Story of the Year finalist and a Sports Action Photo of the Year finalists are just a few others on the list.

Dow Tate, the advisor for both publications for nearly 20 years, said students pushed through COVID-19 and remote learning to produce work that could compete on a national level.

While the national recognition is a nice validation, Tate said it’s not necessarily the goal.

“We celebrate them, but we don’t spend a lot of time on it,” Tate said. “That’s not our end result, it’s still serving the public and writing stories that are strong — and making these students better journalists, better writers, better designers and photographers along the way.”

Winners in all individual categories, and Pacemaker Awards, will be announced on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 4 p.m. Eastern Time.

The virtual announcements can be found online here.

Below are the SM East students who are finalists, according to SME Journalism’s Twitter account:

  • Lucy Hartman is a Sports Action Photo of the Year finalist for “Flying High,” a photo of a student participating in pole vaulting.
  • Katheryn Nachtigal and Camille Dissel are Design of the Year finalists for the “Power of Fifteen” page in The Hauberk.
  • Campbell Wood is a COVID-19 Story of the Year finalist for “New Way of Nursing,” about how SM East nurse Stephanie Ptacek’s job changed due to the pandemic.
  • Natalie Scholz is a Portfolio of the Year finalist, as well as a Cartoon of the Year finalist for both “Stay Home” and “Opinions on Debate.”
  • Catherine Erickson is a Design of the Year finalist for two solo layouts for the Harbinger, “Smile, You’re on Camera” and “It’s Time to Break the Silence.”
  • Rose Kanaley is also a Portfolio of the Year finalist.
  • Julia Percy, Trevor Paulus, Sarah Golder and Catherine Erickson are Design of the Year finalists for “Practice (And Payments) Make Perfect” for The Harbinger.
  • Sarah Golder is SM East’s third Portfolio of the Year finalist.