Daisy Bolin was busy preparing for an out-of-town trip last Thursday when her friends from The Harbinger, SM East’s student newspaper, called her and told her she needed to get to the office.
When she arrived, journalism adviser Dow Tate took a call from Kansas Scholastic Press Association Executive Director Eric Thomas and put it on speaker. And with her classmates listening, Thomas informed Bolin she was the Kansas Student Journalist of the Year.
“It was really amazing, just having everyone there and getting hugs and congratulations,” she said. “I got a lot of loving feedback.”
Bolin’s win is the latest in a string of notable recognition for SM East’s journalism program. Since Tate took over the program in 2002, the school has produced eight Kansas Student Journalists of the Year. In fact, SM East journalists have taken the honor three of the past four years, with Julie Poe (2015) and Celia Hack (2017) preceding Bolin.
Bolin, who is the chief copy editor on the paper this year, credited Tate with having helped hone her writing since starting in the journalism program.
“He’s always pushed me to find the deeper story, to find more sources, to keep improving,” Bolin said.
She now advances to the Journalism Education Association’s National High School Journalist of the Year competition, with the overall winner to be announced in April.
Bolin will be heading to Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles for college.