Amanda Fojtik, is senior at Lakota East High School, Liberty Township, Ohio. Amanda serves as the chief editor and is a three-year staff member of the student-produced newsmagazine, SPARK. Amanda is also treasurer of the National Honor Society, a member of Quill and Scroll, and a peer counselor. After graduation, she plans to attend Ohio State University to study medicine.
Amanda's winning entries:
From the Editor
From the Editor
Feature Writing Winner
Kendra Niland is a senior at Lakota East High School, Liberty Township, Ohio. She is a two-year staff member of the SPARK, student newsmagazine at her high school and currently serves as feature editor. She is involved in other school activities, such as the National Honor Society, where she serves as vice president. She will continue her education next year at Brigham Young University, where she plans to study communications. Her dream is to become a free lance writer.
Kendra's winning entries:
Sarah Firsch: Life is about self expression, and for Sarah, it's her own simple stroke of fate
Despite a tragedy, there still shines a survivor in his eyes
News Writing Winner
Alex Louis, senior, Granite Bay High School, Granite Bay, Calif. Alex is the co-editor of the Granite Bay Gazette's opinion section. He has been on the Gazette staff as a writer and editor for almost three years, and he is a writer for At Bay, the school's award-winning literary magazine. Louis, who won a National Sweepstakes Award for news writing in the Quill and Scroll Writing Awards contest last year, hopes eventually to teach college English or philosophy.
Alex's winning entries:
Sending wrong signals? Teachers must be careful about actions
Sierra classes Irk many GBHS faculty: Teachers frustrated by lack of rigor
Despite concerns, college courses on high school campuses are legal
Sports Writing Winner
Bryan Clark, senior, Lakota East High School, Liberty Township, Ohio. Bryan became the chief editor of the SPARK newsmagazine this year after one year as the opinion editor and one year as a staff reporter. He is also involved in numerous other activities in school and out. He is a National Merit Scholar and has won several journalism awards. He plans to major in journalism next year at the University of Missouri-Columbia and looks forward to a career in which he can reach out to others and help to shape their perspectives.
Bryan's winning entries:
Transfers or Traitors
- Dylan Sullivan, Bowling Green High School, Bowling Green, Ky.
- Holly Truhlar, Thomas Jefferson High, Denver, Colo.
- Patrick Lane, Jonathan Law High School, Milford, Conn.
- Mindy Koopmans, Polson High School, East Polson, Mont.
- Megan Varelmann, Lakota East High School, Liberty Township, Ohio.
- Megan Siehl, Lawrence Central High School, Indianapolis, Ind.
- Amber McGowan, Franklin Community High School, Franklin, Ind.
- Kelli Cynecki, H.H. Dowh High School, Midland, Mich.
- Erin Kane, Wheeler High School, Marietta, Ga.
- Rad Fraasa, Wheeler High School, Marietta, Ga.
- Hanya Zwick, Bainbridge High School, Bainbridge Island, Wash.
- Sam Weerakoon, Ashbrook High School, Gastonia, N.C.
- Andy Carstens, Lakota East High School, Liberty Township, Ohio.
- R.J. Weber, Forestview High School, Gastonia, N.C.
- Zach Fox, Sycamore High School, Cincinnati, Ohio.
- Debra Leithauser, managing editor, Knight Ridder Tribune Special
Sections in Washington, D.C. She is one of the original members of the
Youth Editors Association of America.
- Linda Parrish, features department, Seattle Times, formerly editor of
Mirror, one of the nation's best teen sections.
- Dean Mills,dean of the School of Journalism at the University of
- Mark Zieman, vice president and editor of The Kansas City Star
- Lisa Pollak, features writer for The Baltimore Sun. In 1997 Lisa won the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing for her story "The Umpire's Son."
Editor, The Kansas City Star
Laura Sessions Stepp, The Washington Post
Laura Sessions Stepp is a journalist specializing in the coverage of teenagers and the adolescent years for the Style section of The Washington Post. Ms. Stepp has written about children and families for more than a decade, and her work has appeared in such publications as Parent, Child, Working Mother, Reader's Digest and Nieman Reports of Harvard University.
Stepp served as a member of the U.S. Surgeon General's Healthy People 2000 Panel on Adolescence in 1998 and 1999 and chairs the board of advisers of the Casey Journalism Center for Children and Families at the University of Maryland. She is the author of Our Last Best Shot: Guiding Our Children Through Early Adolescence.
She received her bachelor's degree from Earlham College in Indiana and her masters' degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. From 1996-98, Stepp was a visiting scholar at the National Academy of Sciences' Board on Children, Youth and Families. While at the Charlotte Observer, she served as part of a reporting-editing team that won a Pulitzer Prize for an investigation into dangerous workplace conditions in the textile industry.
She is the stepmother of two daughters (now grown) and the biological mother of a son, now beginning his college search.
Presentation of Awards
Jeanne Meyer, managing editor/Business and Features
Bill Norton, TeenStar coordinator
Kansas City Star Participants
- Jeanne Meyer, managing editor/features and business
- Rhonda Chriss Lokeman, editorial writer and columnist
- Steve Shirk, managing editor for news
- Holly Lawton, deputy sports editor
- Lisa Lopez, administrative assistant
- Bill Norton, TeenStar coordinator
- Arthur Brisbane, president and publisher