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The following outstanding student writers were honored April 21, 2001 at an awards luncheon at the Kansas City Club. Click here for a list of finalists, a list of our blue-ribbon judges, and other program information.

Commentary Winner

Amanda Fojtik, is senior at Lakota East High School, Liberty Township,Ohio. Amanda serves as the chief editor and is a three-year staff memberof the student-produced newsmagazine, SPARK. Amanda is also treasurer ofthe National Honor Society, a member of Quill and Scroll, and a peercounselor. After graduation, she plans to attend Ohio State Universityto 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 herhigh school and currently serves as feature editor. She is involved inother school activities, such as the National Honor Society, where sheserves as vice president. She will continue her education next year atBrigham Young University, where she plans to study communications. Herdream 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. Alexis the co-editor of the Granite Bay Gazette's opinion section. He hasbeen 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 literarymagazine. Louis, who won a National Sweepstakes Award for news writingin the Quill and Scroll Writing Awards contest last year, hopeseventually 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 afterone year as the opinion editor and one year as a staff reporter. He isalso involved in numerous other activities in school and out. He is aNational Merit Scholar and has won several journalism awards. He plansto major in journalism next year at the University of Missouri-Columbiaand looks forward to a career in which he can reach out to others andhelp to shape their perspectives.

Bryan's winning entries:

Transfers or Traitors

Girl Power

2001 Hemingway Award Finalists


  • 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.
Feature Writing
  • 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.
News Writing
  • 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.
Sports Writing
  • 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.

The 2001 Hemingway Jury

  • Debra Leithauser, managing editor, Knight Ridder Tribune SpecialSections in Washington, D.C. She is one of the original members of theYouth Editors Association of America.
  • Linda Parrish, features department, Seattle Times, formerly editor ofMirror, one of the nation's best teen sections.
  • Dean Mills,dean of the School of Journalism at the University ofMissouri-Columbia.
  • Mark Zieman, vice president and editor of The Kansas City Star
  • Lisa Pollak, features writer for The Baltimore Sun. In 1997 Lisa won thePulitzer Prize for feature writing for her story "The Umpire's Son."
Other Program Information

The Program

Welcoming Remarks

    Mark Zieman

    Editor, The Kansas City Star
Luncheon Speaker
    Laura Sessions Stepp, The Washington Post

    Laura Sessions Stepp is a journalist specializing in the coverage ofteenagers and the adolescent years for the Style section of TheWashington Post. Ms. Stepp has written about children and families formore than a decade, and her work has appeared in such publications asParent, Child, Working Mother, Reader's Digest and Nieman Reports ofHarvard University.

    Stepp served as a member of the U.S. Surgeon General's Healthy People2000 Panel on Adolescence in 1998 and 1999 and chairs the board ofadvisers of the Casey Journalism Center for Children and Families at theUniversity of Maryland. She is the author of Our Last Best Shot: GuidingOur Children Through Early Adolescence.

    She received her bachelor's degree from Earlham College in Indiana andher masters' degree from Columbia University Graduate School ofJournalism. From 1996-98, Stepp was a visiting scholar at the NationalAcademy of Sciences' Board on Children, Youth and Families.While at the Charlotte Observer, she served as part of areporting-editing team that won a Pulitzer Prize for an investigationinto dangerous workplace conditions in the textile industry.

    She is the stepmother of two daughters (now grown) and the biologicalmother 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

Semi-Finalist Judges:

  • 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
Awards Coordinators
  • Lisa Lopez, administrative assistant
  • Bill Norton, TeenStar coordinator
Awards Sponsor
  • Arthur Brisbane, president and publisher