Area journalism students earn state medals | Local News

Students from two area high schools brought home medals from the NSAA State Journalism Championship in Lincoln on Monday.

Fremont High School placed 9th out of 33 schools in the Class A competition, while Yutan High School garnered a runner up finish in the Class B division.

Fremont’s Aaron Mercado brought home two first place medals for his photography work. The junior won the gold for News Feature Photography as well as Sports Action Photography.

“It was the culmination to a great year for him and just a nice reward for a lot of hard work and commitment to his craft,” Jack Denker, journalism teacher at FHS, said. “He is really passionate about his photography, it is what he wants to do and it shows.”

According to Denker, Mercado is the first FHS student to win a gold medal in a photography competition at the NSAA State Journalism Championship.

Senior Samantha Bernt earned the runner-up medal in the Advertising competition, she qualified for the State Championship with an advertisement she created for Diers Ford.

“She (Bernt) created a Diers Ford ad for the yearbook and she did a really nice job of designing that ad and it involved photography, so she did a good job of blending all that together and that is what qualified her for the competition,” Denker said.

Other medalists for Fremont High included Hayley Lambley who earned fourth place in the Editorial Cartooning competition, and Austin Knippelmeir who came in sixth place in the Newspaper Sports Feature Writing competition.

“Her (Lambley) art is all free hand and she doesn’t include color, she just draws it up black and white which is a unique talent,” Decker said.

Fremont High students Madison Snodgrass, Sage Reiger, Adriana Chavez Morales, and Jeremy Neill also qualified and competed in various events at the State Championship.

“We turned out 8 rustler magazines this year, which is our school newspaper, and our yearbook is coming along really well. So overall this group has done a great job of attention to detail, getting better every day, and they really turned out some high quality high school journalism this year,” Decker said.

In the Class B division, Yutan High School scored 266 total team points to finish in second overall at the competition.

“I told our kids just to just enjoy the experience and have fun and maybe you can medal, but don’t worry about a team trophy. As the events went along I said ‘We have a chance to be second here’,” Rod Henkel, YHS journalism teacher, said.

“We were very pleasantly surprised by the outcome of the team race and obviously the kids were very excited.”

A group of Yutan students brought home the In-depth Newspaper Coverage competition for their work on an edition of their school newspaper that included stories about the ACT test,…

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