The Humboldt High School Journalism team is forming somewhat of a dynasty these days in Kansas.
The students had a “three-peat” state championship on May 4 at the University of Kansas, winning the 3A sweepstakes overall. It is their third state championship in a row, and their fifth in the past six years. Humboldt has the most state journalism titles out of any school in state, on any level, with 17 total. Their first championship was under Allen Wilhite in 1975.
“What we are doing is working,” Journalism Instructor Kim Isbell said with a laugh. She and her students were celebrating Friday afternoon with some well-deserved refreshments in the classroom.
“They really take pride in this, their work ethics are tremendous,” she said. “We’ve made a good name for ourselves.”
The students competed in several different categories, including advertising, headlines, newswriting, yearbook, page design, editing and caption writing — among others.
They finished first over Phillipsburg, which Isbell said was their strongest competition. They had 16 points.
“The kids really get into it,” she said. “They get into the competitive side of things.”
“They don’t want to be the first class not to win,” she said as her students across the table nodded in agreement.
The competitions were combined between 3A and 4A schools across the state. Isbell said based on the scoring, Humboldt would have finished third overall. She said it shows just how well her classes did in the state competition.
“We are really looking forward to next year,” she said. “We have a young staff this year.”
The team has only four seniors total, the rest are juniors and sophomores with one freshman as well.
Isbell said she has seen significant changes from year-to-year in the competition. As the technology is updated, the competition is updated as well.
“As the media changes, the profession changes.”
She said the judges — professional journalists and journalism professors — look for profession-level skills.
The school has taken pride in the journalism program’s accomplishments. Isbell said the community, along with all of the HHS students, have come to congratulate them on their success.
“The whole community takes pride in it,” she said.
THOSE WHO placed individually at the state competition are: senior Stevie Barfoot, academic photo (3rd place); junior Tristan Bruneau, sports photo (Honorable Mention); senior MacKinzie Coy, theme and graphics (Honorable Mention); junior Jorie Maloney, editorial cartoon (Honorable Mention); senior Aubrey Maxton, advertising (Honorable Mention); junior Brooklyn Rollett, theme and graphics (Honorable Mention); junior Anna Setter, news page design (Honorable Mention), theme and graphics (Honorable Mention), infographics (Honorable Mention); senior Kristin Todd, academic photo (2nd place), theme and graphics (Honorable Mention); sophomore Delaney Umholtz, headline writing (Honorable Mention); sophomores Ashley Coy, Andrew Arana and Jacob Ward, video newscast (2nd Place); juniors Tristan Bruneau, Ryan Huse and sophomore Heath Reed, video newscast (3rd Place).