McKinney ISD

 

UPDATE: Fifteen National Awards for MHS Student Journalists and Designers Including Photojournalist of the Year, Photo of the Year and Yearbook of the Year

Article|
Shane Mauldin|
Wednesday, November 20, 2019
Abney Garcia, a 2019 graduate of McKinney High School, won first place in the Sports Reaction Photo of the Year category from the National Scholastic Press Association at the Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 23 for this photo from the 2018 McKinney High School vs. McKinney Boyd High School Crosstown Showdown. (Photo by Abney Garcia)

Abney Garcia, a 2019 graduate of McKinney High School, won first place in the Sports Reaction Photo of the Year category from the National Scholastic Press Association at the Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 23 for this photo from the 2018 McKinney High School vs. McKinney Boyd High School Crosstown Showdown. (Photo by Abney Garcia)

McKinney, Texas – (UPDATED Dec. 3, 2019) McKinney High School senior yearbook photo editor Elizabeth Chan has been named the National Photojournalist of the Year by the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA). The announcement was made on Nov. 23, 2019, at the Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Washington, D.C.

It was a banner year not only for Chan—who also won first place in the News/Feature Photo of the Year competition—but also for 10 other talented MHS student journalists as well, who collected a remarkable 15 national awards from a field of entries that came from around the country.

Marquette with hands up and little girl by her with hands up

2018 Mini Marquette performance — First Place in the NSPA News/Feature Photo of the Year Category (Photo by Elizabeth Chan)

2019 MHS graduate Abney Garcia earned first place in the Sports Reaction Photo of the Year contest as well as an additional fourth place award in the same category, while 2019 graduate Melanie Russell earned honorable mention recognition. Senior Aden Lantos earned third in the Sports Action Photo of the Year competition.

female student in front row reaching out in celebration

McKinney High School vs. McKinney Boyd High School Crosstown Showdown — Fourth Place in the NSPA Sports Reaction Photo of the Year Category (Photo by Abney Garcia)

close up of player squatting with head in hand crying

2018 Playoff Game — Honorable Mention in the NSPA Sports Reaction Photo of the Year Category (Photo by Melanie Russell)

MHS defender reaching toward quarterback while being blocked

2018 McKinney High School vs. Plano East High School — Third Place in the NSPA Sports Action Photo of the Year Category (Photo by Aden Lantos)

Mariana Ramirez, a senior, placed third in the News/Feature Photo of the Year category for her heartwarming MHS Lions football homecoming photo.

mom walking with player making a surprised face

2018 Homecoming — Third Place in the NSPA News/Feature Photo of the Year Category (Photo by Mariana Ramirez)

The Lion 2019 Yearbook earned first place in the 289-336 pages category, and in addition to the photographers who contributed award-winning photos to the effort, the yearbook staff’s designers collected accolades of their own.

MHS senior Kayla Thompson brought home an honorable mention in the Designer of the Year category for her work on the MHS Lion 2019 Yearbook. Lexi Harris, a 2019 graduate, earned fourth place in the category of Yearbook Spread Design, while the trio of Harris, Thompson and senior Sydney Anderson earned fourth for Yearbook Theme of the Year.

photo of cover of yearbook

The Lion 2019 Yearbook—First Place in the NSPA Yearbook 289-336 Pages Category

 

yearbook spread featuring students enjoying games and activities

Lionpalooza—Fourth Place in the NSPA Yearbook Spread Design Category (Design by Lexi Harris)

title spread with girl twirling flag

The Lion 2019 Yearbook—Fourth Place in the Yearbook Theme of the Year Category (Sydney Anderson, Lexi Harris and Kayla Thompson)

sports spread with text and photos of different MHS sports action shots on a background of swimmers

The Lion 2019 Yearbook—Fourth Place in the NSPA Yearbook Theme of the Year Category (Sydney Anderson, Lexi Harris and Kayla Thompson)

spread showing MHS students cheering in football stands with male student close up in foreground yelling

The Lion 2019 Yearbook—Fourth Place in the NSPA Yearbook Theme of the Year Category (Sydney Anderson, Lexi Harris and Kayla Thompson)

In broadcast journalism, McKinney High School’s MHS1 news program placed third in the nation. Senior Ally Tauber earned second place honors in the Broadcast Journalist of the Year category and fourth place in the Broadcast News Story of the Year for her story “McKinney Roots,” and her work with senior Anika Newland and 2019 graduate Samantha Richards on the story “Luna the Cat” earned a second place award for the Broadcast Feature Story of the Year.

“I am so incredibly proud of these students and how they represented McKinney High School and represented Texas at the national journalism convention,” said MHS journalism teacher Alyssa Boehringer in an email announcing the MHS winners.

This story was posted in its original form on Nov. 20, 2019.

MHS Student Journalists Earn Six Finalist Nominations in NSPA National Photo of the Year Contest

Year after year, they tell the story of McKinney High School, preserving the daily goings on of an institution that has stood for more than a century.

Their cameras seem to be everywhere, capturing all of the big and small moments of life at MHS—moments that fade all too quickly.

For their efforts, the talented and hard-working students who have moved through the ranks of the MHS Lion Yearbook or ManestreamNews.com staff over the years have earned piles of awards while creating nationally recognized yearbooks and earning a host of individual accolades year after year.

For 2019, MHS photojournalists have created a historical moment of their own by earning a remarkable six National Photo of the Year finalist nominations from the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA): seniors Mariana Ramirez, Elizabeth Chan and Aden Lantos and recent graduates Abney Garcia (who is responsible for two images) and Melanie Russell.

NSPA judges chose 40 finalists from among 952 submissions that came in from high school photographers from 33 states and three countries. Winners are to be announced during the NSPA Awards Ceremony on Nov. 24, in Washington, D.C.

The finalists from MHS:

Marquette with hands up and little girl by her with hands up

2018 Mini Marquette performance — Finalist for NSPA News/Feature Photo of the Year (Photo by Elizabeth Chan)

mom walking with player making a surprised face

2018 Homecoming — Finalist for NSPA News/Feature Photo of the Year (Photo by Mariana Ramirez)

MHS defender reaching toward quarterback while being blocked

2018 McKinney High School vs. Plano East High School — Finalist for NSPA Sports Action Photo of the Year (Photo by Aden Lantos)

female student in front row reaching out in celebration

McKinney High School vs. McKinney Boyd High School Crosstown Showdown — Finalist for NSPA Sports Reaction Photo of the Year (Photo by Abney Garcia)

soccer team hugs in middle of field as opposing player looks on with hands on hips

2018 McKinney High School vs. McKinney Boyd High School Crosstown Showdown — Finalist for NSPA Sports Reaction Photo of the Year (Photo by Abney Garcia)

close up of player squatting with head in hand crying

2018 Playoff Game — Finalist for NSPA Sports Reaction Photo of the Year (Photo by Melanie Russell)

“It’s really exciting,” says MHS journalism teacher and yearbook advisor Alyssa Boehringer. “For me, it’s kind of unprecedented to have six finalists. We usually snag one or two of those every year, but we’ve certainly never had six. So, that is cool.”

Of the five students responsible for those photos, only Ramirez and Chan remain on the current yearbook staff. Garcia and Russell graduated last year, and Lantos is working toward early graduation—and has already been accepted to the University of North Texas Mayborn School of Journalism.

For both Ramirez and Chan, their work on the yearbook is far more than a classroom obligation. Like the other members of the Lion staff, they commit a tremendous amount of time to the annual project, and photojournalism has become a passion for each of them. So, earning national recognition is a validation of their work—even if they feel more comfortable putting others in the spotlight, rather than themselves.

at desk smiling

McKinney High School yearbook photo editor Elizabeth Chan’s photo of a 2018 “Mini Marquettes” performance has been chosen as a finalist in the NSPA National Photo of the Year contest.

“I thought it was really cool. It was a cool experience, but I don’t know—I’m not super loud about things,” says Chan about receiving the news. “I’m just more private, I guess about it. I don’t like talking about it a ton.”

“I kind of did, like, a little scream when I saw that,” says Ramirez. “But, I did that when I saw it was national because … I’ve gotten tops in Texas and stuff like that, but going national—more people see it, and I’m competing against other countries. … It feels like more of an accomplishment.”

Ultimately, though, the vision shared by Ramirez and Chan and the students who work alongside them goes beyond awards. They are creating an enduring account, telling the story of a moment in time at their school that will be revisited years—possibly decades—from now.

“The best thing about it is getting the moments, the memories,” says Ramirez. “You can tell a story just with a single picture. … So, that capturing moments and memories, I think that’s what it’s all about.”

“You’re able to capture that moment for someone else,” adds Chan. “You’re able to have that new perspective that, like—the student section doesn’t get to see the student section from the sidelines. You’re able to give them a new perspective, and they have emotions tied to certain events or photos, and you being able to give them that history or that memory is cool.”

Cool, indeed. Because someday, one of those yearbooks is going to come off a shelf, and the next generation is going to point to a photo and ask, “Is that you?!”

And, one look at that photo is going to bring all those stories and those moments rushing back.

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