The sounds of maracas, noise makers, and the excited shouts of students emanate from a large room in the Lansing Center in East Lansing, Michigan. Inside the room, journalism students and their advisors are sitting, perched on the edge of their seats, ready to jump up when their school is called, or slump in defeat if they are passed over.
Every year the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association (MIPA) holds their spring award ceremony where journalism students receive recognition as individuals and have their paper ranked in quality.
This year, Loy Norrix’s Knight Life was among the 72 other high school papers entered in this competition, and the work of individual student journalists was submitted for competition among 43 hundred individual entries. Knight Life students received 24 individual awards.
One of the students thrilled to receive recognition was freshman Lilly MacInnis. MacInnis has proven herself, despite this being her first year in Knight Life, by taking home a first place award for an environmental portrait she took of another student at their old elementary school.
MacInnis said, “I’m excited to win this award because I think it will look good on a college application. It’s really inspiring and I hope to set an example for other freshman to come.”
Also among the recognized students was senior Glenna Aldag who received three honorable mentions for original artwork in the form of graphics and cartoons. This was also Aldag’s first year on Knight Life, and she was not expecting to win.
“[It was] kinda surreal honestly. I wasn’t expecting to win anything coming into this because I’m a first year and everything, but it was like, ‘wow I feel validated.’ I know I shouldn’t rely on others for my personal validation, and yet it feels so sweet,” said Aldag.
The students were not the only ones pleased with the outcome. Knight Life advisor, Tisha Pankop, was also very proud of her students.
“I’m never surprised that Loy Norrix students will win a lot of individual awards because there’s so much talent on the Knight Life staff every year,” said Pankop.
Another thing that the MIPA competition is known for is it’s ranking system. Publications have a chance to submit their print editions and websites to be ranked on the MIPA scale that goes bronze, silver, gold, spartan. Knightlifenews.com, the website for Knight Life received a bronze ranking on the scale. However, this year marked an exciting occasion for the print publication of Knight Life, as it received a gold ranking, the first in several years. Knight Life learned of their gold ranking a little later than other schools because of some complications in submitting the paper. The staff was together during third hour when they found out.
“The minute we found out we had to get out some “Queen” [“We Are the Champions”] and celebrate,” said Pankop.
Knight Life is looking forward to the last print issue of the year and looking to continue making forward progress in quality.
List of Awards Received by Knight Life:
Zack Skinner – 1st place for new/feature photo, and honorable mention for sports action photo
Lilly MacInnis – 1st place for environmental portrait
Mia May – 2nd place for sports action photo, and honorable mention for sports feature photo
Chloe Lupini – 2nd place for diversity coverage
Julia Perry – honorable mention for sports feature photo
Audrey Dunton – honorable mention for environmental portrait
Alex Vonhof – honorable mention for information graphic
Jordan Cox – honorable mention for advertising layout and sports news story
Alexa Davis – honorable mention for advertising layout and sports feature story
Grace Marshall – honorable mention for illustration
Glenna Aldag – honorable mention for illustration, personal narrative and editorial cartoon
Zach Liddle – honorable mention for multiplatform news coverage
Devon Gross – honorable mention for multiplatform news coverage
Anna Kushner – honorable mention for alternative story
Izze Fahl – honorable mention for alternative story
Tamarra Robinson (guest artist) – third place for editorial cartoon
Sawyer Spink (guest artist) – honorable mention for comic strip
Griffin Abbott (guest artist) – honorable mention for comic strip