Journalist Knights Bring Home Awards from MIPA Spring Conference


Senior Knight Life reporter, Sarah Sherman cheers as she wins first place in the category of Illustration. Sarah brought home three state awards on April 17th, making her school and the newspaper staff proud.
Photo by Leah Rathbun

By Piper Simons

Every spring, the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association holds an awards ceremony for high school papers all around Michigan. Each school can submit individual entries for judging and the paper as a whole for the Spartan competition.

The largest schools are placed into Division One and the smallest into Division Four. Loy Norrix is usually a Division Three school, but greater enrollment in the 2011-2012 school year moved Norrix into Division Two. Other schools in District Two include Utica High School and Seaholm High School.

As the awards started, the Knight Life staff grew more anxious. There weren’t enough seats for all of the MIPA guests, so the staff was in the very back sitting on the floor lunging to read the screen. As the announcer read off the names, the Knight Life staff would cheer and scream every time a Knight was announced as a winner.

Senior Leah Rathbun won third place for her sports action photo.

“I was surprised and didn’t understand what was going on. But then I realized I won,” said Rathbun. “It was a really proud moment winning out of all of these crazy big schools.”

In total, the Knights won thirteen individual awards.

The website,, and the newspaper were judged in the Spartan Award contest. The awards are the bronze, silver, gold, and Spartan. The bronze is the lowest ranking and the Spartan is the highest. The website and the newspaper both received a silver ranking.

Sarah ShermanFirst Place – Illustration

Rachael KooleSecond Place – Sports Action Photo

Sydney FernandezThird Place – Informative Feature Article

Leah RathbunThird Place – Sports Action Photo

Aubrey Butts: Honorable Mention – Bylined Opinion Article

Lucas Leibold: Honorable Mention – Personal Narrative

Synquissa Morris: Honorable Mention – Sports Feature Photo

Daniela Paz: Honorable Mention –  Sports Feature Photo

Sarah Sherman: Honorable Mention – Editorial Cartoon

Marta Grabowski and Leah Rathbun: Honorable Mention – Illustration

Daniela Paz and Piper Simons: Honorable Mention – Story Package

Esmer Alonzo, Aubrey Butts and Asia Davis: Honorable Mention – Editorial Page

Sarah Sherman: Honorable Mention – Feature Page