Student media excels at state contest


Stefania Pasetto, Reporter

Once again Har-Ber newspaper, television and yearbook participated at the Arkansas Scholastic Press Association state competition. On Thursday, April 20, the three groups headed to Hot Springs to receive awards for their work throughout the year.

The convention was split between two days. The first day was dedicated to the delivery of the awards for every category and the on-site contests. There were multiple categories, and each competition was very different. Newspaper students, for example, had to pick several documents among all of the work completed since January 2016 to send to the judges to be able to participate. Other specialties, like short films, had to make videos of 2-3 minutes and send them within two weeks before the competition.

The traditional on-site competitions occurred right after the ceremony and allowed students to participate in specific contests. They happen and are judged the same day, and the students have a few hours to complete their work following a prompt. At night, ASPA organized a banquet dinner for the students. They gave out the “of the year” awards, which are the biggest individual awards.

The second day was focused on workshop sessions. The participants had the opportunity to attend different breakout sessions where they learned about different aspects of design, writing, business, videography and photography. Eventually the convention ended with the last ceremony in which they gave the “best of state” awards.

“I believe that every participant in this competition has a chance of winning. The thing about these competitions is that they express the creativity of high school students, and anything can happen,” senior Ramey Tyler said.

Besides personal awards won by the single students, all three teams received the “All-Arkansas” award, the “of the year” award, and also the “general excellence” award. The advisors Karla Sprague for yearbook and newspaper, and Travis Sherman for television productions, have helped their students through the entire year and the tough competitions, being substantial mentors for many of them.

Schools from all over Arkansas participated in the convention, so according to the students, the level of competition was high. 

“This competition definitely helped me. I think it’s a good gauge to help you see kind of where your talent lies on a spectrum of other people. I also think it will be a cool time to bond before we all graduate,” senior Holland Primm said.

The Har-Ber teams have always scored well in the ASPA competitions, but this year they bested themselves. It surely helped them improve their skills and paid them back for their great efforts.