Newspaper staff takes on KSPA Fall Conference


Nine newspaper students conquered the Kansas Capitol’s’ tower after they attended the KSPA Fall Conference in Topeka. They were accompanied by Candy Birch, assistant principal, and Vicki Kohl, adviser.

Lauri Hoedl, Reporter

The newspaper staff went to the Kansas Scholastic Press Association’s (KSPA) Fall Conference Sept. 25-26. The conference’s theme was “Our Story Is Freedom” because it was the 25th anniversary of the Kansas Student Publication’s Act.

The conference had over 800 students from schools from all across Kansas. There were speakers such as Colleen McCain Nelson, a Pulitzer Prize winning editorial writer; Mary Beth Tinker, the former student from the Tinker v. Des Moines case; Jim Richardson, a photographer for National Geographic, and many others.

It was two days full of breakout sessions, workshops, keynote speakers, and even a dance. Over the two days, there were eight different sessions and over 70 choices. The topics ranged from yearbook, to reporting, to design, to sports, to social media, and many others.

Nine newspaper students went to KSPA, accompanied by Candy Birch, assistant principal, and Vicki Kohl, newspaper adviser.

Evan Kauffman, senior, said, “KSPA was overall a great experience. It was really fun, along with being informative,” and that it had an atmosphere where he never felt “bored or isolated because there was always something to do or somewhere to be.”

Kauffman’s favorite session was called “Why is This So Hard?” and led by Jim McCrossen, newspaper adviser from Blue Valley Northwest. He said it was “interesting and entertaining” and “showed how little [the Eyrie does] to expose controversial issues.”

Sarah Buehler, senior; Khadija Ceesay, junior, and Kauffman all agreed that McCrossen was their favorite speaker.

Aysiah Loving, senior, said the best advice she received was “the more quotes in a story, the better it will be.”

Buehler said the best advice she learned was “just because you have and can share information, doesn’t mean you always should.”

The staff went to the Capitol on the second day of the trip, after the sessions. Not only did they tour the capitol, but also went to the top. First they took an elevator to the 5th floor, then walked 296 steps up to the top.

Ceesay said the Capitol was her favorite part because “[the staff] all got to share the experience together, which made it really fun.”

Buehler and Loving both enjoyed getting to spend time with and getting to know their fellow staff members.