Bensen leads with four awards
The West Bend Current set a school record with 21 individual awards from the Northeastern Wisconsin Scholastic Press Association in a statewide contest for high school journalists.
Student reporters from the West Bend High Schools earned first place in six categories. Fifteeen writers were recognized overall. Editor in chief Hannah Bensen led the staff with four awards, including second place for her story about an English teacher concerned about how President Trump’s travel ban might affect her family.
“One of the things that I really like about your coverage is the way that your staff is willing to wade into contentious issues,” said judge Deb Rothenberger. “That is a hard thing for young journalists to do. Your coverage reflects a good mix of things that students are thinking about, or should be thinking about.”
Justin Scherzer earned first place in the general news category for his story about local students who attended President Trump’s inauguration in January. Lilian Velez and Mattie Zautner topped the academic news category with their profile of two new music teachers.
In the sports news category, Anthony Schlass won for his story about four teammates each being courted to play Division I baseball. Auburn Larson took first place for sports feature by spotlighting five tennis players with perfect GPAs.
Kaitlyn Von Behren earned the top prize for personality profile by interviewing a retired math teacher now acclaimed for his nature paintings. In the news feature category, Alina Prahl was given first place by sitting down with a mother and daughter divided over the presidential election.
For the third year in a row, NEWSPA gave blue ribbon honors to The Current for a website not published as part of a journalism class.
Full List of Awards
- The Current was given blue ribbon honors for a website not published through a journalism class.
- Hannah Bensen: Second place, General News Story (“Local Teacher Struggles with Travel Ban”)
- Hannah Bensen: Fourth place, Personality Profile (“Rettler Finds His Calling”)
- Hannah Bensen: Honorable mention, General News Story (“Local Teens Protest Inequality”)
- Hannah Bensen: Honorable mention, News Based Feature (“Playing with Color”)
- Anthony Schlass: First place, Sports News Story (“And Then There Were Four”)
- Anthony Schlass: Honorable mention, Sports Feature (“Big Men on Campus”)
- Alina Prahl: First place, News Based Feature (“A House Divided Against Itself”)
- Alina Prahl: Honorable mention, Academic News Story (“Move Over, Steven Spielberg”)
- Justin Scherzer: First place, General News Story (“Area Students Traveled for President Trump’s Inauguration”)
- Justin Scherzer: Third place, Academic News Story (“Natural Resource”)
- Robert Pulford: Fourth place, Serious Column (“What’s the Meaning of Death?”)
- Robert Pulford: Fourth place, Humorous Column (“Netflix Revives Your [Parent’s] Childhood”)
- Lilian Velez and Mattie Zautner: First place, Academic News Story (“New Music Teachers Start on a Good Note”)
- Auburn Larson: First place, Sports Feature (“The Fab Five”)
- Kaitlyn Von Behren: First place, Personality Profile (“Millonig’s Moment”)
- Maggie Kieser: Second place, Personality Profile (“The Curtain Falls”)
- Allison Trampe: Second place, Entertaining Feature Story (“Mounds of Fun”)
- Alyssa Birkeland: Second place, Editorial (“Suffrage at Seventeen”)
- Isabel Krueger: Second place, Serious Column (“Ten Days That Shook My World”)
- Kara Conley: Third place, Serious Column (“Let’s Get Technical”)
- Jessica Steger: Fourth place, News Based Feature (“Paper Swords”)
The Current competed in the large school division of the NEWSPA contest. The student news site is advised by Eric Beltmann.
(Photo by Hailey Schwartz, East English teacher.)