IHSPA names WSS staff 2021 News Team of the Year finalist, winners announced this fall

WSS wins 71 awards, sweeping five categories


The Iowa High School Press Association determines News Team of the Year finalists by choosing the schools with the highest number of individual award winners from its annual writing, photography, design and online contests. IHSPA awarded the WSS with 71 wins, for a total of 306 points — the most points of any school in the state.

The WSS staff swept first-third places in the state in five different categories: in-depth news story, multimedia feature story, multimedia sports story, photo slideshow and sports photo.

First place winners:

  1. Social Media Accounts: WSS staff
  2. Web Design: WSS staff
  3. Ads: Baroncini Restaurant and Pizzeria by Sara Baroncini
  4. Covid-19 Coverage: “Trapped” by Misha Canin and Hanah Kitamoto
  5. Editorial Cartoon/Comic Strip: “Caroline’s Comics: Watching American democracy burn” by Caroline Mascardo
  6. Entertainment: “3 fun fall recipes” by Caroline Barker, Misha Canin and Sila Duran
  7. Feature Photo: “Photo feature: November 2020” by Zohrae McLaskey
  8. Feature Story: “Detached” by Heidi Du, Hanah Kitamoto and Soom
    in Koh
  9. In-depth News Story: “Unzipping Gen Z” by Maya Chu, Heidi Du and Krisha Kapoor
  10. In-depth Sports Story: “The e-sports report” by Caroline Chandler and Rosemary Timmer-Hackert
  11. Multimedia Feature Story: “Indigineous in ICCSD” by Kailey Gee, Hanah Kitamoto and Rosemary Timmer-Hackert
  12. Multimedia News Story: “A nation divided: Students reflect on the Capitol attack” by Paige Albright, Bess Frerichs and Tosh Klever
  13. Multimedia Sports Story: “Broken Season” by Alaina Greenlee, Hanah Kitamoto and Tosh Klever
  14. News Magazine – Multiple Page Design: “Indigineous in ICCSD 4PS” by Ella Rosenthal
  15. News Photo: “Mayor Bruce Teague” by Maddy Smith
  16. News Story: “PALs spreads holiday cheer amidst pandemic” by Cassie Michaels, Renee Gould and Jack Harris
  17. Photo Slideshow: “Girls basketball punches ticket to state tournament” by Owen Aanestad
  18. Photo Story: “Boys basketball falls in rematch against Xavier” by Owen Aanestad and Hanah Kitamoto
  19. Reviews: “‘Hubie Halloween’ is dimwitted Adam Sandler fun” by Sam Westergaard
  20. School News Story: “Elevating untold stories” by Helen Zhang
  21. Social Justice Reporting: “Beyond the Binary” by Hanah Kitamoto and Caroline Mascardo
  22. Sports Photo: “Trojan basketball teams split with City in season opening double header” by Owen Aanestad
  23. Sports Story: “Post-performance” by Camille Gretter and Alaina Greenlee
  24. Sports Story: Game or Season Recap: “Boys swimming places third at state” by Hanah Kitamoto
  25. Staff Editorial: “Counting the cases” by Caroline Mascardo
  26. Video News Show: “West High Weekly 12.4.20” by Tosh Klever, Alyssa Skala and Isaac Young

Second place winners:

  1. Covid-19 Coverage: “Zoomed out” by Alice Meng
  2. In-depth News Story: “Viral” by Kailey Gee and Marta Leira
  3. Infographic: “Gen Z at West High” by Sachiko Goto
  4. Multimedia Feature Story: “Surviving cancer: five years later” by Bess Frerichs
  5. Multimedia News Story: “In-person versus online schooling: Student-athletes weigh in” by Alex Carlon, Annie Schwartz and Abby McKeone
  6. Multimedia Sports Story: “Life in the fast lane” by Owen Aanestad, Hanah Kitamoto and Tosh Klever
  7. Photo Slideshow: “Trojan football team shuts out Liberty in season opener” by Owen Aanestad
  8. Podcasting: “No cap recap: winter sports preview with Christian Barnes” by Owen Aanestad and Camille Gretter
  9. School News Story: “Iowans weigh in on bill limiting gender identity in curriculum” by Kailey Gee and CarolineMascardo
  10. Sports Photo: “West keeps the boot for the fourth consecutive year” by Owen Aanestad
  11. Video News Story: “West High Weekly 10.9.20” by Tosh Klever and Alyssa Skala

Third place winners:

  1. Ads: “Friends of Journalism” by Abby McKeone
  2. Editorial Cartoon/Comic Strip: “Caroline‚Äôs Comics: Watching American democracy burn” by Caroline Mascardo
  3. Entertainment: “7 socially distanced activities” by Sila Duran, Zoey Guo and Helen Zhang
  4. Illustration or Art: “All for one” by Kailey Gee
  5. In-depth News Story: “Trapped” by Misha Canin and Hanah Kitamoto
  6. Multimedia Feature Story: “#SaveTheArctic: The social media storm” by Alaina Greenlee and Emma Hall
  7. Multimedia Sports Story: “Top 10 sports moments of 2019-2020” by Owen Aanestad
  8. Personality Profile: “Bonding through swords” by Soomin Koh
  9. Photo Slideshow: “Girls wrestling competes at third annual state tournament” by Alyssa Skala
  10. Podcasting: “Life After a Trojan: from Iowa City to soaring to new possibilities” by Paige Albright
  11. Social Justice Reporting: “Standing in solidarity: protester profiles” by Fareeha Ahmad, Misha Canin and Kailey Gee
  12. Sports Photo: “Girls basketball punches ticket to state tournament” by Owen Aanestad
  13. Sports Story: “The rise of livestreams” by Owen Aanestad
  14. Sports Story: Game or Season Recap: “West keeps the boot for the fourth consecutive year” by Owen Aanestad 
  15. Video Story: “Recruiting Trail with Aurora Roghair” by Tosh Klever

Honorable mentions:

  1. Ads: “Volunteer Opportunity” by Caroline Barker
  2. Covid-19 Coverage: “COVID in our community” by Fareeha Ahmad, Maddy Smith and Helen Zhang
  3. Covid-19 Coverage: “On call: students, siblings and learning online” by Kailey Gee
  4. Entertainment: “Iowa City dogs speak up” by Tosh Klever and Isaac Young
  5. Feature Photo: “Vibe Tribe” by Caroline Barker
  6. Feature Photo: “Photo feature: November” by Gwen Watson
  7. Feature Story: “Class of COVID” by Maya Chu and Helen Zhang
  8. In-depth News Story: “Power to the people: 2020 election preview” by Alex Carlon, Abby McKeone and Maddy Smith
  9. Multimedia Feature Story: “The ADHD impact” by Bess Frerichs and Gwen Watson
  10. Multimedia News Story: “Disastrous derecho: Iowa’s unexpected storm” by Maya Chu and Krisha Kapoor
  11. Multimedia News Story: “District discrimination” by Bess Frerichs, Maggie Huang and Abby McKeone
  12. Multimedia Sports Story: “The route to success” by Owen Aanestad
  13. Multimedia Sports Story: “Stay-at-home athletes” by Owen Aanestad
  14. News Magazine – Multiple Page Design: “Winter what-to-do’s” by Zoey Guo
  15. News Photo: “Don’t shoot” by Maddy Smith
  16. Photo Slideshow: “Girls basketball defense falters against Southeast Polk” by Alyssa Skala
  17. Photo Story: “Iowa City South District residents unite to paint community mural” by Paras Bassuk and Marta Leira
  18. Podcasting: “Bag and Baggage: The model minority myth” by Zaira Ahmad and Athena Wu
  19. Video News Show: “West High Weekly 3.13.20” by Paras Bassuk, Aditi Borde and Jillian Prescott

Additionally, IHSPA named Owen Aanestad second place Hawkeye Photographer of the Year.

IHSPA also identified Maya Chu, Alaina Greenlee and Caroline Mascardo as three of Iowa’s Top 10 Emerging Journalists, a program which seeks to acknowledge emerging talent in newspaper, yearbook and digital media students. These students also receive a $100 scholarship toward attending the 2021 Summer Journalism Workshops for high school students at the University of Iowa.