Montoursville, Pennsylvania – Montoursville-area high school junior Katelyn Hunsberger, daughter of Jackie Kaiser-Rist, received the State Journalism Champion award in the Newspaper Photography category of the Student Journalism Contest for the Pennsylvania School Press Association (PSPA).
This makes her the very first journalist from Montoursville to win first place in the state competition.
Katelyn competed against other student photojournalists from across the Commonwealth at Pennsylvania State University, University Park on March 30 after placing first in the competition regionally.
Katelyn is the photo editor of the school’s official student newspaper, The Arrowhead, who is advised by Mrs. Sandra Trick.
“I was completely in shock,” Hunsberger said. “I remember walking into Ms. Trick’s room and hearing the news and almost falling to the floor,” Hunsberger said. “It was something I never thought I could accomplish.”
“When I won the regionals, it was also a shock,” Hunsberger said. “I didn’t think I could be one of the many in the area who accomplished and received the chance to go and compete at the state level.”
During the state competition, Hunsberger had to walk around the Penn State campus and take pictures for the respective categories.
These categories were Depth of Field, Framing, Unique Lighting, Line Celebration, Press Conference Shot, and Best of the Show. She also had to come up with cut lines for the photos.
“My favorite shot to take was Best in Show because I felt like it was the shot that would change the game and really lead me to victory.”
Besides his photographic skills, Hunsberger also used other strategies to secure his victory.
“I think my best strategies for winning states were to think outside the box and not get too stressed out,” Hunsberger said. “[Not] overthinking and being able to concentrate on my work was another too.
While the state competition was serious, Hunsberger still created memories that will last a lifetime.
“My favorite part of competing was being able to have some of my beloved journalist family there to compete alongside me and others there to support us,” Hunsberger said. “I enjoyed spending this time with my journalist family and creating the most beautiful memories that I will never forget and cherish for the rest of my high school career.”
During the state competition, other members of The Arrowhead Staff also competed.
Emma McMurray competed in the News Writing category; Ian Labatch in the Sports Writing category; Brenna Smith and Kayla LeBeau tied in the regional competition and competed at the state level in the feature film category; and Valerie Badger competed in the Editorial Writing category.
The regional PSPA competition is held once a year in various locations across the state. The state contest is still held at Pennsylvania State University and is sponsored by Penn State Bellisario College of Communications.