Hopi High School journalism students win state awards at conference

Hopi High School senior Keannah Speen displays three awards she won from the Arizona Interscholastic Press Association. Submitted photo

Hopi High School senior Keannah Speen displays three awards she won from the Arizona Interscholastic Press Association. Submitted photo

TEMPE, Ariz. - Hopi High School won 10 media awards, eight in broadcast journalism and two in print journalism, at the annual Arizona Interscholastic Press Association (AIPA) Conference Oct. 27 at the main Arizona State University campus in Tempe.

The contest was based on last year's stories so several of the Hopi High winners are now in college. The winning pieces are rated as Superior (first place), Excellent (second place) or Honorable Mention (third place).

Stan Bindell, journalism advisor at Hopi High School, said he was proud of the Hopi High media students for winning their awards. He also praised the KUYI staff for teaching the radio students how to present reports, including radio editing.

"With 650 students attending this year's session, the competition for awards was tougher than ever," Bindell said. "So, I'm proud of the students, their awards and we hope to continue to bring quality radio to our listeners."

Katrice Puhuhefvaya, an advanced radio student from Hopi High who attended the conference, said she was proud that Hopi High earned so many awards.

Keannah Speen, a senior, led Hopi High broadcast with three awards. Speen earned an Excellent for her personality profile "Ami Expectations." She also won an Honorable Mention for her editorial about relationships and an Honorable Mention for her sports story on boys basketball.

"I was surprised that I won because I received the awards about a year after my work," Speen said. "I remember all of my work, especially my commentary on relationships."

Speen's commentary took the position that teens should have a mature mind about relationships and focus on knowing the person rather than the physical aspect of the relationship.

"Radio taught me a lot, mainly proper speaking, grammar and not using vulgar language," she said.

Jennifer Lomayaktewa, a freshman at the University of Arizona, received two Honorable Mention awards. The first was for her feature story "Band All Time Low." That was for a review of a band called All Time Low. The second was for a sports story on wrestling.

"I'm happy to win another high school award even though I'm in college. It's cool that I'm still receiving awards for my work in high school," she said.

Aside from attending the University of Arizona, Lomayaktewa is working in the broadcast industry for Arizona Public Media Television in Tucson. Her main job is working the audio for the TV news segments.

"It beats making hamburgers," she said.

Christen Ben, a freshman at Paradise Valley Community College, earned an Excellent for her sports story on girls cross-country.

Allen Honyouti, a freshman at Mesa Community College, earned an Honorable Mention for his news story about the Elite Bruin Team.

Shacely Miguel earned an Honorable Mention for her news story about reclaimed wastewater.

Randi Lomayestewa, a freshman at Scottsdale Community College and editor of the Bruin Times for the past two years, won the two print journalism awards. She earned Honorable Mentions for her column "Reed disappoints runners" and her sports story "Sekaquaptewa named player of the year."

Lomayestewa was proud to win another award.

"I'm happy that my writing was good enough to get an award for my last year at Hopi High," she said.

Four Hopi High media students attended the AIPA conference along with about 650 journalism students from throughout the state. Hopi High radio students Katrice Puhuhefvaya and Kursheena Yazzie gave a presentation about Hopi High's radio program, which produces the only live remote Native American teen talk show in the nation on KUYI Hopi radio 88.1 FM, which streams online at KUYI.net.

The Hopi High media students attended a session on photography and attended the keynote speech by Bruce St. James, talk show host on KTAR radio. Jennifer Huma interviewed St. James for the school newspaper, The Bruin Times, and Yazzie recorded the interview for the Hopi High Teen Show.

St. James, during his speech, said he was one of the judges for the broadcast category and he was surprised that several of the entries were as professionally well done as nationally produced commercials.

Kristen Russell, advanced radio student for Hopi High, said she loved the conference.

"The conference was great," she said. "We got there and I immediately began to like the feeling or vibe I was getting from the students there and it was great. Everyone there was willing to learn more about broadcast."

Russell, a junior, said the best part of the day was attending the photography session where she learned the basics about cameras. Huma said during the photography session she learned how to use her own creativity, being able to produce feelings through photography, utilizing different photography techniques and how to position people or objects for photography.

Yazzie, a junior, said she learned so much from the photography session that she is considering minoring in photography in college.

Russell said the Hopi High radio presentation by double K (Kursheena and Katrice) was entertaining.

"I think all the students from the other schools liked their presentation," she said. "Just being able to give the presentation in front of other students, that are judging you, shows they have great confidence."

Yazzie enjoyed listening to keynote speaker St. James.

"Bruce St. James is someone you could have a good time laughing with and at because he's just open and funny, He's someone you could learn a few things from such as how to tell a story to get someone immediately interested and generally put interest into your work to have fun," she said.

Russell also enjoyed St James' presentation.

"St. James made a great impression because he was funny and full of excitement. It was great hearing his experience on air for the first time and just knowing that broadcast can be an easy career to get into. Also, hearing about all the people and celebrities he has met in his years in radio was interesting," she said.

Russell said she enjoyed watching all the students from the various schools participate in the activities and show an interest in the presentations for advice, techniques and encouragement.

Yazzie said she liked hearing a presentation by Victor Aronow from Radio Phoenix and she appreciated hearing that they have internships available.

"It was interesting to see all the students who won awards. I was happy for them for receiving the awards, for the hard work they put into their pieces," she said.

Huma, editor of the Bruin Times, said the conference was absolutely excellent.

"There was a lot to learn from all the presenters. Seeing students from other schools come together for journalism, radio, video and yearbook was different," she said. "Each student had their own unique place in media. It was interesting to watch all the categories where students were awarded."

Huma, a junior, said the conference helped her understand what journalism is about.

"It motivates me to keep doing what I love," she said.

The Hopi High School radio broadcast, news video and journalism clubs are raising money so they can attend the National Journalism Education Association conference in Denver, Colorado, April 16-19.

The media clubs are attempting to raise $14,400 so they can send ten students and two chaperones to attend the national conference so students can learn more about how they can become empowered through communications.

The trip will cost approximately $1,200 per person for the airfare, hotel and other amenities. Hopi High School will match the money that the club raises. Any donation is appreciated.

The students attending the national youth media conference will benefit by meeting students from other schools throughout the country and learning more about media techniques.

The Hopi High Teen Show airs from 2-2:30 p.m. each Tuesday and the advanced class has a show every other Tuesday from 12:30-1:30 p.m. The advanced class also works on radio production. More information is available from Bindell at bluesmagician@gmail.com

Checks should be made out to the Hopi High Radio Club or Hopi High Journalism, P.O Box 337, Keams Canyon, Arizona, 86034. More information is available from Stan Bindell at (928) 738-511, extension 241.

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