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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


June 14, 2003 - Issue 89


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Hopi High School Journalists Honored

by Stan Bindell Gallup Independent

NotepadPOLACCA, Ariz. — The Hopi High School Bruin Times newspaper won five awards at the Arizona Interscholastic Press Association spring conference.

Daryn Melvin won an award for news writing, Hester Sekayumptewa won an award for feature writing, Michael Schjang won an award for an editorial and Lenita Poncho won two awards for layout and design.

This was the third year in a row that Hopi High School has won awards from the state journalism association. In the fall, Hopi High's Bruin Times won three awards. Andrianna Walker won awards for sports writing and front page design. NorRanda Yazzie won an award for a play review.

This is the first year that Hopi High School has been judged in the Large School category. Newspapers are judged as small schools if they are in 1A or 2A and large schools if they are 3A-5A.

The journalism awards drew praise from the Hopi High School administrators. Dr. Paul Reynolds, superintendent of Hopi Junior/Senior High School, said he is proud that Hopi High School journalism students distinguished themselves by earning recognition at the state level. He said that journalism is an important form of expression that is recognized at Hopi High School.

Hopi High School Principal Glenn Gilman said he is proud that the students demonstrated a high level of competency in news writing and other areas of journalism.

"This is reflected by the Bruins Times as it is an award winning publication," he said. "I'm proud that the journalism students have competed statewide and brought home awards against all the students at AIPA."

Bruin Times Co-Editor Lenita Poncho, a junior, won two awards for layout. One was for front page layout and the other was for a double truck or centerfold layout. The double page layout was about Hopi High School's Indian Day. Poncho said she was glad to win the awards and it encourages her to do more.

"Journalism is a good thing because it brings out the person inside of you. I used to be shy, but now I'm not," she said. Poncho said she likes to interview people because that way she finds out "what's going on." She is considering studying journalism in college.

Hester Sekayumptewa won an award for feature writing about "Sweetheart Almost Loses Fingers." This feature story, coming out just before Valentine's Day, was about two teachers at the school. J.D. Burgess was going to ask Erin to marry him. Before he had a chance to propose, they were driving in his car and she stuck her hands in the center area between the seats to get some coins out, but J.D. slammed it closed because that is where he put down the ring. Sekayumptewa, a sophomore, said she was surprised that she won the award.

"Journalism is fun. This story was fun because J.D.and Erin are good people. They were fun to talk to and I owe the award to them because they made it fun to interview them," she recalled. Sekayumtpewa hopes to become a Navy pilot.

Daryn Melvin, a junior, won an award in the news writing category for "Hopi High receives strong academic ranking." This story was about Hopi High getting an "improving" ranking from the Arizona Department of Education. Melvin said he was happy about winning the award because it shows that people liked what he wrote. He liked the topic about Hopi High's academic ranking. "It shows how well our school has performed and that it has improved," he said. Melvin has been active with National Honor Society. He wants to pursue college courses in writing, but not necessarily journalism.

Michael Schjang, a sophomore athlete, won an award in the editorial category for "Athletics and Academics Go Together." This editorial is about the need for athletes to take their academics seriously. Schjang, who has earned all-star honors as a football and basketball player, said he was happy to win the awards. "Journalism helps me improve my writingand I'm not as shy as I was," he said. Schjang reiterated the theme of his editorial: He believes athletics and academics must go hand-in-hand.

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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  

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