The journalism program at Kingwood Park High School reached new heights this year. Students won four of the state’s top journalism awards from the UIL’s Interscholastic League Press Conference (ILPC). Throughout the year, they won a combined 111 state and national honors in writing and photography.

During the school year, the students produced a 240-page, full-color yearbook and five print editions of the newspaper. They also maintained multiple social media accounts and a student-run online publication at KPtimes.com.

In the most recent competition, Kingwood Park won 20 ILPC awards in the print newspaper category, which was released May 2. Sophomore Kathleen Ortiz won first in Class 5A in news writing, feature writing, photo portfolio and sports action photo. Junior Crosslin Silcott won first in 5A in news feature writing.

ILPC takes the winner in each class and pits them against the other winners to name a Tops in Texas overall champion. Ortiz took the top medal in news writing, feature writing and sports action photo. Silcott earned the top medal in news feature writing. Senior Blanca Cantu, junior Eliza Gonzalez and sophomores Gabby Norman and Trinity Curl also earned honors in the ILPC competition.

The 111 awards were won by 18 students throughout the program. Along with ILPC, they won multiple awards in competitions organized by the Columbia Scholastic Press Conference, Quill & Scroll, Texas Association of Journalism Educators, the Association of Photography Instructors, and at the JEA/NSPA national journalism conference in Washington, D.C.

At the TAJE state competition in San Antonio in October, the staff won second overall in sweepstakes with 25 total awards.

The publications are advised by Megan Ortiz, former Houston Chronicle sportswriter.

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