Sacred Hearts Academy  |   Honolulu, Hawaii

Ka Leo

Sacred Hearts Academy  |   Honolulu, Hawaii

Ka Leo

Sacred Hearts Academy  |   Honolulu, Hawaii

Ka Leo

Lancer journalists get Best In State for the second year

Journalism teacher and Ka Leo adviser Alyssa Myers recognized the student journalists during the Academy’s morning flag assembly. They received numerous awards at this year’s high school journalism contest, including Best In State for the second year in a row. Photo courtesy of Lavender Whorline.

At this year’s Hawaii High School Journalism Awards (HHSJA), Sacred Hearts Academy’s online news publication, Ka Leo, won best high school newspaper in the state for the second consecutive year. Not only did the Academy’s newspaper win Best in State but also received numerous awards in the writing, photography, design and online divisions.

Over the course of the school year, the Ka Leo staff wrote articles in categories ranging from sports to blogs. They strengthened their writing and explored different parts of media, expanding their horizons as student journalists.

“I’m proud that I’ve been broadening my expertise in not only writing but speaking too. I’ve learned how to properly use a DSLR camera and how to create podcasts,” said junior Danielle Woo, who is a second-year journalism student and Entertainment Editor.

Because of the staff’s willingness to learn more about all types of media, Ka Leo was able to submit work in every category.

Ka Leo advisor and the Academy’s journalism teacher Alyssa Myers shares how she decided on which entries to submit to each category.

“I was going by which stories were pitched and which ended up being the strongest, as far as ones that included a lot of research or strong quotes,” Myers said.

Out of all high schools in the state, the Academy’s newspaper placed first in the breaking news, photo essay, action/candid photo and illustration categories. The breaking news story entry highlighted a donation drive in support of Maui fire victims. The photo essay and action/candid photo entries both featured the Academy’s LIFE Day tradition. The illustration entry complemented an investigative article on the topic of sadfishing.

“I felt very happy when I heard that the entries that I worked on won at the award ceremony,” Woo said.

Woo did not attend the award ceremony, which took place at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, but was still involved in all submissions. She collaborated with other journalism students on the layout, single issue and multimedia entries. This was the first in-person awards ceremony since the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to this, it was held virtually.

Entering the school year, the journalism class consisted of mostly new staff members, with five returning from the previous year. Even though there seemed to be a small number of returning students, Myers felt confident that the news publication could still be successful.

“I was happy with that because I knew we’d be able to build off of what we did in years’ past,” Myers said.

Ka Leo’s new staff members have definitely left an impact on the Academy’s news publication, Myers said, putting in just as much work as Ka Leo’s editors. First-year journalism student and senior Paige Lum received the Most Valuable Staffer award. This recognizes the hardest-working staff member.

“I was proud that my hard work paid off,” she said. “Usually, I just remain unheard and basically pushed to the background, but it was different for this class. I’m proud to have received Most Valuable Staffer because of it.”

The news publication has been participating in the high school contest for many years. Prior to placing first last year, they had been consistently placing second best in state.

While Ka Leo was very successful in the HHSJA contest, the staff faced several obstacles, one of which included a story falling through at the last minute. This left the staff to find a new story idea and create submissions for four different categories in less than two weeks. However, the staff pulled through, Myers said, resulting in the array of works featuring LIFE Day. Most of those entries did very well in the contest.

Myers’ expresses her pride in the Ka Leo staff.   “I feel like a proud mama because I saw how hard everybody worked this year,” Myers said. “I hope that they feel inspired to share their voices through journalism and beyond.”

About the Contributors
Anna Casupang
Anna Casupang, Reporter
Anna is a second-year Journalism student and a junior at the Academy. This year, as a student reporter, she hopes to connect with others through sharing opinions and ideas. In her free time, you can find Anna listening to Taylor Swift and crocheting. She also enjoys dancing hula and doing musicals at Mamiya Theater. One fun fact about Anna is that she enjoys watching movies over TV shows.
Mahina Monsarrat-Ohelo
Mahina is a second-year Journalism student and a junior at the Academy. In this year of Journalism, she hopes to strengthen her writing skills and expand her vocabulary. In her free time she enjoys working out, paddling, and listening to music. One fun fact about Mahina is that she listened to over 156,500 minutes of music last year.
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