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Centennial Journalism Awards Announced (May 21, 2007)

Kelsey JarzombekThe Centennial High School journalism department completed a successful year with newspaper staff member sophomore Kelsey Jarzombek earning a fourth place finish in news writing at the state UIL competition, held May 3 in Austin.

Jarzombek placed first at the District 9-4A competition and a third at regional competition to earn a place to compete at state. She is now eligible for over one million dollars in scholarship money distributed through UIL’s scholarship fund, known as the Texas Interscholastic League Foundation.

“According to figures given by UIL journalism director Jeanne Acton, Kelsey is in the top one percent of students competing statewide,” said Randy Vonderheid, director of journalism for Centennial High School. “She is one of the top writers in the state.”

The UIL reported that almost 4,000 students competed in UIL journalism contests alone, thus putting each person competing at the state level in the top one percent of journalism students statewide.

Jarzombek has earned that placement in several areas of writing this year. Earlier in the spring, The Dallas Morning News recognized Jarzombek with Best Sports Feature for a story she wrote for The Titan Times on Coach Jodie Hawkins.

In fact, the publications department as a whole has been recognized in several ways this year, both individually and for their newspaper and yearbook.

The CHS journalism team was named as district champs for the UIL district journalism competition. This is the second consecutive year the team has won the honor. The first year the school competed the team lost the district championship by two points. In addition, the second issue of the newspaper was recognized last fall as “Best of Show” at the Texas Association of Journalism Educators convention held in San Antonio. This means it was the best paper in the 8 pages and under category.

Both publications earned “The Award of Distinguished Merit” from the Interscholastic League Press Conference, which is part of the University Interscholastic League, this spring. This is the top award any publication can receive from the UIL-sponsored organization.

For the second consecutive year, a student photographer at Centennial High School was recognized as having the top photo of the year in a category. 2006 graduate Andy Williams earned the Tops in Texas honor for his sports feature picture of TJ Ogunsola and coach Michael Jones leading the team in a prayer after a football game. Others receiving yearbook awards included: editors Desiree Altman and Sanja Trtanj honorable mention for Yearbook Theme Copy, Williams, first place sports feature photo, Karmen Chan, honorable mention, sports feature photo; Chan, honorable mention, Academic Photo; Chan, second place, Student Life Photo. In newspaper competition, Zach Morrison, third place, Entertainment Feature; Annie Ross, honorable mention, editorial; Jarzombek, honorable mention, Sports Feature; Bruno Morlan, third place Sports Action Photo; Morlan, second place and honorable mention, sports feature photos; and Julian Mazutis, third place, portrait.