Lakota East senior Kaitlin Lange was named 2013 Ohio Journalism Education Association Journalist of the Year at the annual Ohio Scholastic Media Association state conference last week at Kent State University. Lange is the managing editor and a three-year staff member of Spark Magazine, an award-winning publication produced by high school students.Lange is the sixth Spark journalist to receive the honor since 1998. Previous winners include Melissa Harris, Sara Thomas, Matt Faig, Betsy Brown and Sarah Massey.
In addition to the state honor, Lange is also entered in the JEA national Journalist of The Year competition in San Francisco in late April. There, Lange will be going up against seniors from 35 states. If she wins, she would receive a $5,000 national prize in addition to her $500 state award.
In this year’s OSMA state contests, Lange earned the only superior in first-person narrative, was part of in-depth teams that earned a superior and an excellent, had an honorable mention entry in news feature, plus a first place on the LEHS Spark broadcast team in the day-of video story competition.
“Covering all those school board meetings paid off for Kaitlin,” said Dean Hume, who serves as the magazine’s advisor and as a Lakota East journalism teacher. “She covers hard news and soft news with equal resolve and thoroughness.”
Lange, who is also a varsity cheerleader, is planning to study journalism at Maryland, Indiana or Ball State.