Westside Journalism Takes State

On Tuesday, April 23, Westside journalists went to compete at Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Nebraska, to determine which Nebraska high school had the best publication. Westside won first place with a staggering 446 points while Papio placed second with 316 points. With a 130 point lead, Westside was able to come back to Omaha with a trophy. Numerous Westside journalists placed in the top 3 bringing home gold, silver and bronze medals with a few earning a place in a top ten spot.

Journalism Instructor and supervisor, Jerred “Z” Zegelis, is proud of what his students accomplished and expects the same out of next year’s journalists.

“I feel proud of my students,” Zegelis said. “More than anything I don’t take awards too seriously and I need to because the students deserve recognition for the amazing hard work they do. They work long hours, they do things that nobody else in the school realizes they do, and they do it all on their own. Mr.K and I don’t change things, we don’t go in and alter students’ work. The students do it on their own and because of that, I’m more proud of them because they’re able to stand on their own two feet and show what young people can do every single day.”

Senior and Westside Television Producer Deandre Hill placed first, had two third places, and one eighth place at state. Hill said he is proud of how Westside’s journalism department finished the 2018-2019 school year.

“It’s a big thing to me because I promised to [Mr. Zegelis and Mr. Kaldahl]  at the beginning of the year that I would win them [a state championship],” Hill said. “Last year we got third and I felt we were better than the two programs that beat us. I really wanted to make a vow that every publication in journalism would put their feet in the dirt and really grind this year to get first.”

With Hill leaving, he hopes next year’s publications will keep standards high and that journalists will use this victory as motivation.

“I hope that [present and future journalists] look at that and they follow in our footsteps and we build a dynasty and establish a legacy,” Hill said. “We already have a legacy but I think it’s time to be our own and be known as Westside Journalism. Make a name for ourselves.”

The following are the Westside journalists that placed in the 2018-2019 State Championship.


Photo Illustration: Ramya Iyer – 2nd

Sports Photography:  Yamilett Ramirez – 2nd

News Photography: Kate Avery – 2nd

Yearbook Layout:  Chiharu Shuai – 7th

Yearbook Layout:  Ramya Iyer – 1st

Video News Story:  Brandon McMiller and Hannah-Kate Kinney – 1st

Video News Story:  Caleb Kirilov and Trent Hancock – 2nd

Video News Story:  Chris Speeks and Dre Hill – 3rd

Video Sports Story:  Dre Hill and Chris Speeks – 3rd

Video Sports Story:  Hannah-Kate Kinney – 6th

Video Feature Story – Caleb Kirilov and Trent Hancock – 1st

Video Feature Story:  Dre Hill – 8th

Video Feature Story – Erin Mosier – 7th

Public Service Announcement: Chris Speeks and Dre Hill – 1st

Public Service Announcement: Caleb Kirilov – 3rd

Public Service Announcement: Trent Hancock – 6th

Editorial Writing – Natalie Gill – 5th

Editorial Writing – Maryam Akramova – 2nd

Headline Writing: Will Eikenbary – 3rd

InfoGraphics: Max Frost – 8th

Sports Feature Writing:  Josh Siegel – 1st

Sports News Writing: Jonathan Snover – 1st

Yearbook Feature Writing: Isha Dhakal – 4th

Yearbook Feature Writing:  Virginia Jansen – 6th

Yearbook Sports Feature Writing:  John Maier – 2nd

Yearbook Theme Copy Writing:  Brooklyn Armstrong – 1st

Yearbook Theme Copy Writing:  Ramya Iyer – 2nd

In-Depth teams won 1st and 5th.