Stand-out work qualifies staff for State Journalism

Ten Journalism staff members qualified in at least one category for the Nebraska School Activities Association (NSAA) competition that will be held in Norfolk on April 23.


The preliminary qualifiers will not compete again in Norfolk, but their work will be officially judged and placed. “I’m looking forward to be able to see other people’s work to improve for next year,” Taylor Gustafson ’21 said.

Journalism departments all across the state are organized into three different classes: Class A, Class B and Class C. FHS is a member of Class B and competes alongside other schools in this class. The top eight entries in each category of work are selected to either receive an official ranking at the ceremony or be used as a ticket for the participant to put their skills to the test again on-site. Fairbury saw 25 total qualifying entries: 14 preliminary and 11 that will require on-site competition.

“I was surprised with some entries, but some I was also surprised with some that didn’t make it,” Blazer Editor-in-Chief Nichole Harris ’19 said. “There’s been good work all year, and our hard work showed.”

Leading the way is Harris with nine qualifying entries. Other staff members that will make the trip to Norfolk are Brynn Novotny ’21 (4 entries), Mikasa Lierman ’19 (3 entries), Joy Ondrak ’19 (3 entries) and Josephine Blatny ’20, Jaelle Johnson ’20, Carson York, Taylor Gustafson ’21, Tayler Shellhase ’19 and Hannah Knigge ’20 who all had one qualifying work each.


The on-site qualifiers will look to prove their worth again in forty-five minute sessions alongside their competition. To comply with NSAA rules, Nichole Harris ’19 will choose only two out of her five qualifying on-site categories to compete in.

“It feels really good to qualify my first year,” Gustafson said. “It makes me think I’m putting out really good stuff for the yearbook and that’s rewarding. I think [NSAA State] will be a good experience for me.”

The work that has accumulated over the 2018-19 school year is what brings the department success. For some, thinking ahead and making goals while working on everyday projects led them to this point in time.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Harris said. “[NSAA State] has been in the back of my mind all year. I really want to win something. For the staff, it’s all about recognition, which is really good at this competition for their hard work to get out.”

The qualifiers will make the trip north to Norfolk later this month to learn their official placings.




FHS Journalism Graphic

The FHS Journalism Department strives to accurately represent a broad range of stories in and around the area. The staff is composed of four seniors, five juniors, and three sophomores.