• I have noticed several nice mini-features of area students heading to the State UIL Academic Meet May 25-26. I don't know how much you focus any coverage on Karnes County, but a fair number of residents do subscribe ...

    Anyway -- and I'm not bragging and actually believe in humility so I was hesitant to post this comment -- but a pair of Karnes City HS journalism students will compete at the state meet Monday, and one is an alternate who could compete. The senior editor of our school paper The Badger Times, Abby Traxler, qualified in both Editorial and Feature Writing; she won second in Editorial and third in Feature at the Region IV meet April 25. Our sophomore managing editor, Kevin Matula, qualified in News Writing with his third place win at regional. Lindsay Labus, a senior and our sports editor, won fourth and is a state alternate in News Writing. With the four wins, we took first place Journalism team at regional. By the way, Kevin and his debate partner Matthew Soliz, both sophomores, competed in March at the state Cross-Examination Meet. I have the privilege of judging Headline Writing at state; I had a pair of regional competitors but they did not advance.

    Abby, who is just amazingly talented and is such a campus leader, also won a Tops in Texas for an entertainment feature she wrote last spring through a clip contest sponsored by Interscholastic League Press Conference (ILPC), journalism's branch of the UIL. The Badger Times earned 19 recognitions in various categories in this statewide clip contest for the 2A conference. Tops in Texas, though, takes the gold medal winners in that one category from 1A to 5A schools and rates them among one another, and so her entertainment feature on our Highsteppers celebrating 25 years (last school year) was rated "tops."

    Here's the website for ILPC if you want to find out if any other Crossroads-area journalism students won something in the 2009 clip contest. Those awards were announced April 19.

    Also from Karnes County, a Kenedy HS student named Caleb Janysek, a senior, will compete Tuesday at state in Accounting. He also is talented and bright ... I also don't know how much students know ... if they compete at state UIL at any point in their high school careers, not only their senior year, they are eligible for TILF scholarships. Here's a website on that, and application deadline was extended to June 1 because of all the swine flu push-backs, etc.

    Julie Nichols
    Karnes City High School
    English, Social Studies and Journalism teacher
    UIL Coordinator
    The Badger Times adviser
    Student Council sponsor

    May 22, 2009 at 8:03 a.m.