LAWRENCE — The Kansas Scholastic Press Association named Hays High School senior Anniston Weber as the 3A/4A 2017 Kansas Student Journalist of the Year. Weber leads the staff of the Guidon and Guidon Online as editor-in-chief.

The 3A/4A winner represents the top student journalist at a KSPA member school with a enrollment classification of 3A or 4A.

In a surprise announcement Wednesday, Weber’s newspaper adviser at Hays High, Bill Gasper, informed her of the honor. As the 3A/4A winner, Weber received a scholarship check for $750 and a plaque.

Anniston Weber is top Classes 3A-4A Journalist of the Year. Congratulations, on the record! #hayshigh

— @Martin_Straub (@straub_martin) February 15, 2017

“Winning this award is the highest student journalism honor in the state of Kansas,” said KSPA Executive Director Eric Thomas. “Students must show commitment to journalism over years of reporting, writing and publishing. The quality of work showcased here is inspiring. These students signal a bright future for journalism.”

The overall statewide winner, Celia Hack of Shawnee Mission East High School (Prairie Village) was chosen among the winners of three different enrollment classifications: 1A/2A, 3A/4A and 5A/6A. In the 1A/2A division, Canton-Galva High School student Amanda Schmalzried earned the honor.

Hack's portfolio also advances to judging by the national Journalism Education Association committee. That committee will name the national winner of the award at the convention in Seattle during an awards ceremony April 9.

A panel of judges chose Weber’s work from among a collection of portfolios submitted by KSPA member schools. The judges are former high school publications advisers, university instructors and professional journalists.

For more information on the award, including links to the winning portfolios, visit