The 2017-18 Hays High School Guidon newspaper earned All-American status after being awarded four marks of distinction by the National Scholastic Press Association.

“We got marks of distinction in coverage and content, text, visuals, and presentation,” said HHS journalism instructor Bill Gasper. “Those are the four main areas that they judge in. They gave us a mark of distinction in each one, which took us up to All-American status.”

Gasper said a total of 500 points could be earned — 200 in coverage and content and 100 each in text, visuals and presentation. The judge counted off only three points, making the score 497 out of 500.

“They look at your publication, six of our newspapers, and then they judge you in the different areas,” Gasper said. “We earned a 200 in coverage and contest and 99 out of 100 points in the other three categories.”

The judge said the writing was complete from start to finish; all art added to the message of the story; the sports coverage included recognition for all sports and athletes; and the opinion page combined seriousness and lightheartedness.

“This coverage is unique,” the judge wrote. “The Guidon staff has published a professional quality newspaper that serves the needs of the school community of Hays High School.”

The All-American rating is the highest rating at the national level, and Gasper said this is the first time he has achieved this award.

“I’m real pleased with the All-American rating,” Gasper said. “Last spring we received the highest state rating of All-Kansas, and to follow it up with the All-American is quite an honor. It is a tribute to the hard work and excellent work my newspaper staff did last year, and I could not be more pleased with their efforts. I’m proud of what they’ve done, and I’m very proud of this particular rating.”

Lacey Gregory was editor-in-chief of the publication, while Amiyah Gonzalez was assistant editor. Online editor was Isabelle Braun, and sports editors were Jacob Maska and Taylor Schiffelbein.

Other staff members were Tana Herreman, Elizabeth Lee, Allison Brooks, Anna Brull, Hanna Dannar, MacKenzie Fagan, Alicia Feyerherm, Allison Hillebrand, Scout Perryman, Rebekah Porter, Kayli Potter, Dawson Rooney, Madison Weber, Hannah Donaldson, Connor Olson and Isaiah Schindler.