Midlothian Mirror Managing Editor

No one knows the value of good news better than newspaper people.

The Panther Pride newspaper staff earned a bronze award as part of the state ILPC newspaper competition held April 21 in Austin. The Panther Pride also received nine individual awards and on Tops In Texas.

“I felt good about our product, but we didn’t expect this,” said Panther Pride Editor Samantha Jameson. “I’m very proud of this team.”

The Panther Pride was one of only 25 papers in the state to take home ILPC Newspaper Star Awards.

The paper’s award was a first for Midlothian High School.

In addition to newspaper honors, Katelyn Smitherman, a junior, won first place in the state for her news story on the bond election. Her story was then re-judged against all first place news stories from all conferences - 1A through 5A - and she won Tops-In-Texas.

Smitherman also received an honorable mention for her Page One design.

Allison Harp, a junior, won second place for her news feature story on Ryan Looney, a second place in state for her photo story on the play “Arsenic and Old Lace,” and a state honorable mention for feature photo.

Jameson, a senior, received a state third place award for her front page design.

In addition, state honorable mentions went to junior Kelli Hardy for news feature, senior Sean Kornegay for his editorial cartoon and senior Kristina Smith for general news photo.

“We learned a lot about our school and a lot about each other putting this paper out,” said Jameson. “Meeting deadlines and interviewing people teaches you a lot.”

Carol Richtsmeier said the Panther Pride newsroom is made up of students who are serious about the paper and work hard.

“If you look at past editions you can see a progression in the quality of work,” said Richtsmeier. “The paper has really changed in the past two years. It all culminated in earning these awards.”

Richtsmeier said MISD has been good about providing quality computers and the equipment and funding to put out a good newspaper.

The 2006-07 Panther Pride is made up of nine seniors, five juniors and three sophomores. Richtsmeier said she hopes this mix of upper- and lower-classmen will prompt a similar high-quality paper next year.

The Panther Pride is staffed by Samantha Jameson, Jamie Shaw, Katelyn Smitherman, Trent Bates, Sean Kornegay, Matt Lee, Gabrielle Lockwood, Jack Harding, Kellie Hardy, Kristina Smith, Andrew Rowell, Allison Harp, Lauren Young, Jessica Collins, Leslie Ingersoll and Alyssa Hawkins.

The Panther Pride is published once every six weeks and traditionally sports from 12 to 16 pages.

The Panther Pride can be read on-line at www.midlothian-isd.net/pantherpride/index.html by clicking on the appropriate edition.