She’s got the ‘whole package’

Knight earns Journalist of the Year with her diversity in telling stories


Sam Hanley

Senior Madelyn Knight won Journalist of The Year on March 14. She says this award means that all her “hard work has paid off.”

“I’m just really happy that these last four years have accumulated to this,” senior Madelyn Knight said.

What Madelyn is referring to is receiving the title of Indiana High School Journalist of the Year on March 14.

Since taking the intro-to-journalism class and joining The Journal staff, Madelyn has grown in many ways, but her improved confidence over the years has been key to her success, according to The Journal’s former Editor-In-Chief, Andrew Tapp. He believes her confidence and good character have allowed her to step out of her comfort zone and get involved in many different fields, including writing and photography, ultimately leading to this award.

“I think one way that Madelyn stands out compared to the average high school journalist is her ability to tell stories,” Tapp said, “not only through words, but also through her pictures.”

Although Madelyn says she wasn’t expecting to receive the award because she had really good competition, she is very proud of what her high school journalism career has come to. She feels she was considered for the award because of her application essay, which outlined how she started out her freshman year as an applicant for The Journal, and now she’s Editor-In-chief. Each year, she pushed herself more and more out of the box to become the well-rounded person that she is.

The Journal adviser, Mike Klopfenstein, also attributes her receiving the award to her expertise in many different content areas. He says she’s a great writer, photographer, page designer, editor and leader, which is what allowed her to stick out to the judges.

“The rubric that they use to determine state journalist of the year really asks that the applicants be extraordinarily well-rounded. Madelyn is a perfect example of a well-rounded high school journalist,” Klopfenstein said. “She can do it all.”

He says that from the very beginning, Madelyn was just a great journalism student and since then, she has improved immensely in every aspect of journalism. He says he has seen her “bust (her) butt” for the past three years while on The Journal, and he couldn’t be more proud.

Madelyn’s mom, Ingrid Knight, also believes Madelyn received the award because she has “the whole package.” Ingrid says she saw Madelyn scared to join The Journal but pushed herself into new territory, and once she got there, she really found her place at SHS. She is glad that her daughter has been able to grow more confident through journalism and hopes she can take this confidence with her to college and show people “I can do this, so can you.”

Madelyn’s dad, Rob Knight, is excited to see where Madelyn goes as well. Especially now that she has received this award and is took the opportunity to travel to Anaheim, California for the Spring National High School Journalism Convention from April 25 to April 29. He says when she found out she received Journalist of the Year and knew she could go to California, she was hesitant to ask, but he reassured her that they wouldn’t let her pass up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to network and delve even deeper into journalism.

Everyone sees Madelyn succeeding in journalism because she is so diversified within the craft of journalism.

“She just sees things differently than a lot of kids do,” Klopfenstein said.