November Photo of the Month winners announced


First Place: Mia Paladino, Nixa High School

On Nov. 5 while at practice, Ilya Balyuk (12) finishes off his breaststroke lap by diving under the water. “My parents and my coaches definitely have inspired me the most, without them I would not be the same swimmer or person that I am,” Balyuk said. Balyuk broke two records, the 100 butterfly and 200 IM, that resulted in qualification for state. (Mia Paladino)

Judge’s Comments: There have been many submissions of swim images the last few months, but this has been the most unique angle. Congrats to the photographer for pushing themselves to get something different. The overall framing, exposure and caption writing are all excellent.

Second Place: Morgan Wood, Kearney High School

Junior Maleah Bell dances to “The Circle of Life” in “The Lion King” scene to start the fall musical, which contained songs from multiple broadway musicals in order to form their own story. The student-written script told how Broadway shut down due to the coronavirus, and the difficulties around getting it started again. “I think my favorite part honestly wasn’t even being on stage. It was more just being around everyone and hanging out with them,” junior Ellarie Haggart said. “Obviously, I liked being on stage and doing my own song in ‘All That Jazz,’ but I did like just being around my friends for hours on end while putting on the show.” (Morgan Wood)

Judge’s Comments: Theater images can be challenging because of the constantly changing lighting situation, but the lighting and framing are wonderful for this subject. The spotlight in the background almost frames the main subject perfectly, and the photographer did a nice job of avoiding background distractions with their main subject despite everything that is going on in the image.

Third Place: Kaylee Baggerly, Kearney High School

Junior Braxton Breedlove drives towards the basket against St. Pius X. “You are just in a one-on-one against someone,” Breedlove said, “you just have to beat the defender.” (Kaylee Baggerly)

Judge’s Comments: The action and subject’s facial expression are great in this image as the viewer can clearly see the determination of the player as he attempts to score. The exposure could be a bit brighter, though.

Honorable Mention: Braden Dennis, Nixa High School

Senior Aaron Coorts soars through the air after completing a successful jump at Two Rivers bike park in Jamesville, MO on Nov. 1, 2020. “Just the feeling you get after you do a certain trail or do a certain trick and land that — just the feeling of accomplishment you get from that is really fun,” Coorts said. He has been biking since he started high school. (Braden Dennis)

Judge’s Comments: Though the clarity in this image is not super clear, the action and framing are excellent. You don’t need to see the surrounding environment to get a feel for the action of this photo, and being able to fully capture the subject’s face from this angle is a real triumph.

Honorable Mention: Selena Escutia, Staley High School

Filling their pipettes, juniors Reece Corda and Van Hamilton participate in an Honors Biology lab Nov. 2. The class measured levels of respiration based on activity level. “It gave a sense of normalcy, and it was more fun than sitting and taking notes like we’ve been doing since the beginning of the year,” said Corda. (Selena Escutia)

Judge’s Comments: It has been challenging this year to get academic photos, but this photographer did a nice job of framing their subjects well while clearly showing their actions, as well as getting enough of their faces to be recognizable.