December Photo of the Month winners announced


First Place: Cassie Ford, Staley High School

Even after many Kansas City suburbs made masks optional, the district kept masking requirement in place due to the city mandate. But a mandate for Kansas City, Mo., was set to expire Jan. 1, and the district announced that after Winter Break masks would be optional inside buildings. “I agree with the district’s decision,” senior Josh Mormino said. “I feel that kids now know the risks to being unmasked and unvaccinated. We should be able to choose whether or not we wear masks. I personally can’t wait; I really missed seeing everyone’s faces.” (Cassie Ford)

Judge’s Comments: Without having to provide any context, the topic of this photo illustration should be clear to the audience. The photographer did a nice job of approaching visually representing debates about mask mandates in a different and colorful way that clearly reflects the issue and goes beyond just taking pictures of students with or without masks.

Second Place: Landyn Goldberg, Staley High School

In the Falcon Fieldhouse during the wrestling duel against Kearney High School, junior Jack Stoffel goes for a pin on his opponent in Dec. 9. Duels provide an environment for wrestlers with different lighting and setup as compared to a normal meet. “It’s really awesome,” Stoffel said. “Especially when we’re at home, it has a big team aspect. We are all cheering each other on and it’s really energetic and fun.” (Landyn Goldberg)

Judge’s Comments: There are several elements in this photograph that create an overall strong image. Though the facial expressions are missing from the athletes, there is still an intensity that can be found in the athletes’ movements and bodies. Furthermore, the centered and wider framing not only captures the reflection, but it also keeps the focus on the subjects, which almost makes the wrestlers feel isolated despite there being spectators in the stand behind them.

Third Place: Claire Albright, Smithville High School

The dazzlers begin their dance during a basketball game. This was the dazzlers’ first-ever time performing this dance. “I was really nervous, but I always just smile through the nerves,” said Aubrey Laber (11). (Claire Albright)

Judge’s Comments: In addition to the repetition in gestures and facial expressions, the leading line in this image draws the viewer directly into the center to the two main focal points. Overall, the photographer did a great job of positioning themselves to get their desired framing while also capturing an angle that not many people may get a chance to see.

Honorable Mentions