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Nicole-Marie Konopelko


The Booster Redux: Pittsburg High School student publication 

Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor, Reporter 

JANUARY 2016 - MAY 2019 

  • Led staff of 21 students to produce print broadsheet and daily coverage on news website,, while doing individual writing and multimedia work.

  • Wrote article covering disagreement among city and school officials on need for school speed zone. Article prompted city to implement four-way stop sign and reduced speed zone.

  • Revamped all social media accounts and created online news presence, leading staff to first ever NSPA “Best of Show” award for news website in school history.

The Collegio: Pittsburg State (regional) University publication

City Commission Beat Reporter 

NOVEMBER 2016 - MARCH 2017 

Photo by | Alesha Lawson

  • Wrote weekly recaps on city commission meetings, detailing commissioners’ discussions of topics such as management of historic city hotel, traffic safety and partnership between city and university.

The Morning Sun: Local Southeast Kansas publication 

Sports Reporter 

JUNE 2018 - JULY 2019 

  • Cover area high school sporting events through recaps, features and photography.

  • Wrote sports feature article on Hispanic community soccer league in downtown Pittsburg. Article made it in publication’s end-of-year issue as one of its top stories of 2018.



National High School Student Journalist of the Year Runner-Up — National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA)

APRIL 2019 

  • State-winning portfolio selected as second best portfolio among 39 portfolios from student journalists nationwide.

Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference Kansas Representative — Freedom Forum Institute 

JUNE 16, 2018 - JUNE 21, 2018 

  • Selected by Freedom Forum Institute and Neuharth family to represent Kansas as top student journalist statewide at Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference hosted at Newseum in Washington, D.C.

New England Center for Investigative Reporting (NECIR) Young Watchdog Reporter Contest — Boston University

MARCH 2017 

  • Article covering homeless youth within Pittsburg community took third place from collection of student journalism across nation.

2018 Chicago National Scholastic Press Association Convention (NSPA) Awards Honorable Mentions in 

NSPA's "Writer of the Year," "Multimedia Feature Package of the Year" and "Feature Story of the Year" 


  • Online portfolio (, multimedia coverage of school community service club started to honor former student who died in hiking accident and article featuring student’s passion for American Sign Language were selected by NSPA as top ten pieces of student journalism in nation, in each respective category. 

Kansas Regional Journalism Champion, State Qualifier Kansas Scholastic Press Association on-site contest


  • Took written AP Style test, edited news article and wrote editorial on topic given on site. Both entries won first place in copy editing and editorial writing contests in Class 5A region.

Jayhawk Media Workshop "Award of Excellence" — The University of Kansas 

JUNE 2017 

  • Recognized as top student at summer Jayhawk Media Workshop’s “Writing With Depth” course taught by award-winning high school journalism adviser Barbara Tholen.

State Monthly Contest Awards — Kansas Scholastic Press Association (KSPA) 


*Articles selected as top in the state in KSPA's monthly contests, placing as follows: 

First Place, Opinion Writing — "Abusing power" — November 2017 Monthly Contest

First Place, Features Writing — "A place to finally call one's own" — October 2016 Monthly Contest 

Second Place, News Writing — "Aftermath" — February 2018 Monthly Contest 

Second Place, Features Writing — "A balancing act" — Dec./Jan. 2016-17 Monthly Contest 

Second Place, News Writing — "Meeting the basic needs" — January 2016 Monthly Contest 

Third Place, Features Writing — "Breaking gender roles" — Aug./Sept. 2018 Monthly Contest 

Best of Student Newspapers Online (SNO) — SNO

DECEMBER 2018 - MARCH 2019 

*Articles published by SNO to showcase the nation's best work in student journalism. 

"Surviving the battle" — December 2018 

"Creating irreversible masterpieces" — March 2019 

"Board of Education begins search for new principal, extends timeline" — March 2019

"District hires Heardt as new principal, begins replacement process" — March 2019  


California Scholastic Press Association Workshop — San Luis Obispo, California 

JULY 8, 2018 - JULY 22, 2018 

Boston University New England Center for Investigative Reporting Workshop Boston, Massachusetts

JULY 23, 2017 - AUGUST 4, 2017

  • Practiced journalism under instruction of NECIR staff.

  • Wrote investigative piece on dangers of artificial turf under guidance of Pulitzer Prize-nominated reporter Jenifer McKim.

*Click slideshow to enlarge photos and captions


Girls' Tennis Team: Pittsburg High School — No. 1 Varsity Singles Player, Team Captain 

AUGUST 2015 - OCTOBER 2018

  • Finished in top 20 of No. 1 Class 5A female high school singles players across state.

  • Qualified for Class 5A State Tennis Tournament for two out of four years playing singles.

Debate and Forensics: Pittsburg High School — Competitive Speaker and Actress 


  • Qualified for 2017 National Speech and Debate Tournament in Birmingham, Alabama in Senate of student congress.

  • Ranked as seventh best speaker in preliminary round at nationals.

  • Qualified for Class 5A State Forensics tournament in U.S. Extemporaneous Speaking and Original Oratory in 2016, 2017                                        and 2018.


Pittsburg High School: Pittsburg, KansasClass of 2019 

  • 4.3/4 Weighted GPA.

  • 1/400 Unweighted Class Rank.

  • 2018 Kansas Honor Scholar.

  • 2019 Kansas Governor’s Scholar.

  • National Honor Society Member.

The University of Kansas: Lawrence, KansasClass of 2023

  • Expected bachelor’s degree in journalism May 2023.

  • John P. Kaiser Scholarship (full-ride) recipient.

  • University honors program student.


  • Conversational skills in Russian, basic conversational Spanish. 

  • Editing and usage of Associated Press style.

  • Shooting interviews, b-roll and photos using Canon T6i camera and Panasonic camcorder.

  • Using social media to promote stories and cover events.

  • Photo editing using Adobe Bridge.

  • Web design using Wordpress, broadsheet design using Adobe InDesign.

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