The Kansas Scholastic Press Association is a nonprofit organization composed of Kansas high school and junior high school journalism teachers and their students. This organization promotes excellence in journalism at all levels and focuses on providing journalism education leadership for Kansas teachers and students. KSPA operates numerous contests, conferences and scheduled activities throughout the year. Click here to view the KSPA calendar. Visit the KSPA website to learn more.

KSPA’s History

The Kansas Scholastic Press Association claims a proud history of serving scholastic journalism programs in the state. Prior to the founding of KSPA in the early 1970s, the Kansas Organization of Press Advisers (KOPA) was the state press group that served advisers.

Housed at the University of Kansas for its entire history, KSPA has been led by only five directors: Dana Leibengood, Jackie Engel, John Hudnall, Jeff Browne and now Eric Thomas. KSPA is unique in many aspects, but the most obvious are the on-site regional and state competitions. These competitions, in 19 areas of journalism, help keep the organization and its members involved and active.

As early as 1925, others states looked to Kansas as the standard. William M. Albergotti, principal of Greer High School in South Carolina, called for an association of schools that sponsored high school newspapers. Albergotti began his push for such an organization by securing information from existing organizations. He cited the Kansas model as an example of an ideal structure for a high school press association in South Carolina.

In 1970, retired Kansas adviser Dorothy Greer moved to Colorado upon her retirement. She took the KOPA/KSPA blueprint with her and established the Colorado High School Press Association.

In 1994, the Freedom Forum published its review of scholastic journalism, “Death by Cheeseburger.” In that publication, the Kansas Scholastic Press Association was cited as one of seven leading press associations in the country. 

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Eric Thomas
Director of the Kansas Scholastic Press Association
The University of Kansas

Stauffer-Flint Hall, room 317

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