2015 Single-Topic News or Feature for Print/Online (Medium Staff) Finalist: Celia Llopis-Jepsen

Celia Llopis-Jepsen | The Topeka Capital-Journal

Celia Llopis-Jepsen sheds light on the health of Kansas’ rural and small-town school districts.

Comments from the Judges:

“Llopis-Jepsen has done one of the strongest, most thorough pieces on rural education that I’ve read in recent years. I appreciated the depth of each individual piece. I also appreciated the range of topics and voices she featured — the bus driver and the inclusion of a section on alternative education come to mind. Each of her pieces included the requisite state and national context.”

”The stories were extremely well thought-out, and expertly executed, with Llopis-Jepsen showing a tremendous eye for detail. She explained the issues facing small, rural Kansas districts with clarity and compassion. Even as an outsider, I felt like I got a good feel for each district she profiled and the issues it is facing.”

“Llopis-Jepsen, in her five-part series, has covered every aspect of rural education. Her research appears thorough and the numbers used in the stories matter and aren’t simply added to fill in space. By sharing the struggles from the consolidation in the 1960s to the workforce expectations fifty years later, Llopis-Jensen shows why rural education matters.”