Hopi High School wins another round of awards

By Stan Bindell
Polacca, Arizona (NFIC) June 2011

Hopi High School won 12 awards for radio broadcast and three for print journalism from the Arizona Interscholastic Press Association.

Hopi High was up against all the schools in the state that have broadcast programs including TV and radio. The Hopi High radio students perform the Hopi High Teen Show, the only live remote Native American Teen Talk Show in the nation. The shows are performed on KUYI, the Hopi community radio station, found at 88.1 FM or streaming at KUYI.net

Darin Johnson, an advanced radio student, won three awards with one excellent (second place) and two honorable mentions (third place).

Johnson said he was ecstatic about winning the awards.

“It shows that hard work paid off. KUYI staff motivated me to work hard and the recordings turned out pretty good,” he said.

Johnson, a senior, said winning 12 radio awards is good for the school’s image.

“Winning 12 state awards is a good number,” he said. “I’m happy that my classmates won. They could have done more, but it was a pretty good job and I’m delighted for them.”

Johnson plans to major in environmental science at Northern Arizona University but will use radio as his “fallback.” He said radio has taught him to communicate better, especially with people he has never met previously.

He said his friends and parents have kept him motivated to work with radio and were proud of his awards. He added that students who aren’t considering radio should take it because it helps students learn communication skills.

Johnson serves on the editorial board of Public Radio Exchange (prx.org), which means that he critiques other students audio pieces and gets paid for it.

Maureen “Mo” Lomakema, a beginning radio class student, won two awards with one for second place and another for third place.

Lomakema, a senior, said she was happy and excited to win these awards because it was the first time she won awards “that was bigger than the school.”

Lomakema said she was happy that her classmates were also able to win something from outside the school. She said she might major in radio in college and work with KUYI and other radio stations in the future.

Talik Namoki, a journalism student, won an honorable mention for her sportswriting.

“I felt honored. This was a big surprise,” she said. “I felt happy that my classmates won. It shows that we do work hard.”