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Citizen welcomes new teen columnist
May 30, 2013 Jerry Purvis   

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Photo by Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen - Recent Gering graduate, Kaitlyn Krzyzanowski displays her Whitney Parr Scholarship certificate. Krzyzanowski will join the Citizen staff this summer as a weekly columnist.

Continuing its effort to provide young writers with the opportunity to showcase their talents, the Gering Citizen will feature recent Gering graduate Kaitlyn Krzyzanowski this summer.

Kaitlyn, who spent three years on the journalism and yearbook staff at Gering High School, was this year’s winner of the Whitney Parr Memorial Scholarship, for a graduate majoring in journalism or education.

The scholarship was organized in 2007 by Gering Citizen founder and former publisher Jim Headley to honor Whitney, a talented young writer who had worked for him. Just weeks prior to her graduation, Whitney lost her life in a tragic small plane crash near Lake Minatare.

“I was really excited when I learned I had won the scholarship,” Kaitlyn said. “I didn’t have a lot of time during school to write the required essays, but I put my all into that one.”

Kaitlyn transferred to Gering her sophomore year and was in the journalism class for three years. Her first year was spent writing stories for the Blue Prints newspaper. By her junior year, she became editor of the center section and designed many of the pages. And her senior year, she was both center section editor and feature editor.

“Our center section is basically feature stories that cover a lot of different topics,” she said. “Because the section is in the middle of the paper and is in color, it’s where you can really design.”

Kaitlyn said her interest in graphic design came at an early age. “When I was a kid, I used Paint and Korel Draw programs and just started to see what I could do with them. That’s what I did every day after school. I like computer stuff.”

This fall, Kaitlyn will be a freshman at the University of South Dakota. “I’m not exactly sure what I’ll be doing but I have an interest in journalism and graphic design,” she said.

A standout golfer for the Bulldogs, Kaitlyn will also be on her college team. “I’ve played golf since I was in preschool. That was my main thing to do because golf is huge with my family,” she said. Her older brother, Eric, was a one of the top golfers for Scottsbluff in recent years.

Kaitlyn said she’s looking forward to college this fall and the opportunity to see which areas of communications most interest her. Graphic design, advertising, public relations and journalism are some of the possibilities to investigate.

As for her summer newspaper column, Kaitlyn said she’ll probably write about the day-to-day life events of a teenager. “For specific ideas, I really need to sit down and think about it. But I enjoy writing, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Kaitlyn’s weekly column will appear in the pages of the Citizen starting with the June 6 edition.
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