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Chloe Sears, Hannah Watts named SIPA Stars

By Kailey Cota, SIPA assistant

Posted October 28, 2021

Our first SIPA Star, Chloe Sears, quickly emerged as a dedicated storyteller. Now, she’s the managing editor of Clarke Central High School’s (Ga.) ODYSSEY Newsmagazine and is a mentor to younger students. 

“By the second semester of her tenure with the program, she had already begun paying forward the lessons learned by editing and mentoring younger students,” David Ragsdale, ODYSSEY Newsmagazine adviser, said. 

Alongside her reporting, she is a co-teacher and focuses on the human resources aspect of the paper. 

Her eagerness, persistence and reliability make her stand out from her peers, according to her adviser. 

“The sky is the limit and space is the place. She's the cream of the crop and undoubtedly, she'll rise to the top,” Ragsdale said. 

Our second SIPA Star, Hannah Watts, can do it all. From being President of her junior class, being active in her church to working on the news staff of Catawba Ridge High School’s "CRN-TV," she handles herself with poise. 

She takes such amazing pride in what she produces for the show. She doesn’t need to always be in the spotlight, she is just as much a “behind the scenes” girl and can shoot, edit and write better than anyone else at her level. 

“Hannah is one of the hardest working and most dedicated students I've had in a very long time,” Karin McKemey, "CRN-TV" adviser, said. “Her commitment to excellence is unmatched and she does it all with a positive attitude and a smile on her face!” 

Though she is just a TV2 student, she is already a mentor to others, McKemey said. 

“Every other student in the entire program looks to her as the absolute best leadership example,” McKemey said. 

Watts recently covered the first-ever senior sunrise at Catawba Ridge. 

“When Hannah says ‘It will be done,’ — it will be. There are never excuses. Where there are obstacles — she sees opportunities to shine,” McKemey said. “Anywhere this girl wants to go — she will be successful.”

SIPA Stars is a showcase series that spotlights individual students, celebrates their content, and exemplifies good Southern journalism at work in scholastic classrooms. 

An adviser or editor can recommend a student to be a SIPA Star through a short application process. We will create web and social media posts and letters to principals and local media outlets to identify and spotlight the student selected. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.