Brainerd High School senior Megan Kath was ecstatic when she found out she was named Fine Arts Student of the Week.
"I had a tough year last year," she said. "And to have this happen and I'm starting to get good grades, it proves that I do have things that I am good at."
Kath received the weekly honor for her work as the photography editor for the Fifth Street Journal, the high school's newspaper. As the photography editor, Kath makes sure the photo assignments are taken. Kath, who also takes photographs, downloads and sizes the photographs for the student newspaper that publishes twice a month.
Kath's Fifth Street Journal teacher said, "She has been incredibly helpful, always willing to assist her classmates and often spending time after school to take pictures. She is one of those rare students who brings a great sense of purpose and pride to our class."
Art focus: Photography
Art activities: Photo editor of the Fifth Street Journal and copy editor of The Brainonian
Favorite subjects: English and geography
Most memorable fine arts achievement: Being named photography editor of Fifth Street Journal and the copy editor of The Brainonian
Artist most admired: Biff Ulm, a professional photographer in Nisswa
Favorite movie: "Meet Me in St. Louis"
Favorite TV program: "Trading Spaces"
Parents: Paul and Dana Kath of Brainerd
This is Kath's first year in the class. She joined because she has always been interested in journalism and photography. She also took the class to prepare herself for classes she may take in college.
Kath does not own a camera, but has taken photos with a disposable camera in the past.
"I didn't think I was good at it so I never got a good camera," she said. "I took pictures of my friends and special events."
Now she enjoys taking pictures. She likes to take photos of sporting events and of people showing emotions.
"I'll walk around to try to capture people's emotions," she said. "I like faces. It shows what the person is thinking and feeling."
So far this year, she is most proud of a photo she took of Joe Phelps, the high school's soccer goalie. Phelps was screaming during a game and the photo looks good, she said.
There are 20 people involved in the Fifth Street Journal, and Kath said not every story has a photograph. She said most students want to take their own photos.
"Photography is very popular," she said. "People like to take their own photos."
Kath said her classmates usually meet deadlines, but if a deadline is not met she will go and take a photo or find a graphic to fill the space in the newspaper.
Besides taking the photos, Kath also likes working on the pictures behind the scenes. She likes to do fun things with the photos. For instance, for the Halloween issue, she took a photo of a staff member who made a scary face. Then she distorted the photo on the computer to make the teacher look spookier.
Kath said she learned how to work on photos from a classmate, Jaimie Borders.
"I watched her (Borders) a lot last year and figured it out on my own," Kath said. "There are still some things I need to figure out."
Kath does not want to do photography as a career, but said she'd like to do it as a hobby. Kath wants to be a history or social studies teacher. Currently she is looking at two schools, Bemidji State University and Cottey College in Missouri.
"I love kids no matter what their age and I've had so many good teachers," said Kath. "I want to be a role model. My grandpa and uncle were history teachers and I really love history."
Natalie Vasquez, senior, art: "Natalie has set an example of a highly self motivated student in media arts," said her art teacher.
Julie Williams, senior, A Cappella Choir: Williams has been in A Cappella Choir for two years and is secretary and treasurer. She also has spent two years as a member of Windfall, one year in Concert Chorale and For Women Only and was an alternate for the Minnesota All-State Choir.
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