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Student Photographer of the Year finds courage in photojournalism

PARKER – Looking at her photos, you may never guess that Chaparral High School senior Maddie Malhotra is a bit shy. Her bold photos of athletics have a way of speaking, whether she is capturing a collision during a rugby match or the emotions on the football sideline. 

“I’m kind of a timid person, but when I am behind the camera, it lets me break down walls and lets me see things that I would have never before,” Malhotra said.

She says that she is attracted by the stories of the people she photographs.

“I always feel compelled to take pictures to tell someone’s story,” Malhotra said. “That is what drives me, to learn something new about them. When you are behind the camera, you have this perspective that not a lot of people get to see.”

She has worked very hard to master her camera and practice her craft. That preparation has paid off in sports photography, where she has excelled.

“She is catching that perfect exposure at a split second notice, whether it is a dunk or a kill on a volleyball court. That tells me that she is going someplace,” said local professional photographer Kevin Keyser.

In eighth grade Malhotra was encouraged to join yearbook and quickly fell in love with photojournalism.

“Being involved in yearbook in eighth grade, I could see how student journalists work together and the place I could have in my school community through yearbook.”

Today as the editor of Chaparral’s yearbook she has the opportunity to integrate the imagery she loves into every page.

“I am trying to design the entire theme of the yearbook experience around great photos,” Malhotra said. “[Readers] want to open a page and look at something that grabs their attention, that makes an impact, that makes them feel something.”

Malhotra’s work has certainly grabbed the attention of judges at both state and national competitions this year.

In May, the Colorado High School Press Association named her the Photographer of the Year and a couple weeks ago she won two National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) photography awards in the Sports Action and Sports Reaction categories.

2014 NSPA Photo Award:  Sports Action


2014 NSPA Photo Award:  Sports Reaction

This is not the first time she’s won a national award. NSPA also honored her photography when she was in middle school.

2011 NSPA Picture of the Year: Junior High/Middle School Division

Next year, she hopes to study photojournalism at Boston University, University of Missouri at Columbia or Northwestern University.

Photo Courtesy: Keyser Images

November 18, 2014 | By rmbarber | Category: High School Education

District News

graduates standing in line outside, smiling

DOUGLAS COUNTY – Graduation rates in the Douglas County School District (DCSD) continue to climb. Data released today by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) shows the on-time, four-year graduation rate is now 90.4 percent.

DCSD students also made an impressive showing at graduation. The class of 2017 earned more than $82 million in scholarships.

DCSD has one of the highest graduation rates in the Denver metro area. According to CDE, DCSD graduation rates have risen steadily from 81.9 percent in 2009 to 90.4 percent in 2017.

Five female students standing on stage smiling and laughing at the awards ceremony

The top two-percent of female athletes in Douglas County School District (DCSD) were honored at the annual Girls and Women in Sports Luncheon last week at Chaparral High School. This year represented the 30th national celebration of Girls and Women in Sports Day, created to encourage and promote the participation of girls in athletics. The girls who were honored were selected by their school’s coaches, athletic directors and principals for their outstanding achievements.

Superintendent Search text based logo

Working through the recent winter break, the Douglas County School District Board of Education has kicked off its search for DCSD’s next permanent superintendent. Following a thorough vetting of potential search firms, Ray & Associates (no relation to Board Director David Ray) has been hired to conduct the national search. The cost of the firm, excluding travel expenses, is $40,000. The money will come from the school board's budget, which is used for costs such as legal expenses and conferences.