St. Joe journalism takes home major awards




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St. Joseph journalism students take home major awards

Bruin News Now newscast named state’s best; students win best anchor, Ed Meek scholarship and Orley Hood sports writing awards

MADISON (Sunday, April 2, 2017) – St. Joseph Catholic School’s student-produced weekly newscast Bruin News Now was named Mississippi’s best high school newscast – one of 37 awards the school’s journalism program won in state competition.

St. Joe also won Best News Anchor, Best Podcast, Best Online Streaming Program, Broadcast Adviser of the Year and the Orley Hood Award for Excellence in High School Sports Journalism. All were announced Friday, March 31, 2017, at the University of Mississippi.

“These hard-working high school journalists deserve the recognition,” St. Joe Principal Dena Kinsey said. “They put in long hours every week to create a professional, high-quality product – whether a newspaper, video newscast or live radio sports program. I am so proud of them.”

St. Joseph Catholic School provides students in Grades 7-12 a rigorous college preparatory education grounded in the teachings of the Catholic church. The school is on Mississippi 463, about a mile west of the Interstate 55 Madison exit.

The Sisters of Mercy founded St. Joe in 1870. The school is accredited by the Mississippi Department of Education and AdvancED. has named St. Joe the best Catholic high school in Mississippi.

St. Joseph offers students Foundations in Journalism, Print Journalism and Broadcast Journalism courses. Students produce a newspaper six to eight times a year, The Bear Facts; an annual yearbook, The Shield; and a weekly video newscast, Bruin News Now.

Students also broadcast varsity football and basketball games on Bruin Sports Radio, available live on the Internet through TuneIn Radio. Bruin Sports Radio also is carried live over-the-air on WJXC Jackson, Mississippi Catholic Radio, 107.9.

A 23-student delegation from St. Joe was among more than 600 high school students from across the state to attend the 2017 Mississippi Scholastic Press Association convention on the University of Mississippi campus Friday.

There, they attended several breakout sessions covering broadcast and print journalism. The event ended Friday afternoon with the MSPA’s annual awards program, recognizing excellence in high school journalism.

Besides Bruin News Now’s win for Best Newscast, Bruin Sports Radio won for the Best Online Streaming Program, The Bear Facts was named runner-up for Best Newspaper and The Shield was named runner-up for Best Yearbook.

Senior Matthew Hendley was named Best Anchor for his work on Bruin News Now. Hendley also won for Best Podcast, the Coach’s Pre-Game show he hosted and produced for Bruin Sports Radio. And Hendley received the Ed Meek Scholarship to Ole Miss worth $1,000.

Freshman Joe Pearson, sports editor for The Bear Facts, received the Orley Hood Award for sports columns he wrote in the school newspaper.

Pearson’s win marked the fourth straight year a St. Joe student has won the prestigious award, named in memory of Orley Hood – a longtime popular columnist for The Clarion-Ledger who died three years ago. This is the fourth year for the award; no other school has won it.

Terry Cassreino, a former longtime journalist who heads St. Joe’s journalism program, was named Broadcast Adviser of the Year for 2017. The MSPA also honored Cassreino as broadcast adviser of the year in 2016, yearbook adviser in 2015 and newspaper adviser in 2014.

“It’s great to see a dedicated group of students rewarded and recognized for their hard work,” Mrs. Kinsey said. “I’m certain these awards will encourage them to take their work to the next level. I can’t wait to see what they do next and how they improve an already strong product.”

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Here is a complete list of awards St. Joseph Catholic School won at MSPA 2017 convention at the University of Mississippi on Friday, March 31, 2017. Links to winning entries are provided if available.


Orley Hood Award for Excellence in High School Sports Journalism

  • Winner: Joe Pearson, a freshman (fourth year the award has been given and fourth year a St. Joe student has won – click here to read Pearson’s sports columns that won the award)

 Ed Meek Scholarship for the University of Mississippi (worth $1,000)

  • Winner: Matthew Hendley, a senior

Broadcast Adviser of the Year

  • Winner: Terry R. Cassreino (second straight year he received this award and fourth straight year MSPA has recognized him as an adviser of the year)


Best Newscast

 Best Online Streaming Program

 Best News Coverage

Best Feature Coverage

 Best Sports Coverage

Most Improved Newscast

Best News Story

  • Finalist: Blaine Turner, a junior (Youth Legislature, click here)

Best Feature Story

  • Winner: Blaine Turner, a junior (engineering class project, click here)
  • Finalist: Leah Blevins, a junior (Delta State Trip, click here

 Best Sports Story

  • Finalist: John Baladi, a freshman (new fall 2017 football schedule, click here) 

Best Anchor

  • Winner: Matthew Hendley, a senior (anchor highlight reel, click here)

Best Public Service Announcement

  • Finalist: Leah Blevins, a junior (drinking and driving, click here)

Best Podcast

  • Winner: Matthew Hendley, a senior (coach’s pre-game show, click here)

Best Documentary

  • Finalist: Garret Grove, a sophomore (Black History Month, click here)



Best Newspaper

 Best Sports Writing

Best Opinion Writing

Best Print Layout & Design

Best News Story

  • Finalist: Jack Clements, an eighth-grader (story on Nicaragua trip, click here)

Best Depth Reporting

  • Finalist: Leila de Gruy, a sophomore, & Kim Kaiser, a freshman (World Youth Day, click here)

 Best Staff Editorial

  • Finalist: Matthew Hendley, a senior (serving others, click here)

 Best Sports Story

  • Finalist: Charlie Lott, a freshman (football season, click here)

Best Page Design

  • Finalist: Grant Murphy, a junior (February 2017, click here)



Best Yearbook

  • Finalist: The Shield

Best Photography

  • Finalist: The Shield

Best Section Dividers

  • Finalist: The Shield

 Best Colophon

  • Winner: The Shield

 Best Overall Design

  • Finalist: The Shield

Best Feature Photo

  • Finalist: Collin Ledbetter, a junior (football stadium, click here)

Best Feature Reporting

  • Finalist: Joe Pearson, a freshman (closing essay, click here)

CARRY-IN AWARDS (anything published between Feb. 14, 2017, deadline for annual contest and March 31, 2017, convention)


Best News Story

  • Finalist: Garret Grove, a sophomore (new principal, Mrs. Dena Kinsey, click here)

Best Feature Story

  • Winner: John Baladi, a freshman (Abbey Youth Fest, click here)

 Best Sports Story

  • Finalist: John Baladi, a freshman (tennis preview, click here)


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