FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2018
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State high school press association

gives St. Joe’s newscast top award 

Columbia Scholastic Press Association in New York honors

student newspaper The Bear Facts with major award

MADISON (Friday, March 30, 2018) – St. Joseph Catholic School students took home 31 awards from the state high school journalism convention – including one naming Bruin News Now the best high school newscast for the second straight year.

The state honors follow another earlier this month from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association at Columbia University in New York. The CSPA gave St. Joe’s student newspaper The Bear Facts a Silver Crown award, naming it one of the 49 best high school newspapers.

“Our success at the Mississippi Scholastic Press Association Convention this week and the CSPA this month showcases St. Joe’s talented high school journalists who produce professional-quality newscasts and newspapers throughout the school year,” Principal Dena Kinsey said.

“Our students work tirelessly to inform our school community about anything and everything that happens here,” Kinsey said. “These awards simply highlight their dedication and hard work that makes our comprehensive high school media program the best in the state.”

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 in Madison on Mississippi 463, about a mile west of Interstate 55.

St. Joseph was founded in 1870 by the Sisters of Mercy. The school is accredited by AdvancED. named St. Joseph Mississippi’s No. 1 Catholic high school in 2016 and again in 2017.

High school journalism is among several electives available for students in Grades 9-12.

Besides The Bear Facts, journalism students also produce a yearbook The Shield, a weekly video newscast Bruin News Now and live sports coverage on Bruin Sports Radio – which is webcast live online as well as live on WJXC Jackson, Mississippi Catholic Radio, 107.9.

Thirty-two St. Joe journalism students attended the 2018 MSPA Convention all day Tuesday, March 27, on the University of Mississippi campus.

While there, students attended sessions led by experts on photojournalism, print journalism and broadcast journalism. They ended the day with an awards program celebrating and honoring student work in high school newspapers, website and broadcast news.

St. Joe’s biggest award was for Best Newscast. This was the second straight year Bruin News Now took the top award in a field that featured much larger public schools from across the state.

Other first-place winners included:

n Best Sports Story: Joe Pearson, a sophomore and sports editor of The Bear Facts, won for his story “Trey Frierson shaped by life-changing challenges” that appeared in the Feb. 2, 2018, edition of the student newspaper. Pearson is in his second year as sports editor.

n Best News Photo: Sydney Shoemaker, a sophomore, won for her photo of Bruin soccer coach Dwayne Demmin celebrating after the boys team won the state championship last month. The photo appeared on the front page of March 2 special edition of The Bear Facts.

n Best Creative Video: Garret Grove, a junior, won for his public service announcement urging people to quit smoking. The 30-second PSA first aired during the March 23 edition of Bruin News Now.

Bruin News Now also took first place for Best Sports Coverage and was a finalist for Best Feature Coverage. The Bear Facts was a finalist for Best Newspaper, Best Opinion Writing and Best News & Feature Writing and was first in Best Sports Writing.

St. Joe students also were finalists for other top awards: Pearson for the Orley Hood Award for Excellence in Sports Journalism; Nick Zouboukos for Broadcast Editor of the Year; Blaine Turner for Newspaper Editor of the Year; and Leah Blevins and Zouboukos for Best Anchor.

And St. Richard Catholic School’s Sabine Cook, a sixth-grader who competed among high school students, was a finalist for her BNN report on her school’s Mardi Gras parade. The report aired on Feb. 16 edition of BNN.

The Columbia Scholastic Press Association Convention staged its annual convention early this month in New York. CSPA members include student newspapers, magazine and yearbooks at U.S. schools and overseas schools that follow an American plan of education.

The CSPA sponsors several national competitions that include the Gold Circle Awards, honoring students for work they produce, and the Crown Awards, the highest recognition given to a student publication for overall excellence.

The Bear Facts was among 34 high schools in the United States and overseas recognized with a Silver Crown Award for overall excellence. Another 15 schools received the highest award for their newspaper, a Gold Crown.

“Our journalism students take their jobs seriously,” said Terry R. Cassreino, a former longtime Mississippi journalist who teaches journalism at St. Joe.

“They are dedicated students who try to do their best to inform St. Joseph students, parents, alumni and staff members about what’s happening in their community. They do an amazing job; their success is more than evident. And I congratulate them all.”