The Wantagh Warrior staff captured 12 individual writing awards including two Golds, and Escapes (3 Golds) also won 12 individual awards and one overall award at the annual Empire State Scholastic Press Association awards ceremony at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications, October 24.
Leading the journalists were last year’s Editors in Chief from the Class of ’14, Dan Parker, a freshman at SUNY Geneso, and Jaclyn Weiner, a freshman at Fordham University.
Parker won Gold as one of the best columnists in the state-wide contest and also took an honorable mention in Sports News. Weiner won a pair of Silvers in Columnist and in the very competitive category of best News Story. She was the only Wantagh student to win in News Story, though several students’ articles were entered.
A pair of current Wantagh senior editors also won awards: Laura Mallon, who is in her second year as an Editor in Chief of The Warrior, and Steph Pissi, a News Editor. Mallon won an honorable mention for Sports News and Pissi won an honorable mention for Feature Story.
“We had a great staff last year,” said Wantagh High School English teacher, Pete Kravitz, who has been the faculty advisor of the school newspaper since 1992. “But this group this year might even be better.”
For Escapades Daniella Paier, who is a freshman at SUNY Oneota, won Gold for Photography, along with senior Morgan Sullivan, who also won a Gold award for Photography; another student, junior Osama Teepu, won a Gold award for Poetry. Kat Siegel, senior, won a Silver award. Senior Erin Bortell also won a Silver award for Cover Design. Nicole Hunter who is a freshman at the University of Georgia, and another freshman in college, Ariana Gagliardi won a Bronze. Morgan Sullivan, Lauren Rocco, Kat Siegel, and Kaitlyn Di Graziano all received honorable mentions. The magazine also won an overall Gold.
“Last year’s editors, Jessica Imbro and her assistant editor Lucy Bailey, did an exceptional job of creating an exceptional magazine,” said Escapades advisor, Mrs. Turner. “I was especially proud of Osama Teepu’s poem, “Sunday Haircuts,” which received Gold, and of two Golds for the work of photographers Daniella Paier and Morgan Sullivan – both of whom won additional awards. The efforts of all of our artists, writers, editors, and the dedication of our teachers – most significantly Mr. Parlagreco, who helped us produce the magazine – led to an Overall Gold award.”
While nearly all the awards for journalism were hauled in by members of the more advanced Journalism II class, two members of Kravitz’s Journalism I class, also were winners. Charlie Sloves, a senior, won a Bronze for Entertainment Review and an honorable mention for News Photograph. Sophomore Sara Sneddon won Bronze for Columnist.
An unprecedented fourth Wantagh student was recognized as one of the top columnists in the state. Brittany Gannandrea won Gold for a courageous column about the accidental death of her friend Brittany Vega, which occurred while Vega crossed Sunrise Highway and was struck by a vehicle in September of her freshman year.
While Wantagh students have won several awards through the years in the Columnist category they had never had four recognized in one year.
Matt Schroh, a junior, won an honorable mention for Entertainment Review and ’14 grad Andrew Obergh won honorable mention for News Photograph.