Students Go to Their Phones for New Eddy Awards Program


St. Patrick’s School on Staten Island won seven awards, including Best Elementary News Team, at the 46th annual Eddy Awards May 17 at the ITV Studios in Yonkers. Maria Regina High School in Hartsdale won five awards, including Best High School News Team for their show, “The Water Crisis: Thirsting for Justice.”

Maria Regina High also won individual Eddy awards for High School Editorial (Ciara Anselm and Roxanne Sansom), Interview (Brianna Mazzariello) and Anchor (Margaret Chiara) as well as the team award for High School Research.

The ceremony honors student broadcasters for their work on the Instructional Television series, “News and Views.” Roland Chapdelaine is the producer of “News and Views” and the Eddy Awards.

St. Patrick’s School’s show, “Food Allergies: Delicious or Deadly?” also won individual Eddy awards for Elementary Debate (Emily Cognato and Sofia Borgognone), Feature (Sophia Romeo and Jaydah Robinson), Editorial (Gabrielle Morri), Interview (Matthew Forlano and Nicholas Rossi) and Anchor (Salvatore Agro and Avamichelina Hodgens), as well as the team award for Elementary Research.

Salvatore Agro, a seventh-grader at St. Patrick’s on Staten Island, was pleasantly surprised about his Anchor category victory, he told CNY after the ceremony. “I’ve worked very hard for this, but I’ve seen a lot of impressive tapes. I feel very happy for everybody that participated. This is a great program and I’m just very happy to be here.”

Eighth-grader Emily Cognato, also of St. Patrick’s, said she was honored to accept the Debate award. “Mrs. Cipriano (the moderator) really helped us a lot,” Emily said. “We really bonded as a team.” Mrs. Cipriano’s encouragement has been effective: “When you really hit a block and it’s really hard, she’s there.” She also gives a motivational speech at the beginning of the year, Emily said, reminding the students, “this is a competition.”

St. Peter’s School in Poughkeepsie won Eddys for Elementary Photo Essay (Noah Balicki, Mary Igoe, Jackie Machua and Simon Benca) and “Feel Good” Story (Abby Mitchell, Jackie Machua, Sal Incorvaia and Mary Igoe), and the team award for Elementary Graphics. St. Adalbert School on Staten Island won for Elementary Survey (Anna Wessel).

Preston High School, the Bronx, won the Eddy for Survey (Ciara Mercado, Adriana Bracco, JoMarie Benedetto and Leena Peloso), Photo Essay (Ashley Williams, Rebecca Cerini and Raquel Alicea) and Feature (Aja Darboe and Paloma Chrissotimos) and the team award for High School Graphics. St. Joseph By-the-Sea High School on Staten Island won the Eddy for High School Debate (Felicia Gambino and Lucia O’Neill).

Cardinal Dolan, in a video message, congratulated the nominees for their “outstanding work on this year’s ‘News and Views’ shows.” He thanked the moderators and school principals for their dedication to their students “and to this promising program.”

“And to the newscasters in attendance,” the cardinal said, “thank you for taking the time out of your pressing schedules to honor the work of our student broadcasters.” His line, “Somebody’s going to have to take your place one of these days,” drew laughter from the audience.

New York TV news personalities presented the awards. They were anchor and reporter Dick Brennan of WCBS-TV, reporter Lisa LaRocca of News 12 Westchester, chief weathercaster Lonnie Quinn of WCBS-TV and chief meteorologist Nick Gregory of WNYW Fox 5, who served as master of ceremonies. Gregory was an Eddy Award recipient as a student at Iona Preparatory School in New Rochelle.

Michael Deegan, interim superintendent of schools, presented the Moderator of the Year award to Patricia Luzar of Most Precious Blood School in Walden, and the elementary and high school News Team awards.

Topics ranged from fast food dangers and legalizing marijuana to saluting veterans and preventing school violence, from screen addiction to solving plastic pollution and teenage depression.

A pilot program of experimental Eddy Awards in Multimedia Journalism was also announced.

Quinn and WCBS-TV sports anchor Steve Overmyer spearheaded the new program in conjunction with the Archdiocesan Superintendent of Schools Office. Student broadcasters from participating schools used their cell phones to shoot and edit their own 90-second news and feature reports—separate from their “News and Views” shows. Four schools chose to participate in the inaugural program, and all four took home Eddy Awards in the first year of the new category:

Elementary School Multimedia Journalism Feature: St. Peter’s School, Poughkeepsie (Mary Igoe, Jackie Machua, Noah Balicki, Emma Nickerson and Guiseppe Doran) for “Bounce.” High School Multimedia Journalism Feature: Preston High, the Bronx (JoMarie Benedetto, Adriana Bracco and Leena Peloso) for “Cheerleaders Make History.”

Elementary School Multimedia Journalism News: St. Adalbert School, Staten Island (Julianna Caliri, Matt Hesterhagen, Robert Korsberg, Gabriella Vecchio and Genesis Hamm) for “Gianna.” High School Multimedia Journalism News: Our Lady of Lourdes, Poughkeepsie (Geneva Ng) for “Immaculee Ilibagiza.”