Long Island's high school journalists came together to celebrate each other's best work in print, radio and television -- as well as learn a thing or two about the profession.
The third annual Best of High School Journalism Awards attracted more than 100 students to LIU Post in Brookville last month to honor achievements in eight categories, ranging from best feature story to best newspaper.
The university also hosted several educational activities for the media-minded teens, including a caption- and headline-writing contest and workshops on how to use a green screen.
"The awards intend to recognize young talent and encourage future practitioners to hone their journalistic skills throughout high school and beyond," said Sandra Mardenfeld, assistant professor and director of LIU's Journalism Program.
Winners were: Joe Hinshaw of Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, best sports story; Nicole Sallzar of Freeport High School, best commentary/editorial; Christina Panouis and Ciara Gallagher of New Hyde Park Memorial High School and Nayab Khan of Sewanhaka High School in Floral Park, best feature story (print); Deana Wolf of Kings Park High School, best news story (print); Chloe Shakin and Amanda Ritter of Jericho High School, best feature story (Internet); Rachel Hoffman, Taylor Kang and Alanna Levine of Jericho High School, best news story (Internet); The Wildcat of The Wheatley School in Old Westbury and The Vanguard of W. Tresper Clarke High School in East Meadow, best newspapers; and The Roundup of Half Hollow Hills High School West in Dix Hills, best online publication.
Teams from George W. Hewlett High School took the top two spots in the 2014 Long Island Virtual Enterprises Business Plan Competition, which challenged students to demonstrate global business expertise through written plans and oral presentations.
The teams went on to compete earlier this month at the nationals along with Westhampton Beach High School, which placed third regionally.
The local competition -- hosted by American Portfolios Financial Services in Holbrook -- was a collaborative effort between Nassau BOCES, Eastern Suffolk BOCES and Western Suffolk BOCES in conjunction with CTE Technical Assistance Center of NY.
Six students from the Susanna E. Heiman Religious School at Temple B'nai Torah recently spent a week in Germany to learn about the country's Jewish people before and after the Holocaust.
The trip was organized by the family of Heiman -- a Holocaust survivor, now deceased, for whom the school is named.
The group's activities included attending the first Sabbath evening service at the synagogue in Oberdorf in 75 years, as well as visiting Heiman's hometown of Archshode and the Dachau concentration camp.
"As hard as it was, it felt like a necessary struggle for us to see what some people had to go through, just for belonging to the same religion that many of us practice openly today," student Andrew Obergh said.
The teens will talk to the temple congregation about their trip on April 25.
Five local high schools took part in Hofstra University's 2014 Shakespeare Festival, which challenged students to perform classic scenes of William Shakespeare's plays.
The festival last month included workshops on stage combat, voice and speech, and improvisation.
Winners were: Wantagh High School and Valley Stream Central High School, best ensemble award; John Genzale of Division Avenue High School in Levittown, best actor award; Samantha Kamelhar of Sanford H. Calhoun High School in Merrick, best actress and best costume design awards; and Jonathan Leiner, also of Calhoun High School, best set design.
Best music districts
Thirty-four L.I. school districts are among 376 districts nationwide named 2014 Best Communities for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation, a nonprofit that strives to advance participation in music.
Districts were selected from a survey that examined factors such as funding, staffing and access to music instruction.
Local districts earning the designation are Amityville, Bay Shore, Bayport-Blue Point, Commack, Connetquot, Deer Park, East Islip, East Meadow, East Rockaway, Eastport-South Manor, Farmingdale, Fishers Island, Garden City, Great Neck, Half Hollow Hills, Huntington, Jericho, Levittown, Lindenhurst, Long Beach, Longwood, Lynbrook, Malverne, Manhasset, Massapequa, Mineola, Northport-East Northport, Oceanside, Patchogue-Medford, Plainview-Old Bethpage, Port Jefferson, Smithtown, South Country and Syosset.