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.
Youth & Government
William Floyd High School's Youth & Government Club took eight of 12 presiding officer positions at the 78th annual New York State YMCA Youth & Government Conference, held in Albany.
More than 600 teenagers from schools statewide attended last month's conference, engaging in a simulated government inside the state's legislative chambers.
Christy Zegel, a junior, was elected to the conference's prestigious role of governor. Also elected from William Floyd to various leadership positions were Shadman Chowdhury, Carolina Fuentes, Vianna Iorio, Kelci Henn, Umar Khan, Jarrod Mullally and Ryan Taphouse.
This is the second straight year the school took eight of 12 positions, school officials said.
Bay Scallop Bowl
Mount Sinai High School teammates Alec Donowitz, Julia Eberhard, Nick Eberhard, Alexander Mule and Danny O'Mara took second place last month in Stony Brook University's 13th annual Bay Scallop Bowl.
The "Jeopardy!"-style high school competition tests student knowledge of oceanography. For winning, the team received a $100 prize.
A team from Longwood High School -- Amy Bredes, Ethan Kelly, Philip Tanabe and Phallon Tullis-Joyce -- took third. Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn took first and will advance next month to the national level.
"I am extremely proud of the team's sportsmanship and the hard work that they put in to prepare for the bowl," Mount Sinai coach Gina Sing said.
Westhampton Beach High School took third place 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 team went on to vie earlier this month at the national level with George W. Hewlett High School, which took the top two regional spots.
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.
Best music communities
Thirty-four Long Island 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.