Not only does Steele High School have an award-winning daily news broadcast, but the program has drawn the praise of the Ohio Senate.
A proclamation signed by Sen. Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville) and Senate president Keith Faber (R-Celina) was read on stage Sunday night by Amherst Steele principal Michael May in a ceremony at Amherst Cinema.
“The accomplishments of Steele News Live are a justifiable source of pride and an excellent reflection not only on the student broadcasters but also on their adviser, Mark Lowrie, their school, and their community,” read the document, which bears the Senate seal. “The maturity and experience these young people have gained through their participation… will greatly aid them in meeting the challenges of the future.”
Over the course of an hour, a full theater viewed winning selections from the 2015 Regional High School Student Production Awards, formerly known as the Student Emmys.
Amherst brought home five of seven awards presented this year by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in the Great Lakes Region, which covers Ohio and several nearby states.
The winning pieces focused on cyberbullying (long-form category), peer pressure (public service announcements), a day in the life of a lunch lady and gym teacher (arts and entertainment), and volunteerism (community service).
SNL also took the award for Best Newscast, which was brand new this year and ranked the output of an entire episode.
“I told my students that this is the one we have to win because everybody has a piece of it,” Lowrie said. “To me, it’s the one we can brag about the most.”
With a week to put together a submission, students this spring came up with their technically most difficult show ever produced.
It highlighted junior Lexi Davila’s quest on NBC’s “The Voice,” including a live interview with the national vocal star, MLS Theatre Company’s trip to the state performances, alumna Olivia Sliman’s clothes drive efforts, and more.
This was the second year Amherst Cinema owners Mark and Cheryl Costilow hosted an awards ceremony and screening for SNL.
This time around, the arrival of awards was delayed by the Academy until after the end of the school year.
Lowrie said he received a letter from the Academy this past week apologizing for the wait and praising Steele’s success.
Much of that success he credited to Amherst Schools administrators, who hold the schedule each day for the 11-minute building-wide SNL broadcast.
“The other thing is that I always say you have to get the best kids in the school to buy into it, and we always do,” Lowrie said.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.
Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times Steele High teacher Mark Lowrie presents awards to his 2014-2015 television production class, which won the Best Newscast title at the Regional High School Student Production Awards.