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High school media students from Williamson County Schools are getting regional recognition for their work and will have the chance to earn accolades at the national level.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Nashville/Midsouth chapter virtually presented its 2020 Midsouth Regional Student Awards April 27.

Centennial High School’s Dyson Campbell earned the most trophies.

“Dyson is an amazing student with incredible skills,” CHS TV/Film teacher Ashley McKinney said in a release from the district’s newsletter, InFocus. “He’s also very motivated and always looks for ways to help out and create something great for our newscasts, our program and our school.”

Ravenwood High’s TV/Film teacher Megan Sanchez said that winner Easton Smith’s success will encourage others in the program.

“Easton is an incredible leader for our program,” Sanchez said. “He set high expectations for himself and others when creating his best work. He never shied away from a new challenge or a creative way to approach video.”

Franklin High students Reed Sellers, Walter Johnson and Braxton Lazarus each had a personal reason for creating their winning videos, whether it was to spread awareness for recycling or to share a special moment with classmates and friends.

“I am so proud and happy for Reed, Walter and Braxton,” said FHS TV/Film teacher Keri Thompson. “It is like winning a state title in the media world. They all came up with the ideas to make these videos on their own. It is an honor to even be nominated for these awards, and I’m thrilled they won.”

As winners at the regional level, these students will continue to the National Student Production Awards in the fall. For Independence High’s Vivienne Ayres and Olivia Khan, it’s a reward that comes after months of work.

“Even though they got the interviews early on in the process, they took a while to find the story they were looking for,” said IHS TV/Film teacher Matt Balzer. “While working on other projects they kept revisiting this one every so often and fine tuning it until you have the finished piece that they won for. I am so proud of them.”

Brentwood High’s TV/Film teacher Ronnie Adcock knew his students’ commercial was a winner from the beginning.

“It was very trendy and uplifting,” Adcock said. “Ben, Robyn, Sam and Izzy put in a lot of time and effort producing it. It was a great feeling when they called Brentwood High.”

Winning at the NATAS Awards is one of the highest honors student media programs can earn. The Nashville/Midsouth region includes schools from Tennessee, Alabama and North Carolina.

Below are the awards: 

Arts and Entertainment, Cultural Affairs

  • Reed Sellers – Franklin High School

Public Affairs/Community Service

  • Braxton Lazarus and Walter Johnson – Franklin High School

Nonfiction

  • Vivienne Ayres and Olivia Khan – Independence High

Public Service Announcement

  • Dyson Campbell – Centennial High

Commercial

  • Ben Mahaffey, Robyn Nieman, Sam Volpintesta and Izzy Windle – Brentwood High

Director

  • Easton Smith – Ravenwood High

Editor

  • Dyson Campbell – Centennial High

Photography

  • Dyson Campbell – Centennial High

The following students were also nominated in various categories:

Newscast

  • Will McAdams, Julia Richmond, Bella Williams, Mamie Sessions, Ivan Chen, Hailey Coyle, Carter Adams, Seth Woodruff, Julianna Hale and Reed Sellers – Franklin High
  • Alex Wells, Chloe Robertson, Audrey Green, Jacob Blanton, Brennan Chapman, Tucker Harlin and Jack Townsend – Brentwood High

News Story

  • Alex Wells, Jack Wilson and Audrey Green – Brentwood High
  • Bradley Hicks and Landon Rowles – Independence High

Arts and Entertainment, Cultural Affairs

  • Erin Thompson, Jesse Banales and Connor Bain – Independence High

Fiction

  • Andrew Mason, Luke Lyons, Tripp Norvell, Noah Sadler and Julien Sidney – Ravenwood High

Nonfiction

  • Easton Smith, Tyler Kerr and Zach Stevens – Ravenwood High

Sports

  • Dyson Campbell – Centennial High
  • Easton Smith, Zach Stevens and Amalia Karaman – Ravenwood High
  • Bradley Hicks and Sam Wilde – Independence High

Public Service Announcement

  • Robyn Nieman and Izzy Windle – Brentwood High

Public Affairs/Community Service

  • Ben Mahaffey and Robyn Nieman – Brentwood High

Animation/Graphics/Special Effects

  • Easton Smith – Ravenwood High

Editor

  • Bradley Hicks – Independence High

Photography

  • Will McAdams and Ivan Chen – Franklin High
  • Tyler Kerr – Ravenwood High

Talent

  • Alex Wells – Brentwood High
  • Bella Gordon – Independence High

Writing

  • Alex Ericson and Nick Forster-Benson – Ravenwood High

Commercial

  • Tyler Kerr and Nic Noel – Ravenwood High
  • Ethan Garvey – Summit High

A recording of the presentation in its entirety is available on the NATAS website.

InFocus

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