CEC students win National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences award

by Celia Shortt


Central Educational Center video production students were recognized with several High School Student Production Awards by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), Southeast. From left, CEC Video Production Director Michael Britt, students Michael Stinson, Matt Bish, Jenileyah Thompson, Laura Sandlin (NuLink) and Aerin Dalman, and Lana Mobley (NuLink). 

Ten Coweta students were honored recently by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Southeast, for their work in Michael Britt’s Film and Video II class at the Coweta School System’s Central Educational Center.

These ten video broadcast students came home with seven high school student production awards from NATAS, Southeast. They were recognized at the 40th Southeast Regional Emmy Awards, held earlier this month at the Grand Hyatt in Atlanta.

“It was truly a great occasion for these students,” said Britt. “I believe if we had competed in more categories, we could have won even more awards.”

Britt is the CEC’s director of Broadcast Video Production and a 35-year broadcast professional who is also a NATAS Southeast Silver Circle inductee and serves as the secretary of the organization’s board.

Only 16 high school video production programs were represented at the ceremony. The CEC was one of the most heavily-recognized schools there.

The CEC student honorees for this year, included:

• Josh Bruce, editor. • Matthew Landrum, editor. • Austin Wonka, Matthew Bish, and Janlileyah Thompson, for the music video “Puppeteer.” • Josh Bruce, director for “Southcrest Service. •Matthew Bish, photographer. • Ronald Grooms and Michael Stinson for general assignment – serious and light news. • Josh Bruce, audio/sound for “The Raven.” Matthew Bish won a photography award for his composite reel, which included his work on “Puppeteer,” and other projects. Josh Bruce was recognized for his direction of a local worship service music performance, which included using four cameras during the live performance.

“His work looked truly professional,” said Britt of Bruce’s work. “He also garnered honorable mentions in two categories, one for Sound and another in Editing. Josh worked on all of these projects through the Work Based Learning Program at CEC.”

Michael Stinson and Ron Grooms also earned honorable mentions for their work on a feature story about Newnan’s Mr. Personality, and Matt Landrum received one for his editing work on a feature story about a fellow student.

All the winning entries and honorable mentions had aired on NuLink’s weekly talk show “The Link.”

“The National Association of Television Arts and Sciences is a trade organization at its core, whose purpose is to recognize excellence in television,” said Britt. “These awards give them a taste of what is in store for them if they continue to work hard and create truly great television. Many students told me how incredibly awesome it was to be in the same room with the ‘best of the best’ in television production from the southeast region.”

Winners are chosen by judging panels consisting of industry professionals. They score entries independently on the same criteria as NATAS’ Emmy Awards, including content, creativity and execution.

CEC CEO Mark Whitlock said the submitted student work was judged by strict professional standards, not against other student entries, setting a high bar for earned recognition.

“NATAS was created to represent the industry, not to provide student competitions, so the starting point for competitive standards is quite high,” he said. “CEC’s strong presence among this year’s award winners is testimony to the great teaching and coaching that Michael Britt provides. It also indicates that the very unique joint venture led by NuLink is productive for these team members.”

Many of the students recognized by NATAS Southeast also intern with NuLink. NuLink produces local programming at studios in the CEC. The video work the students produce airs on NuLink’s local channels.

This year was only the second in which NATAS Southeast recognized student achievement in video arts. In 2013, the CEC was represented with an Outstanding Achievement award for a video project produced by students Amber Rogers and Leah Galliot in General Assignment Excellence.

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