Shelton students earn TV news broadcasting award

Shelton students Daniella Berry, Marissa Manzo, Ethan Oko, Padin Larkin and Olivia Jansen earned the Fox61 CT Creative Futures Award for their news broadcast on Center Stage Theatre. Pictured are Berry and Jansen.

Shelton students Daniella Berry, Marissa Manzo, Ethan Oko, Padin Larkin and Olivia Jansen earned the Fox61 CT Creative Futures Award for their news broadcast on Center Stage Theatre. Pictured are Berry and Jansen.

Contributed photo

SHELTON — One group of Shelton students has taken the television broadcasting world by storm — and they have a Fox61 honor to prove it.

The team of Daniella Berry, Marissa Manzo, Ethan Oko, Padin Larkin and Olivia Jansen completed a piece on Center Stage Theatre, which earned them the CT Creative Futures Award. The award honors the best student news story that reports on the arts in the state and careers in the arts industry and comes with a $1,000 check.

“It’s a great feeling to see them succeed,” Dennis David, communications technology teacher and this team’s broadcast consultant, said. “They put in 20, 30 hours of work on this … three hours of film in all … for one minute on air. They took this to the next level. They are tremendously talented.”

Fox61 was on hand last week at Shelton Intermediate School to present the award to the students as a vocal crowd of their fellow classmates cheered on the winners.

The award was given to Shelton Intermediate School, but only two of the students are at the school any more. The project was started in January 2020, three months before the pandemic shuttered schools for the remainder of that school year.

Manzo, Oko and Larkin moved to the high school this year. Berry was now an eighth grader, and David brought in Jansen, also an eighth grader, to rewrite the script.

“This was really enlightening,” Berry said about the project. “It was a good learning experience.”

Jansen, who admits writing is one of her passions, was more than happy to tackle the script writing challenge.

Jansen said she was with David in his communications class when she and her mentor watched the awards announcement live on a Fox61 social media broadcast. Berry said she heard it while at her locker preparing to head home.

“It was a good way to end the day,” Berry said. “I was so happy.”

David said the initial group shot and edited most of the necessary footage for the Center Stage Theatre broadcast. He said a rough narrative had also been completed when schools were closed. When schools reopened, David said Berry and Jansen put the finishing touches on what would be an award-winner.

“They shot the footage, we talked about ‘what is a news story?’ When they start putting this all together, they do not know how to do this,” David said. “But when they are finished, they do know, and they look professional doing it.”

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com