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May 1, 2009, editorial: Local students shine in academia

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By The Staff

THE ISSUE: Academic achievement

 OUR VIEW: Well-deserved recognition

Sports fields and arenas aren’t the only venues where our local students excel.

Later this month two Elizabethtown High School seniors, Jacqui Powell and Laura Pait, will be will be honored in Washington, D.C. where they will receive a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. The award is coveted by many veteran professional reporters, editors, photographers and broadcasters who have tried repeatedly and failed to add one to their portfolios.

The awards are presented annually following nationwide competition by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights named in honor of the former U.S. attorney general, senator and candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for president who was assassinated in California in 1968. Other recipients will include reporters for The New York Times and The Washington Post being recognized for their work focusing on human rights and social issues.

In their broadcast documentary entry, “More Than Just Food,” Powell and Pait focused on the WJCR Food Ministry run by Powell’s father monthly supplying more than 600 families food, beverages and personal care. They were encouraged to submit what was the result of an annual class assignment by their journalism teacher, Belinda Stark, to prepare a story on a person or organization that is “making a difference.”

In addition to the RFK award “More than Just Food” won first-place documentary in the Student Technology Leadership Program, best feature story in the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Contest and first-place documentary in the Kentucky High School Journalism Association awards.

We know we speak with gratitude for many in this community in recognizing the professionalism and expressing appreciation to Belinda Stark for encouraging her students to reach for the stars. And we speak with a great deal of community pride in congratulating Elizabethtowh High School’s Jacqui Powell and Laura Pait for grabbing one.

 - This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.