St. Denis-St. Columba, St. Catharine Lead Eddy Award Winners

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Tyler Beresford reflected on how ITV’s News and Views helped him overcome a fear after winning his third consecutive Eddy Award for Photo Essay at the 44th annual Eddy Awards held at the archdiocese’s ITV Studios in Yonkers May 19.

“I think it’s given me a lot of public speaking experience,’’ said the eighth-grader at St. Denis-St. Columba School, Hopewell Junction, who shared this year’s honor with Elaina Wagner and Abigail Krebs.

“For a while, it was a fear of mine. I couldn’t do it, but this has helped me conquer that fear and has shown me how I can do that with some other things I might fear.”

Photo Essay was one of five Eddys for St. Denis-St. Columba for its “Monkey See, Monkey Do? The Effect of Violence in the Media on Our Youth,” the most Eddys for a school in the elementary school division.

The school also took first place for News Team, Research, Feature (Ariana Porco and Rebecca O’Connor) and Interview (Jilian Grady and Catherine Mulvey).

“We created a huge list of different topics and we found this one,” said Beresford, who will attend Our Lady of Lourdes High School in Poughkeepsie in the fall. “We thought we could do a lot with it. We all liked the topic.”

St. Patrick’s, Staten Island, received Eddys for Debate (Thomas Dziubela and Jessica Scala), Anchorperson (Mackenzie Iannici and Emily Cognato) and Editorial (James Pocchia), and St. Ann, Staten Island (Survey, Tristan Aya and Alexandra Rose) and Our Lady of Refuge, Bronx (Graphics) each received one award.

Pocchia earned his second Eddy.

“It’s tremendous,’’ said Pocchia, the 2016 winner for Debate who will attend Regis High School, Manhattan. “I still felt the same as I did when I won the first award. It was just as rewarding, just as incredible. I still felt the anxiety before and the relief after. It was an incredible experience and I couldn’t have done it without my team.”

St. Catharine Academy, the Bronx, received six awards to lead the high school division for its “Exit to the Unknown: Female Soldiers Transitioning Home.” The awards were for News Team, Research, Graphics, Feature (Laura Bacaj), Interview (Charlize Baez and Samantha Rojas) and Anchorperson (Victoria Costa and Alyssa Bayron).

“At the end of our junior year, our teacher had a real running passion to study women in the military,” said Rebecca Cutino, a senior at St. Catharine who will study communications next year at Nyack College. “When we think of those in the military, it’s usually men. We really don’t think of the women who served and women as veterans. We presented it to our team and did our research. We watched videos and documentaries, and we all agreed this was something we were passionate about.

“We were all so involved. It wasn’t one more involved than the other. We were all equally passionate.’’

Our Lady of Lourdes, Poughkeepsie (Editorial, Caroline D’Agostino); Preston, the Bronx (Survey, Maylee Huitzil and Kristen Marcus); Maria Regina, Hartsdale (Photo Essay, Megan Moran and Emily Slattery) and St. Joseph by-the-Sea, Staten Island (Debate, Andrew Cortese and Kyle Sinclair) each won one award in the high school division.

Ann Kavanagh and Michele Igoe of St. Peter’s in Poughkeepsie were voted moderators of the year.

A total of 374 elementary and high school students in the archdiocese participated in ITV’s News and Views, with 105 nominated for Eddy Awards presented by WCBS-TV meteorologist Lonnie Quinn, News 12 Westchester reporter Lisa LaRocca, WPIX-TV anchorman Craig Treadway, archdiocese Superintendent of Schools Dr. Timothy J. McNiff and WNYW-TV meteorologist Nick Gregory, who emceed the event for a fourth straight year.

“It’s great because what you see is how they have evolved over the years,’’ Gregory, an Eddy winner as a student from Iona Preparatory School and a presenter since the late 1980s, told CNY.

“Students are much more tuned into what’s going on in the world. You’ve seen how the presentations have become much more professional and they’re handling much more challenging subjects. It’s really an enlightening experience to see how they view things in the world.

“So, it’s actually a learning experience, too, to see what’s on their minds.”

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