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Video+Story: Irvin Joins Burges, Franklin as Publishing National Winners

Three EPISD schools joined the ranks of the top performing high-school publishing programs in the nation after bringing home an impressive number of prizes from the National High School Journalism Convention in Seattle last week.

Burges, a student journalism powerhouse, surprised few by winning the Pacemaker Award for its Hoofbeats yearbook and other awards. Franklin’s yearbook, which also has a history of winning awards nationally, also received prizes in Seattle this year.

But it was Irvin High School’s broadcasting program that perhaps surprised the most in the convention, when the program won its first national award for ‘Rocket Vision’ news show.

The school placed third Best of Show in the Broadcast Program category at the a semi-annual gathering of high school journalists and advisers sponsored by National Scholastic Press Association and the Journalism Education Association.

Irvin broadcast teacher Mariel Torres-Tobias couldn’t hold back tears when she saw her students had placed third.

“I was super excited. I feel very proud of the students,” Torres-Tobias said. “It’s shown how far we’ve come. I want to put Irvin on top for broadcasting, and this really shows we are moving in the right direction.”

The students were excited to attend the convention, which provides the opportunity to network with industry professionals and journalism students from all over the country.

Irvin submitted an episode of ‘Rocket Vision’ focusing on life in a border city. The episode highlighted current event issues and featured an interview from Representative Beto O’Rourke.

“I thought this was a strong episode for the students to submit,” Torres-Tobias said. “Especially with everything that’s happening recently with the proposal to build a wall. A lot of people don’t know we already have a wall here and what life is really like as a border town.”

For senior Josh Roman, the Best of Show award gave him a confidence boost to pursue a career in cinematography when he graduates. He feels invested in the

“It’s a good feeling to receive this kind of recognition,” Roman said. “Irvin is a great school, and it has the potential to exceed any limits. I am beyond proud to be part of this program and this school.”

The Rockets weren’t the only ones celebrating a national win. Burges continued its impressive tradition in journalism by earning both a Pacemaker and a first-place Best in Show award for the school’s yearbook ‘Hoofbeats.’ The Mustangs also received distinction for their work on the ‘Stampede,’ winning a sixth-place Best in Show award in the Newspaper Tabloid 16 or fewer pages category.

“Receiving the Pacemaker is such an honor. It’s always exciting, and then to win ‘Best in Show’ was like the cherry on the top,” Burges journalism teacher Pat Monroe said. “It means a lot to the staff members because they work incredibly hard to create a yearbook their peers will always treasure. To receive the highest national honor means everything.”

Franklin High School also brought home in award for its yearbook ‘Pride,’ winning second place Best in Show in the 337 or more pages category.

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