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The official student news site of Coppell High School

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October 26, 2023

The Sidekick, KCBY-TV receives six national awards at fall JEA/NSPA Boston convention

Photo courtesy Katrina Hester
On Saturday, KCBY-TV and The Sidekick won six national awards at the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Boston. KCBY-TV, which was recognized as an NSPA Pacemaker finalist, placed second in Broadcast News Program Best of Show and The Sidekick placed third in Website Best of Show.

On Saturday, Coppell High School media teams, The Sidekick and KCBY-TV, won six national awards at the JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Convention in Boston.

KCBY-TV placed second in Broadcast News Program Best of Show for Show 3 of the 2023-24 school year. 

“Our new executive team was nervous and intimidated to start producing shows all by ourselves,” KCBY-TV senior executive program director Anita Goodwin said. “It felt nice to get recognition and feel like that this big organization and high award in journalism thought that our little Show 3 was good enough. It is a big confidence boost for us.”

KCBY-TV also won NSPA top scholastic broadcast story awards for segments it submitted in June. “Hidden Hometown Tragedy” by seniors Shreya Jadhav, Parker Jones, Sadie Klement and Rachel Parker placed fifth for Broadcast Feature Story. “Remembering Carson” created by Goodwin and CHS 2023 graduates Lauren Beach, Betsy Krene and Mau Sigler earned honorable mention for the same category. 

“It is wonderful to come in as high as we did,” KCBY-TV adviser Irma Lazos-Kennedy said. “The kids have been working hard on honing in on their production skills and putting it all together to create better content. It all makes a difference.”

Hidden Hometown Tragedy” delves into the murder-suicide of former Coppell Mayor Jayne Peters. 

“My group and I wanted to know her story since Coppell is known as a bedroom community where nothing really happens and if something does, it is kept under wraps,” Jadhav said. “Winning this award feels great, because this was for our passion show, so it was something we were eager to create. More than us making it for the award, we made it truly out of the interest of the subject and that is what made it so good.”

Remembering Carson” is a homage to Coppell Middle School West student Carson Dyke who took his life at 11 years old. 

“This segment was filmed in three to four days when we usually get two to three weeks to film segments,” Goodwin said. “It was rushed and intimidating, but the segment came out great and it is one of my favorite segments to ever be made. It was beautiful and heartwarming and it feels nice to have that honored.”

The Sidekick placed third in Website Best of Show. 

“I always feel proud when the staff gets recognized,” The Sidekick adviser Chase Wofford said. “It’s a great validation for their hard work to be honored by people outside of the program. We don’t do what we do for awards, but awards are the rewarding part for what we do.”

In order to achieve Website Best of Show, The Sidekick staff made a plan to post more interactive features to establish an engaging website. 

“Receiving awards from this convention is a testament to the amount of work we put in,” The Sidekick senior editor-in-chief Sri Achanta said. “We are trying to grow storytelling into different avenues instead of just the conventional writing of the story or taking a picture. The comics, GIFs and animations we pushed out may not seem like a lot, but they do mean a lot, because it is telling a story in a way that captivates an audience that is different from past ways.”

The Sidekick’s Volume 35 No. 1, “To vouch or not to vouch? Texas voucher bill fails yet again,” designed by senior executive design editor Avani Munji, placed sixth for Newspaper Design Best of Show.

“It is great to win this award since it was my first centerspread and biggest design I have ever done,” Munji said. “This design gave me a hard time and I wasn’t sure how to visualize it, so this award is exciting with the amount of energy I poured into it.” 

The Sidekick entertainment editor Ainsley Dwyer placed eight for Sports Photo Best of Show for Cowboys wrangle Warriors in first road test. This was Dwyer’s first time taking photos of the Coppell football team in action against South Grand Prairie. 

 “When they were announcing Sports Photo best of Show at the Boston Convention, I was looking down to the floor, and when they announced my name, I was so surprised,” Dwyer said. “I took so many photos at that football game and as soon as I took that photo, I immediately showed the CHS mascot Cowboy Carl. I am so proud of that photo.”

More awards will be announced by NSPA at the spring convention on April 4-6 in Kansas City.

Follow @CHSCampusNews and @sahasrachak24 on X. 

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About the Contributor
Sahasra Chakilam
Sahasra Chakilam, News Editor

Sahasra is a junior and the news editor of The Sidekick with an unwavering passion for reporting and writing. She’s a hardworking student at Coppell High School by day and an active media enthusiast by night. She loves to be outside, walking along scenic trails teeming with a multitude of wildlife. Otherwise, she’s biking through the roads of her neighborhood, enjoying the bountiful winds in Texas with her fellow friends. 

If not outdoors, she pursues her love of all media, ranging from TV shows to movies to music. She enjoys unwinding with her favorite humorous sitcoms like New Girl or Community or some of her favorite iconic movies, like Mamma Mia and La La Land. At other times, she prefers to broaden her horizons by exploring new movies and sharing her thoughts on them through reviews. You can also often find her at many indie and pop concerts, fully immersing herself in the atmosphere. She has a broad and diverse range of music she loves to listen to, ranging from Lana Del Rey to Tyler the Creator, but she is a big Swiftie at heart.

You can contact her at [email protected] or follow her on 'X' (@sahasrachak24).

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