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Neuqua Media Students Earn Top Honors

Reported by on 4/30/18

The 25th Annual High School Video Festival, sponsored by the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Midwest Media Educators Association (MMEA), was held Friday, April 27, 2018, at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, IL. 22 students from the Media Communication I, Broadcast Journalism & Production II, & Broadcast Journalism & Production III classes at Neuqua Valley High School participated along with over 850 other high school television students from 43 high schools across the Northern Illinois/Southern Wisconsin/Northwest Indiana area.

Neuqua Valley earned 10 top honors in Division A.

1st Place – Comedic Narrative: “Make Believe” by Matthew Thomas, Armin Nikravan and Jack Hemmingway
1st Place – Demonstration: “How to Make Candles” by Matthew Thomas and Armin Nikravan
1st Place – School Promotion: “Variety Show Opening” by Maddie Rambissoon
2nd Place – News Program: “Wildcat Weekly” by Alex Farnaus, Avery Champion, Becky Budds, Brynn Okon
2nd Place – Movie Trailer: “Stranger Trailer” by Ryan Leshock
3rd Place – Movie Trailer: “Infinite” by Matthew Thomas and Armin Nikravan
3rd Place – Documentary: “A Story of Strength” by Christine Corbin
3rd Place – Music Video: “1-800-273-8255” by Reilly Hemmingway
3rd Place – School Promotion: “Neuqua Media” by Matthew Thomas, Armin Nikravan, Sarah Rusin, and Erin Kuehner
3rd Place – 7-Day Challenge: “Paralyzed” by Matthew Thomas, Armin Nikravan, Jack Hemmingway, Annaliese Munn, Samantha Ackerman, and Erin Kuehner

* The Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences recently announced that 1 Neuqua Valley student has been awarded a Student Television Award for Excellence in the following categories:
- Naomi Keane for “Accelerate More” in the Editor category
Two other videos were NATAS nominees (finalists):
- Matthew Thomas, Armin Nikravan, and Jack Hemmingway for “Make Believe” in the Short Form-Fiction category
- Avery Champion and Alex Galasso for “The Return” in the Short Form-Non-Fiction category

The TV Academy created the Student Award of Excellence to honor outstanding television journalism by high school students in 2003. This is the 11th Student Awards of Excellence that Neuqua Valley has been awarded.

*Senior Avery Champion was presented with a $2,500 scholarship by the Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

*Senior Matthew Thomas was presented with the $1,000 Lucas Palermo Scholarship from the Midwest Media Educators Association.

The TV Academy will honor the winning entries and the scholarship winner at the Silver Circle Honors dinner on Friday, May 4th at the Knickerbocker Hotel in downtown Chicago.

For more information on the Student Television Award for Excellence, visit:


In addition to the videos that placed in the top 3, 6 additional Neuqua Valley videos were selected as finalists for their respective categories:

Commercial: “Cyberspace Lazer Tag” by Matthew Thomas and Armin Nikravan
Demonstration: “How to: Portrait Photography” by Remle Herzberg
Documentary: “The Return” by Avery Champion and Alex Galasso
Natural Audio News Package: “Side By Side Smiles” by Emilie Au Buchon and Vaishnavi Kalyana-Sundaram
News Package: “Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra” by Maddie Rambissoon
Public Service Announcement: “Covered Up” by Erin Kuehner

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