In only its second year of competition, Rockwall High School earned five broadcast awards at the recent Interscholastic League Press Conference held in Austin.

The media production class, taught by Jennifer Faunce, traveled to Austin on April 8 and 9 for the state I.L.P.C. convention. Students submitted video stories last semester, with winners being named at the conference.

Amanda Pyland, Doug West, Laura Holt, and Mike Luiz took the top photography award at the competition for their work on a Halloween EZ Snack special.

“We don’t have a lot of equipment,” said Faunce. “I think our students do a great job of working with what they have. We only have three cameras and five editors.

“We’re in the old art room, and we’ve set up a studio in the back. They use fill lights, and make sure that they always white-balance. They really work with their scripting, and look at what they’re trying to do before they do it.”

Pyland won an individual third place award in television graphics for her opening to this piece. It features an animated eggplant character that’s used in the beginning of each segment.

For the news broadcast portion, Stacia Warneke and Chris Woodruff took a second place award in the news feature contest for their story about RHS students lending a helping hand after Hurricane Katrina.

“They worked on that project for about three weeks,” said Faunce, “First they went and did a segment on the blood drive. Then they went and got some clips from Helping Hands doing their work. They also interviewed a student at RHS whose family was from Mississippi and had lost their house in the hurricane. They talked about the hurricane and how they ended up moving here.”

Jeremy Sloane and Michael Bravata won a second place award for their story about the 2005 RHS Homecoming in the sports feature competition. The piece featured Homecoming highlights including prom festivities and the announcing of the king and queen.

Sloane and Bravata also received an honorable mention at West Fest in November in Alpine.

“They were competing against college students at that one,” said Faunce. “So to get an honorable mention at that one means that they really fared well.”

Second place in the Promotion and Commercial category was awarded to Zack Ragsdale, Ben Harris, Ryan Craven, and Brittany Graf for their staph infection public service announcement.

The broadcast work was presented to the student body during regular video announcements. As well, the segments were carried to the whole Rockwall community via local cable television.