Rockford TV studio claims Pillar of Excellence

by KRIS DEYOUNG

Attaining a major accomplishment in television are (l–r) Video Technician Jason Springer, Mallory Bolin, Kayla Tykosky, David Dominiak, Anna Dood, and instructor Kris DeYoung, all members of Beyond The Rock Productions at Rockford High School.

When one hears about major accomplishments in the field of television, often thoughts go to that of a luxurious ceremony representing what is known as “Television’s Gold.” Those in the TV industry are recognized for the greatest of accomplishments and performances both in front of and behind the lens. Those of us on the couch at home get to enjoy seeing some of our favorite shows and their creators as they wait in anticipation for this highly coveted award.

That which is not often known to many is the high school division of the Emmys, which takes place all across the country. This year, Rockford students entered into the Michigan Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences annual competition. This award represents outstanding television journalism by high school students. The best of the best around the state compete.

This year, a group of Rockford seniors in the Advanced TV Studio classes took home first-place honors in the category of serious news. The team of students included Anna Dood, Kayla Tykosky, Mallory Bolin and David Dominiak. This team had the honor to cover the unique and sobering Healing Fields event that took place this past fall at Cannonsburg Ski Lodge, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the September 11 tragedy.

This Pillar of Excellence is only the second ever to be won in the program, the last coming over seven years ago. The students were both shocked and honored at their victory.

One of the lead videographers on the project, Tykosky shared how much she was impacted by the event itself. “September 11, 2001 was a major event that happened in our lives and impacted so many people,” she commented. “It was inspiring to hear how important remembering that day was to so many—even ten years later.”

TV Studio instructor Kris DeYoung was most impressed with the level of professionalism in the project as well as the dedication from his kids. “These students were so impacted by the event that they really felt compelled to create a piece that was honoring to those lives who were affected by that tragic day. The students put in countless hours, and had a commitment to perfection, and the end result was one amazing video.”

The lead student producer on the project, Dood shared of this dedication. “I probably spent my whole weekend at the Healing Fields, from missing school Friday to most of the day Saturday and a couple hours that Sunday.”

Dood took this project to heart, saying, “I knew this story would have a good message, and I wanted to make it the best it could be.”

Dood is attending Michigan State University in the fall in hopes of pursuing a degree in communication with a heavy interest in producing.

“Anna [Dood] has the drive and talent to be successful in this industry,” commented DeYoung. “She is a star among stars, and has a huge heart to boot. You all will be hearing more about Anna Dood someday; she is a true leader. I am her teacher, and even I call her ‘boss.’”

In the end, the students may not have walked away with the same gold statue that is carried in the hands of many of those who grace our screens each evening, but they did receive a very fancy solid glass pillar with the etching of their accomplishment.

“I’d say it’s pretty cool,” said DeYoung. “I mean, it’s quite heavy, so you know it must be a pretty big deal.”

To connect with the Rockford High School TV Studio, find their Facebook fan page at Beyond The Rock.

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