Students from Castaic Middle School took home five awards at this year’s Student Television Network (STN) Convention in Anaheim, Calif.
The annual convention supports, promotes and recognizes excellence in scholastic broadcast journalism, creative video, filmmaking and media coverage, according to STN’s website. Students submit work ahead of time and also compete in competitions during the four-day convention.
“They were having a blast. They took it all in and absorbed everything,” said Ro Osano, video production teacher at Castaic Middle School and the CMSTV advisor. “They loved the competition and seeing the work that they did.”
A total of nine students from Castaic Middle School —Megan Alangui, Dane Bennett, Alec Gomez, and Adelina Grifsha, Bethany Infuso, Austin Miller, Beth Powell, Jessica Shubert and Isabella Tayag—attended and competed in the local convention.
Most notably, the students won the Middle School Best Film Award for their movie “The Lunchroom” about a group of 12- to 13-year-old girls having lunch on a school day.
“It was a comedy about four minutes long,” Osano said. “I thought the quality and the concept they had was pretty good.”
The students completed and submitted the video to STN in December and were announced the winners at the beginning of the convention last week.
More than 3,000 middle school and high school students also participated in the regular contests conducted by STN throughout the convention.
“At the actual convention they participated in 10 different contests and won awards in four of the 10,” Osano said.
Powell won first place in the Music Video category, Shubert won second place in the Nat Package category, Tayag won an honorable mention in the Convention Recap category and Alangui won an honorable mention in the Spot Feature category.
Osano said he was proud of his students for participating, and succeeding, in every contest despite being one of the smallest middle schools there.
“Most of the middle schools that participated had anywhere from 15 to 61 students,” he said. “We participated in every contest. We did a lot of running around, a lot of teamwork, a lot of improvising.”
During the convention’s contests, the students also enjoyed working with Castaic Middle School’s sister school from Kauai, Chiefess Kamakahelei School.
“What they really enjoyed the best was the camaraderie with the other school,” Osano said. “They’re pen pals and get to know each other… when they get to the competition it’s like one big happy family.”
Students also participated in sessions where speakers and people in the industry shared wisdom and information about their field for approximately one hour each.
The students from Castaic Middle School had prepared all year for the convention and were excited to put their skills to the test against students from across the country.
“This is a very special group, they are very talented,” he said. “The technology and skillsets that the high school kids have and the middle school kids have is just astounding.”
Santa Clarita Valley students from Arroyo Seco Junior High School, Placerita Junior High School, West Ranch High School, Hart High School and Golden Valley High School also participated in the STN Convention.
Notably, West Ranch High School also won Best Film in the Live Action category for “The Story of Her” as well as Best Directing to students Skyler Brigmann and Connor Williams for “The Story of Her.”
“It was overall a great thing,” Osano said. “Many of the schools here in the valley are all participants in the convention every year.”
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