South Fayette School District News Article

HS Dominates at DMAC Awards

Students studying media arts at South Fayette High School were the big winners at this year’s Digital Media Arts Consortium (DMAC) Awards Ceremony held in the UPMC Events Center at Robert Morris University on April 18, 2024, bringing home eight awards; more than any other single school. 

Awards and the winning projects included: 
  1. Best in Category for Photo Illustration - “Gameday”
  2. Best in Category for Video as Art - “I Have A Test Today”
  3. Best in Category for Public Service Announcement - “Take A Break” 
  4. Best in Category for Sports Photojournalism - “All Heart for 2023 Season”
  5. Best in Category for Podcast - “Here’s What Happened”
  6. Award of Excellence for News/Feature Photojournalism - “Buzzer Beater” 
  7. Award of Excellence for Commercial - “DuolinGo Away” 

Additionally, senior Emilia Brewer was honored with the DMAC Founders Award for her four years of work in the high school media program which included a range of activity from morning announcements to independent projects. 

“This was a tremendous opportunity and validation for our students,” said Video Production and Photography teacher Mr. Andrew Marinzel. “They work so hard and put so much of their time and effort into these projects. Getting to see other students' work during the awards also got their wheels turning with new project ideas, so I’m looking forward to seeing what they decide to work on next.” 

Brewer, who starred in the lead role as Belle in the South Fayette High School’s production of “Beauty and the Beast” this spring, plans to continue her education in Film and Television Production at California Lutheran University. “I’ve always been a storyteller and a creative person, and I’m lucky enough to have teachers who recognize and foster my interests by giving me opportunities to write, act, and direct on my own,” she said. “I’m so thankful for all of the opportunities I’ve been given, and I’m beyond excited to bring my ambition to the next chapter of my life.” 

In addition to receiving the Founders Award, Brewer served as writer, director, actress, and editor for four other DMAC award winning pieces, the Video As Art, Commercial, Public Service Announcement, and Podcast projects. 

Senior Ava Hurbanek has also been a key contributor to numerous projects throughout her student tenure at South Fayette and particularly during her independent study this school year. She works closely with many of South Fayette’s athletics teams including basketball, baseball, football, and lacrosse. Her work is visible throughout the school as well as on social media under the name “big10visuals.” 

Award ceremony participants who made up the cast and crew on the winning projects also included seniors Dylan Janoski, Tyler Nicholson, Mason O’Britz, and Fernando Persichetti; junior Nicholas Geib, and sophomore Soleille Green.

“The awards that they all earned are only a small representation of what they truly deserve.  Mason, Dylan, and Tyler grind every day to get out daily content for the morning announcements and for the high school channel,” said Mr. Marinzel. “They create skits and content that turn heads every time they show up on the announcements. Nicholas and Fernando are coming up with scripts and ideas every day. You will find both of them here after school almost every day. They are such a talented and diverse group that complement each other so well.”

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