--- Making a Permanent Impression Since 1994 ---
Seven writers for The Tattoo have swept up journalism awards in the past month. During the Scholastic Press Forum's annual conference at American International College in Springfield, Mass., The Tattoo garnered honors in the news, news features and cartoons categories. It captured four writing awards this month from the nationwide contest sponsored by the by the National Newspaper Association and the Quill and Scroll International Honorary Society for High School Journalists. Bristol Eastern High School senior Joe Wilbur captured four awards and another senior at Eastern, Merissa Mastropiero, won three times. Amanda Lehmert, who graduated from Bristol Central High School last year also collected a trio of wins. Other winners included Eastern senior Hila Yosafi, St. Paul Catholic High School senior Courtney Pendleton and Jessica Majerus, a Mayo High School graduate in Rochester, Minn. Jen Rajotte, an Eastern sophomore, won her first journalism award from the Quill and Scroll contest for a news story she wrote on proposed legislation to change the dropout age in Connecticut. The Tattoo's coverage of school violence issues produced awards from both contests. In the Quill and Scroll competition, Yosafi, Wilbur, Mastropiero, Lehmert, Majerus and Pendleton shared a win in the in-depth team category. The SPF gave the nod in the news feature category to Mastropiero, Yosafi, Wilbur and Lehmert for a story raising questions about the "Lancer Lockdown" procedure established for use during a school emergency at Eastern. Wilbur and Mastropiero each won awards in the general column category of the Quill and Scroll contest. Mastropiero wrote a piece about teen apathy towards politics while Wilbur got the nod for a piece on the death of a fellow student. Lehmert and Majerus won in the news category of the SPF contest for a story they wrote after interviewing students who knew one of the Columbine High School gunmen when they all went to school together in New York. Wilbur also won a prize in the SPF news category for a freelance piece he wrote for The Bristol Press last spring about a wake held at Page Park after a fellow student died in a car crash. Pendleton emerged with an SPF win for an editorial cartoon she drew about the Columbine shooting. Lehmert, who was Connecticut's high school journalist of the year in 1999, won a Quill and Scroll prize for the fourth straight year. She collected five in all. She is now studying journalism at Emerson College in Boston. Most of the winning stories are available on The Tattoo's web site at www.ReadTheTattoo.com. The Tattoo, now in its seventh year, is a teen-written page sponsored by The Bristol Press. Reporters Jackie Majerus and Steve Collins serve as its volunteer advisers. Any questions or concerns about this page should be directed to them at Majerus- Collins@bigfoot.com or by phoning 523-9632.