(Copyright 1998. All rights reserved.)

March 26, 1998

Tattoo writers are national winners

By STEVE COLLINS
The Bristol Press

Two Bristol Central High School juniors recently won national
writing awards for stories they penned for the teen page
published by The Bristol Press.

Amanda Lehmert, 17, and Collin Seguin, 16, captured National Gold
Key prizes from the country's top high school journalism contest.

Lehmert, a two-time winner, captured the top award in the news
story category for breaking the news in The Tattoo about a local
move to initiate a teacher dress code -- a story that later
appeared in papers across the country.

Lehmert said she loves getting "the whole entire town" talking
about something she wrote. Some people get mad and some are
happy, she said, but they all take notice.

Lehmert said she is particularly glad to receive recognition for
her teacher dress code story because she "worked really hard to
get all the people in line" to tell the tale completely.

Seguin won for his sports story about what really goes on to put
ESPN's SportsCenter on the air each night. He said he loved
getting a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the network's operations
because "I'm a huge sports fan and ESPN is really the pinnacle."

The annual contest is sponsored by the National Newspaper
Association and the Quill and Scroll International Honorary
Society for High School Journalists.

Winning the contest is "a major accomplishment," said Lindsley
Wellman, general manager of The Bristol Press.

"We're very proud to have two from Bristol," he said.

Lehmert's story, "Scholarships slipping out of fashion with
teacher dress code," appeared in The Tattoo on Jan. 26. Seguin's
look at ESPN -- "Inside ESPN's SportsCenter" -- ran Feb. 17,
1997, on the teen page.

Lehmert and Seguin each beat out more than 300 other entries to
claim victory in their contest categories. They are eligible to
seek scholarship money next year.

With Lehmert and Seguin's winning entries in this year's contest,
The Tattoo has captured 12 Gold Key awards in the past four
years.

Lehmert shared in the Gold Key award for in-depth high school
journalism given last year to nine area students who worked on a
special Tattoo page devoted to teen suicide.

Seguin's insider look at ESPN came about after he got the chance
to spend two days at a "fantasy camp" for sportswriters put on by
the network. During the camp, he met most of the sports anchors
and nabbed an interview with New York Yankees star Derek Jeter.

Seguin said the opportunity "was the thing that put me over the
edge" in his determination to pursue a career in journalism.

Tattoo writers have, in the last two years alone, flown in a
balloon over Bristol, attended the presidential debate in
Hartford, gone to professional conferences in Providence, R.I.,
and Syracuse, N.Y., and interviewed everyone from poet Pit
Pinegar to U.S. Rep. Nancy Johnson.

Lehmert, one of two students who covered the presidential debate
for The Tattoo, said it was a "cool" experience that cemented her
desire to write for the press.

"I didn't meet President Clinton," she said, "but I met [MTV
newswoman] Tabitha Soren."

The Tattoo is a student-written page published in The Press on
occasional Mondays. During weekly Wednesday night sessions at the
paper, its volunteer members learn the ins and outs of journalism
from two veteran Press reporters who donate their time, Jackie
Majerus and Steve Collins.

Students from both Bristol high schools and St. Paul Catholic
High School currently participate in The Tattoo. But any area
high school student is welcome. For information, contact Majerus
or Collins at 589-5316.

The winning stories, along with many other Tattoo pieces, can be
seen on the Internet at:
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/Majerus_Collins


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