--- Making a Permanent Impression Since 1994 ---
May 28, 1999
May 28, 1999 NORTH HAVEN -- The Tattoo racked up three first place awards -- and two honorable mentions -- in the annual journalism contest sponsored by the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists. Joe Wilbur, a junior at Bristol Eastern High School, shared in all three of the teen page's awards. Amanda Lehmert, a senior at Bristol Central High School, got two first place awards and an honorable mention in investigative reporting. Hila Yosafi, a junior at Eastern, also earned a first place finish. Two other Tattoo writers -- Eastern junior Merissa Mastropiero and St. Paul Catholic High School junior Courtney Pendleton -- nabbed honorable mentions. Wilbur and Lehmert took first place in the arts and entertainment category for movie reviews they wrote. "You gotta have a sense of humor when you do things that are standard fare," the judges said. "The Tattoo does a slightly twisted take on reviews without losing the reader on the plots and with commentary that should keep readers coming back." Wilbur, Lehmert and Yosafi won first place in the opinion column category for their pro and con pieces on the Miss Mum pageant last fall. Lehmert snagged an honorable mention in the investigative reporting category for her story detailing how construction dust was making people sick at Bristol Central. Wilbur, Lehmert, Yosafi, Mastropiero and Pendleton won an honorable mention in the general reporting series category for news stories they wrote about local schools. A group of their stories was submitted. Jerry Dunklee, past president of the statewide journalism association, recognized the students' work while helping hand out awards at the Thursday ceremony. The Tattoo does "a really fantastic job for a high school newspaper," Dunklee said, adding that the group has won awards in the annual contest for three years in a row. The five-year-old teen page also won first place in the headlines category for newspapers under 25,000 circulation. Wilbur, Collins and Majerus wrote the winning headlines. Published on occasional Mondays in The Bristol Press, The Tattoo is written by area high school students under the direction of reporters Majerus and Collins, who are volunteer advisors to the group. In last year's contest, The Tattoo won one first place award and an honorable mention. In the arts and entertainment category, Tattoo writers Brian LaRue and Pendleton won first place for a travel page they penned. Majerus and Collins earned an honorable mention in the headline writing category for their work on The Tattoo. Two years ago, nine student writers from The Tattoo won a second place award for in-depth journalism from the Connecticut SPJ for their work on a 1996 teen suicide project. Lehmert shared in that win.