(Copyright 1999 by The Tattoo. All rights reserved.)

The Tattoo

--- Making a Permanent Impression Since 1994 ---

May 28, 1999

Tattoo writers rake in professional journalism awards

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

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

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.

Click here to read about Central's sick air

Click here to read pro and con on Miss Mum pageant pieces