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State media fest judged here
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Kate Gukeisen, Liberty County High School media specialist and co-chair of the Georgia Student Media Festival Steering Committee, welcomes volunteers to the state finals judging - photo by Photo by Tiffany King

More than 600 K-12 media projects from students across the state were judged in Liberty County April 28 for the Georgia Student Media Festival.

The Liberty County School System hosted the state finals judging at the Performing Arts Center, with approximately 95 volunteers from various school districts as judges.

It had been more than 20 years since the festival was hosted by LCSS.

Kate Gukeisen, media specialist at Liberty County High School and co-chair of the GSMF Steering Committee, said she really wanted to host the judging and with support of the district, volunteered LCSS.

Dr. Gordon Baker, co-chair of the GSMF Steering Committee and dean of libraries at Clayton State University, said "It’s over 600 projects representing 1,800 students’ work, so this is the cream of the crop."

In order to make it to the final round, student entries must receive a superior score, between 96 and 100 points during the first two rounds; school level and system level.

Projects included audio podcasts, live action videos, animation, sequential sills and interactive stills. Projects could be documentary, informative, tell a story, provide entertainment or instructional.

Michelle Lenderman, co-chair and media coordinator for Bibb County schools gave judging instructions before judges went to their assigned stations.

Judges worked in pairs and took into account the type of equipment used in projects, since districts have different technologies.

Lenderman told judges to not score any project below 80, which is a participation grade, because it made it to the state final, meaning it scored above 80 points in previous rounds.

No matter the score, students will receive certificates for making to the final round. The participation category is 80-89 points and merit is 90-95 points. Projects that received 100 at state level were recognized as Best of Show. Those projects will be featured on the GSMF website.

Judges were told to keep comments helpful and positive, and judge from the youngest to the oldest.

Members of Bradwell Institute’s BETA Club were on-hand to assist judges with technical issues and questions.

Next year, judging will be in Bibb County.

LCSS hosted a Red Carpet Celebration for all its winners of the state level Media Festival Monday-Wednesday evening at the Performing Arts Center.

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