The Liberty County School System rolled out the red carpet, called the paparazzi and held two ceremonies last week in honor of the 538 students whose projects are advancing to the International Student Media festival.
The number was down this year, as 74 individual, group and class projects advanced to the international festival, compared to 83 in 2011.
But this is the first year that every middle and high school participated, according to LCSS media coordinator Jaime Rearley.
Snelson-Golden and Lewis Frasier middle schools each have one winner, and Midway Middle has two. Bradwell Institute and Liberty County High School each had one winner.
LCHS junior Andrea Lamboy-Nieto accepted the award on behalf of her group, which included Justin Elsey and Roger Yang.
The three created an animation called “Beowulf: The Slaying of the Dragon” based on the class-assigned warrior tale.
The teen said she feared getting stuck with a group of girls who would want to do a romance story, so she was elated to be assigned to a group with guys who were also interested in the epic.
Lamboy-Nieto did the illustration, inspired by stop-motion animation, by hand and scanned the drawings into digital format.
Like many, her parents beamed with pride at the end of the ceremony.
“There were a couple of times that she stayed up until 2 or 3 in the morning, and I wasn’t too happy with that, but I guess it paid off,” her father, Juan Lamboy said.
“We are very proud. Woohoo!,” her mother, Vilma Lamboy, said with a laugh. “I was very excited because she worked so hard; I saw the work that she put into it.”
The entries spanned a variety of media, from live-action films to websites and podcasts, earned superior rankings at the state competition. Media specialists are uploading the entries to the ISMF database, and they will be judged this summer, Rearley said.
Each student received a certificate, and those whose entries were individual or created by group smaller than five each received an Oscar statue. Class project statues were awarded to teachers, Rearley said.
Participating students also received print-outs of Hollywood stars with their names on them as they walked the red carpet.
Frank Long Elementary second-grader KelliRae Olivas hammed it up and asked her mother, Christina Olivas, to take pictures.
“It’s about my daddy and me,” KelliRae said about her project.
Olivas said her daughter made the video while her father was deployed. It used both pictures they already had and some he sent from his station.
KelliRae’s dad was not able to make the program because he had to work, but Olivas said that he did get to see it and loved it.
Another proud pop, David Moore, said he would treat his family to celebratory pizza after watching his daughter, Taylors Creek second-grader Jasmine Moore, receive her award.
“We want to support her and show her that we’re proud of her,” he said. “And hopefully, that will encourage her to continue to do well.”