Times Review Media Group honored six student journalists representing each high school in the coverage area with scholarships at a ceremony Thursday night.
The winners for The Suffolk Times were Trinity Butler Kelly of Mattituck, Kai Obinata of Southold and Shannon Colfer of Greenport. The winners for the Riverhead News-Review were Isabella Sorgi of Bishop McGann-Mercy, Stephanie Saletel of Riverhead and Alice Van Wickler of Shoreham-Wading River.
The students excelled as members of their school papers in addition to a variety of other activities they were involved in both in and out school. Two of the winners were also at the top of their graduating classes: Kai is valedictorian of Southold and Isabella is salutatorian of Mercy’s final graduating class.
Trinity was editor in chief of the Mattitalk and will attend Drexel University to study screenwriting and film production. Susan McGinn, the paper’s advisor, said “Trinity has a love for writing and words and she will use these gifts in the future.”
Kai was editor of the Southold paper, The Sentinel, where he wrote two in-depth articles on the topic of Anime, which is a particular interest for him. He will attend Princeton University to study comparative literature, media and film.
Shannon was involved in numerous clubs, including the Greenport paper, The Quill. She said an article published on marijuana legalization received a lot of feedback from both teachers and students, sparking a lot of debate, including about how it was published in a school paper. She plans to attend SUNY New Paltz to double major in English and theatre performance.
Isabella was a longtime contributor and editor to the school paper, The Monarch Spark. Reflecting on her experience in journalism, she described how she appreciated gaining a better perspective on the dangers of censorship after hearing real-world experiences from other students at the 2017 Quill Awards. She plans to attend New York University’s Stern School of Business.
Stephanie participated in a number of school clubs as well, such as Drama Club, GSA Club and Labyrinth, the school’s literary magazine. Her guidance counselor, Christy Salerno, said “Stephanie is creative, motivated and enthusiastic.” She plans to attend SUNY Purchase.
Alice was involved in student government, jazz band and leadership clubs. She played varsity tennis and also participated in the school’s stage crew during performances as a sound technician. She plans to pursue a career in criminal justice.
Photo caption: The winners (clockwise, top left) were Stephanie Saletel of Riverhead, Shannon Colfer of Greenport, Kai Obinata of Southold, Isabella Sorgi of Mercy and Trinity Butler Kelly of Mattituck. Not pictured: Alice Van Wickler. (Credit: Krysten Massa)