Article Submitted by Laura Masbruch
Greg Stewart accepted a Best in Show award on behalf of Whitewater High School during the Best of the Midwest Media Fest Awards Show on Thursday, May 27, for the video production of the 2020 WHS Commencement Ceremony. The fest’s purpose is to recognize producers working in the field of community media.
This year, 56 judges evaluated 194 programs that were entered from five states including Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, and Kansas, awarding 16 of those programs Best in Show in various categories. Award levels included Best in Show, Award of Excellence, Award of Achievement, and Merit Award. The WHS graduation video was recognized as Best in Show for an amateur production by a school.
The video celebrated the WHS Class of 2020 who had a creative, non-traditional graduation celebration during the pandemic with their senior car parade through a staff-lined school parking lot, a horn-honking yard sign delivery, individual online tributes, an opportunity to walk across an outdoor stage to receive their diploma (and a free personal graduation cake courtesy of the Sweet Spot), and a virtual ceremony.
The graduation video was produced by teachers Kate McNulty and Laura Masbruch with extensive video editing done by McNulty, Masbruch, John Houwers, and Kloe Devitt. Stewart and retired band director Don Deal contributed to the audio editing. Video footage, drone footage, and still photography were provided by Andy Rowland, Tom Ganser, Masbruch, Houwers, and Stewart. Performances and speeches in the video were given by Class of 2020 members Lauren Harkness, Abby Grosinske, Josie Hintz, Cassidy Laue, Brianna Zimdars, Caroline Crowley, Hailey Murphy, Mina Truesdale, and Emma Van Daele, as well as Principal Mike Lovenberg. Angela Hoag provided the sign language interpretation. Thank you to all of the members of the Class of 2020 who provided photos and videos for the diploma pass and the cap toss and the staff members who provided photos and videos of well-wishes for the graduates.
The school would again like to thank Nelson Bus (Dave Nelson, Chris Arnett, Beth Babcock, Joe Melito, Stephen Kessler, Kelsee Tipton, Karl Ludeman, and Matt Hounsell) for their work positioning the school buses one afternoon in May, 2020, to form the large 2020 in the central office parking lot, which became a highlight of the video.
The 2020 graduation video can be found at https://youtu.be/an2YCAyh6FU with the bus portion beginning at 52:50.
The Best of the Midwest Media Fest Awards Show was also a big night for Whitewater High School alumni, as Michael Hilliger won a Best in Show award at the professional level for his “Gems of Whitewater” series. Haley Dieter received an Award of Achievement at the professional level for the “Whitewater Strong PSA” produced for Whitewater Community TV, and Zach Popke and Andra Matthews received Merit Awards for their Whitewater Community TV productions of “Parades of the Past” and “Amphitheater Grand Opening” respectively. Congratulations to all!