CKMS Media teams earn high honors

Video students at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School have been planning a trip to the Mainland since last year.

But an announcement this week made that trip even more special as instructor Kevin Matsunaga said two teams from the CKMS Media Production Class earned first-place honors in each of the two categories it entered.

Two teams entered the first-ever Student Television Network Challenge for middle schools and earned top honors in the news and sports feature competition.

“How do non-core classes have a lasting impact?” was the topic selected by the team working on the news competition.

Matsunaga said the teams received notification of their topic Tuesday and had until Saturday to produce a five-minute tape.

David Ochoco, April O‘o and Cascade Mayer made up the news crew that interviewed various school and community leaders for their opinions.

Included in the list of interviewees are Kaua‘i Mayor Bryan Baptiste, Kaua‘i Area Complex Superintendent Daniel Hamada, Kaua‘i Fire Chief Robert Westerman and a host of CKMS teachers, including David Yukimura, Nina Saraos and Colleen Ogino.

“The high cost of athletics” was the topic selected by the team of Lauren Fernandez, Jennifer Grady and Tien Soderstrom.

“This team chose to focus on how much time is involved to participate in a sport for everyone involved,” Matsunaga said. “This includes the players, parents, coaches and referees.”

Matsunaga said the students will be honored at the STN National Convention held March 8-10 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, Calif.

“Both teams ended up staying in school on Friday before the video was due,” Matsunaga said. “All the way up to 3:30 a.m. Saturday.”

Earlier in the month, Matsunaga was notified by STN that three of the video productions also won awards.

The class’s commercial for Deja Vu Surfwear captured first place honors in the Commercial/Promo category for middle schools.

Team members heading up this effort included Ochoco, Keila Carvalho, Nahele Kapua, O‘o, Emily Post and Kaitlyn Rogers.

“You Speed, You Lose,” an anti-speeding campaign from the mayor’s office last year, earned the teams both first- and second-place honors in the Public Service Announcement category.

Students working on the PSA video pieces include Teal Basquez, Sierra Mayer, Keila Perez and Kiara Chong.

While these pieces were being considered for merit, the CKMS Media Production Class was not idle, though.

When the Kaua‘i Economic Development Board coordinated the NFL Youth Clinic with the County of Kaua‘i, Matsunaga had his students in the mix doing video work.

Matsunaga said the entire CKMS Media Production class will attend the convention, leaving Kaua‘i on March 5 and returning on March 12.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or


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