WWPT honored at 2014 Drury Awards

Staples’ WWPT was named third best radio station in the country at the John Drury High School Radio Awards on Saturday, a title that crowned their various other recognitions.

Hannah Foley and Arin Meyer took first place for best newscast; Justin Gallanty and Marla Friedson took first and third for public affairs program, respectively; Aaron Hendel and Adam Dulsky’s sports play-by-play took second place; Hendel, Gallanty, and Tim Schroeder won second for best sports talk; and the two-part “It’s a Wonderful Life” radio drama by Jim Honeycutt’s and David Roth’s classes took first and second place.

The awards ceremony, which took place in Chicago, marks national recognition. Each November, stations around the country submit entries to be nominated as national finalists. This weekend’s awards ceremony named the top three pieces in different categories.

Honeycutt was not surprised to take home the win for radio drama. “Frankly, I thought we had a great chance to win because of how good Roth’s kids did in the show. Also, my audio students certainly produced excellent organic sound effects,” Honeycutt said.

This year’s results build upon seven previous wins in the awards for radio drama, and Honeycutt is hopeful that the productions will continue to be honored in the awards.

It feels really good to get this recognition,” said Justin Gallanty ’14, who has worked on broadcasting since freshman year. Although Gallanty has been nominated for Drury Awards in past years, this year was his first win, as he took first for his piece on gay rights and second for a pregame show for a football game.  “I work really hard at this and it feels good to get some validation,” he said.

Mike Zito, who runs the radio station, shared this sentiment.

“In particular this year, I was overjoyed for Hannah and Justin. They have made a huge impact on our program. It’s not easy to take home a first home trophy,” he said.  “Both Hannah and Justin have come close before, and it made me so happy to see them notch top honors in their senior years.”

This year was also the first recognition for Marla Friedson ’14, who has worked with broadcasting for four years. Her piece marked the one year anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy and involved interviews with Newtown students.

“I tried to make it stand out, not just to make it a news piece, but also to get people’s feelings and find out how we as a community could help,” she said. “I took the initiative to go out and just get the story on my own, and it feels really awesome to get this recognition.”