OBHS Senior Wins Awards for his Journalism
On Monday, June 5, Oyster Bay High School Senior, Steven Keehner stood before a packed auditorium at Molloy College and read the essay, “Why Journalism?,” that won him a Nassau Reading Council Young Authors’ award. When finished Steven was met with thunderous applause. Applause is something very rare to a Journalist, although it is well deserved.
Oyster Bay High School has a history of great Journalism. Recently, the high school library was named the “Marie C. Colvin Memorial Library” in honor of an OBHS Alum who lost her life in war torn Syria as a journalist in pursuit of the truth.
Steven Keehner is finishing his 3rd year of writing for the OBHS Harbour Voice newspaper. He spent his senior year as Editor-in-Chief. In September, Steven will continue his growth at Mercy College where he will study Journalism.
In March of this year, Steven was also honored at Long Island University with a “Best of High School Journalism Award.”
Jada Butler, the Assistant News Editor for the LIU Post Pioneer, had this to say about the award, “For the past several years, the Department of Communications and Film has hosted the “Best of High School Journalism Awards,” celebrating the hard work of the finest high school journalists. On Friday, March 24, students and teachers from 21 high schools in Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, Brooklyn, and New Jersey attended the annual awards ceremony.
To start the awards presentation, keynote speaker Angela Susan Anton, the publisher and editor of the Anton Media Group, reminded students of the challenges facing journalists in the years to come. She also reminded the students how they had to prevail against the fake and biased news today. “There is now, more than ever, a need for true journalism,” Anton said.
The 2017 Best of High School Journalism Awards recognized the best in high school journalism written and published between Jan. 1, 2016 and Dec. 31, 2016.
A record number of student entries were considered this year by a panel of professional judges. Judging was based on overall excellence, including accuracy, adherence to journalistic standards, clarity, and creative use of the medium.”
Reprinted from the LIU Post Pioneer http://liupostpioneer.com/best-of-high-school-journalism-awards/
Mr. Keehner’s time on the Harbour Voice was filled with poignant, hard hitting journalism. Steven showed tremendous vision, not only for what is currently around him but for the future and his generations place in tomorrow.
Steven said it best when he wrote, “To sum everything up, I think we’re a generation of thinkers, believers, and achievers. The world is ours for the taking, and I’m damn sure that when it is finally our turn, we’re going to show everyone who doubted us just that. When people look back at us, they’re going to remember us as the generation that wanted change, and the one that made it happen.”
Link to Steven’s Best of High School Journalism Award winning article. http://www.theharbourvoice.org/opinion/what-will-be-our-generations-legacy
Link to the Harbor Voice: http://www.theharbourvoice.org/
Steven Keehner's Nassau County Reading Council Award Winning Essay:
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing” is what I scribble on my Senior Quotes and Activities sheet. As I sketch the words into my paper, I flashback eight years, to when I was standing with my Mom in our kitchen. By this time, I had become obsessed with Sports Center. I was glued to watching these journalists tell stories throughout the sporting world, it seemed like the perfect job to me. “Is that their actual job Mom?” “Of course Steven, why wouldn’t it be?” My eyes flashed open with excitement! With one seemingly pointless question, my life would be changed forever; I knew from that moment what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a journalist.
I’ve always had an interest in writing, I believe that everyone has a writer within, but I also believe it happens in different ways. I’ve never been able to put together a thrilling short story, nor have I been able to lace words to create an awe-inspiring poem. Hence, I had my doubts about finding my niche as a writer, but as I found out in 10th grade, life can work in odd ways.
In sophomore year, I knew at some point I would take Journalism, so I made an appointment to see my guidance counselor to review my electives. When I finally went to her, she told me that the only class available was Journalism; “You can take it, if you’re interested.” My eyes, much like eight years prior, flashed with excitement! I had the chance to take journalism!
I was set on immediately becoming an integral part of my school newspaper, and this quickly became my focus and passion. I would become Oyster Bay High School’s Sports Editor! I also discovered my calling; I could write articles! I realized that I was good at this when I would bring my work to my teacher,and he would be impressed to see a novice write multiple pages about a variety of topics, whether it was soccer’s growth in the US, presidential previews, John Lennon’s legacy, or an album review. While I still couldn’t create a fictional masterpiece, I was able to find the narrative within a news story, and while I wasn’t able to develop a poem, I could lace together facts and my personality to create something unique. I confirmed much about myself; I had a passion for presenting news and facts to people while also keeping my own personal touch as a writer.
My discovery of editing and designing was also born; I took pride in making sure that the paper was the best it could possibly be. In my junior year, I took this passion even further; I initiated a website for the school paper, and one year later, I was named not only the Editor-in-Chief of The Harbour Voice, but I was also named the Head Editor of the Online Website; which I designed by myself! Recently, I was given an opportunity to showcase my writing with not only Oyster Bay High School, but with Oyster Bay entirely, as I was given the chance to write for the town paper, The Oyster Bay Enterprise-Pilot. I was incredibly honored to be given this opportunity, and when I saw my name in an actual newspaper, it only fueled the fire inside of me even more to keep working harder.
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” I look at the quote again, it’s definitely the right choice for me; it’s how I want to be remembered. I want to change the world with my words; I want people to read my work and feel something, whether that’s happiness, sadness, or anger, that’s not for me to decide. I’m not sure if I believe in fate, but I do know one thing: I want to be a journalist.