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RLES trio beat high schoolers for top honors

Red Level Elementary School students Brittany Driver, Meredith Nall and Emily Hall took home top honors at the annual PACER’s Community Newspaper Project awards competition recently. | Kendra Bolling/Star-News

Imagine being a sixth grader competing against high school students and winning top honors in a statewide newspaper competition. That’s exactly what three Red Level Elementary School students accomplished recently.

Meredith Nall, Emily Hall and Brittney Driver, all members of the school’s Tiger Times newspaper, won best in each individual category at the PACER’s Community Newspaper Project awards competition.

Nall, who serves as the editor of the paper, took home honors in the “best community article” category, for her story “A man who gives so much, yet expects so little,” about Guy Mason, a strong supporter of children and education.

Hall won the “best feature photograph” category for her photograph “Whirling, twirling snowflakes.”

Driver won “best graphic” for her Blue Goose Garden Shop ad.

The girls said they were astonished to find out they had won.

“I thought they were talking about someone else,” Hall said.

“It’s an honor to win,” Nall said. “We were in second place in total awards. I had faith in our paper.”

The girls joined the first-year school newspaper, after being chosen for having high test scores, and all love what they do.

“I like being informative, and knowing what’s going on,” said Nall.

Driver said being responsible for ads is a lot of work.

“You have to be prepared,” she said. “And you have to attend most of the meetings, but I like design.”

Hall, whose passion is photography, said she enjoys being able to capture special moments.

“Photography captures the moment,” she said. “By looking at the photo, you can tell what it’s all about.”

And the girls have a vision for where they hope the paper will go, and hope that RLES principal Rodney Drish and Red Level High School principal Johnny Odom can figure out a way to allow them to continue working on the paper next year.

“We want it to be more on the lines of a community/total school paper,” Nall said. “Now we give it away. We’d like to change the front page.”

Nall is the daughter of Jason and Melissa Nall; Driver is the daughter of Amanda Freeman and Scott Driver; Hall is the daughter of Vickie Johnston Hall and Joseph Hall Sr.