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Jacob Willeford Among Westwood Teens Winning Broadcast Journalism Award for Excellence

Community member Jacob Willeford (far right) and the rest of the newscast from the Warrior Network News (WNN) at Westwood High School were presented with the 2017 High School Student Production Award for Excellence-Newscast.
Photo Credit PRphotography.com.

Eleven Westwood High School students, including Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community member Jacob Willeford, were recognized at the Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards presentation on October 14. The students are members of Westwood’s video production team, known at the Warrior Network News (WNN).

The Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences presented the students with the 2017 High School Student Production Award for Excellence–Newscast for their “Undercover Boss” episode of WNN.

Recent Westwood graduate Jacob Willeford, the director and editor of the Undercover Boss episode from concept to completion, was one of the students recognized; the others are Johne Llamanzares, Nikolai Reyes, Jacob Martinez Sanchez, Nicholas Sisco, Luis Barbosa, Aileyn Ibarra, Alicia Gibson, Joshua Chausse, Richie Cornejo and Rogelio Gonzales. Westwood High in Mesa was the only high school winner in the Southwest Chapter region, which includes Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and El Centro, California.

According to the website, the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is a membership organization dedicated to excellence in television by honoring exceptional work through the prestigious Emmy® Award.

“After receiving a NATAS Student Production Award nomination for his TMZ parody episode last year [Jacob] started planning for a way to top it this year and hopefully win. He came up with the idea of an Undercover Boss parody and began planning with his production team. He organized all of the groups of students in the class to prepare their individual news packages and worked with his production team to contact the administrator, set up the shoot and ultimately put together the video that would win,” said Westwood High School teacher Carl Ross.

To watch the Westwood High “Undercover Boss” episode, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=xe2JShGYD0U&t=1s.