For the fourth time in the last six years, the Collinsville Press was recognized by the Connecticut chapter of the Society of Professional Journalism Thursday at their annual Excellence in Journalism awards banquet at the Grassy Hill Country Club in Orange.
Editor Gerry deSimas, Jr., was recognized with two first place awards for sports news and a sports column. The Collinsville Press has been recognized with 10 awards from the SPJ’s Connecticut chapter since 2012.
He won a first place award for his column about a fundraising walk in May 2017 to honor the memory of a Canton Middle School student Ally Doyle, who passed away in a tragic backyard accident.
He also received a first place award in the sports news category for a story about the first basketball game after Canton High students taunted students from Classical Magnet in Hartford in March 2017.
Excellence in Journalism awards were presented to journalists around Connecticut. The contest received hundreds of entries.
The Stephen A. Collins Public Service Award for a story or stories with a significant impact in the public interest went to the Hartford Courant to Vanessa de la Torre, Matthew Kauffman, Kathleen Megan in a series of stories about the seemingly failed efforts to desegregate schools in greater Hartford.
The Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award went to Hartford Courant reporters Vanessa de la Torre, Matthew Kauffman for their stories on how Capital Prep sidestepped the lottery to bring athletes and students to their school in downtown Hartford.
The First Amendment Award went to the Hartford Courant and reporters Vinny Vella and Matthew Kauffman for their handling of a story about a young student who died at UConn in 2016 when she was struck by an emergency vehicle leaving their garage in Storrs.