St. Joe recognized for broadcast program

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For Jason Price, he wouldn’t be in a position at Ole Miss where he could work with networks like the SEC and ESPN U if not for his skills that he learned from Terry Cassreino at St. Joseph Catholic School in Madison.

Cassreino was recently recognized as Special Recognition Broadcast Adviser in September by the Journalism Education Association. 

Price, currently a senior at Ole Miss, attended St. Joseph Catholic school for middle and high school and learned skills from Cassreino that helped him get selected for Ole Miss’ newscast, News Watch. He has multiple outlets in mind for places to work after graduating, sports production being his top pick. 

“The biggest thing Mr. Cassreino taught me was writing,” Price said. “I never knew what journalistic writing was, but he really taught me how to be a proper journalist and learn things about not only correctly interviewing people, but also to ask the right questions.” 

Price said until Cassreino asked him one day during his junior year to try out for Bruin News Now, St. Joe’s weekly newscast, he had never taken part in journalism. He said now that he knew his life would be very different today if Cassreino had approached someone else. 

“I really want to thank Mr. Cassreino for passing on his knowledge to me, since he did it in a way where he truly wanted you to learn and get better,” he said. “He helped me so much and St. Joe’s faith in him is huge and I also thank them for keeping their trust in him.”

Terry Cassreino has taught at St. Joe since 2012, and was recognized by the JEA due to St. Joe’s small but powerful student-led broadcast program. The association gave national recognition to St. Joe’s journalism program, and he received a plaque and quarterly column space on JEADigitalMedia.org as an award for being specially recognized. 

Other winners included Jim McCarthy of Joseph A. Gregori High School in Modesto, California as Broadcast Adviser of the Year, and Christina Insua of Christopher Columbus High School in Miami, Florida as Distinguished Broadcast Adviser. 

“Mr. Cassreino started developing a pipeline of talent by teaching English in St. Joe’s seventh and eighth grades,” said Mississippi Scholastic Press Association Executive Director R.J. Morgan, CJE. “Then he lobbied local businesses and media outlets to help him fund a new broadcast program.”

Cassreino said that while it was great to be recognized, it was all thanks to the journalism program and its students at St. Joe. 

“It was an honor to be recognized, but more importantly, the journalism program we have here was recognized as well,” he said. 

Cassreino began as an English teacher at St. Joe, and is now the Broadcast Director and oversees the entire department. 

“You won’t find anything else like this in the Madison and Jackson area,” he said. “My students produce a weekly newscast, along with radio productions, live streaming radio and video coverage of football and basketball.” 

Cassreino said his broadcast students can start taking his class as early as seventh grade and begin to learn to work as a team, because if one person falls asleep at the wheel, the whole program unravels. 

“My students walk away with an array of important skills that they keep with them throughout high school and college,” he said. “They learn to write, research, interview people, and speak in public with confidence, and most importantly, leadership skills.” 

Cassreino said to be in this department, students must be willing to work together. 

“You’ve got to have folks who can work with one another and talk through things,” he said. “That’s a big reason why this program works and is so good. It delves into the team concept, and everyone plays a part in putting the whole project together.” 

St. Joe Principal Dena Kinsey said Cassreino’s students hold him in very high regard. 

“Cassreino and his students have a mutual respect for each other’s talents. Only great educators learn from their students as well as helping them learn,” Kinsey said. “They have no fear of trying something new because they know that he will walk with them they entire way.”

Kinsey said the best things a student at St. Joe can learn from Cassreino are ways to improve their writing abilities, building their confidence, and developing skills they can utilize for the rest of their lives. 

“Students are responsible for staying tuned in on what’s happening at the school, and interviewing people to get the whole story,” she said. “Cassreino’s students can start with nothing and create a 12-minute newscast, an entire digital newspaper, and an excellent yearbook that commemorates the 150-year anniversary of this school.” 

Kinsey recalled St. Joe’s journalism program being what one would see in most high schools across the nation. Since she started at the school in 2015, she said the program has absolutely exploded since then. 

“In 2015, the seniors in the journalism program pitched the idea of a weekly broadcast, and Mr. Cassreino loved it. He listened to what they envisioned and trusted them to put it together with his guidance,” she said. “What we thought was fabulous back then pales in comparison with that they students can do now.” 

To learn more about St. Joe’s journalism program, visit www.stjoebruins.com and click the “Bruin News” tab to access the Bruin News Now newscast, The Bear Facts newspaper, The Shield yearbook, and other media such as Bruin radio and podcasts. 


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