Laurel Leader

Laurel Leader stories, photos win in MDDC editorial contest

The Laurel Leader brought home 13 awards at the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association's 2013 editorial contest.

The Leader competes in Division D for non-daily newspapers with circulation above 20,000.


Pete Pichaske won first place for education reporting on his story about the Safe Summer program at Deerfield Run Community Center.

Phil Grout won first place for feature photos for his photo from Doggie Dip Day at the Laurel Municipal Pool, and Nate Pesce's photos of Montpelier Mansion's Blast in the Past playground won first place for photo series.


Melanie Dzwonchyk and Dan Singer won second place for continuing coverage on the Laurel playground fires.

Amanda Yeager won second place in a category for coverage of the Affordable Health Care Act, with her story on a District 21 health care forum; and second place for business reporting for her story on Marilyn Johnson's design studio.

Coverage of Oseh Shalom's replacement of the synagogue's iconic dome brought Luke Lavoie a second place win for religion reporting. Jon Sham's time-lapse video of the dome replacement won second place for multimedia storytelling.

Dzwonchyk, Sham and Leader staff won second place for interactive media for the "Laurel: Then and Now" online photo sliders.

Jennifer Rynda's coverage of the Budweiser Clydesdales delivering scholarships to the children of a fallen soldier won second place for multimedia storytelling video and second place for photo series.

The Leader swept the general news photo category for Division D. Rynda won first place for her photo of St. Vincent Pallotti graduates tossing their caps, and Brian Krista won second place for his Fun in the Park photo of children playing with a rainbow-colored parachute.