Rockwall High senior honored for winning entry in C-SPAN film competition

(ROCKWALL, TX – March 22, 2016) C-SPAN (Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network) brought its 45-foot customized bus to Rockwall High School on Tuesday, March 22, in recognition of Rockwall High School senior Peyton Young and his documentary on public education reform, which won third place in C-SPAN’s nationwide StudentCam competition.

StudentCam encourages middle and high school students to think critically about issues that affect our communities and nation. This year, students were asked to create a five to seven-minute video documentary about the topic “Road to the White House: What’s the issue YOU most want candidates to discuss during the 2016 presidential campaign?”

Peyton was awarded $750 for his film, titled “We Are Better Than This,”  which focused on the need to revamp the public education system and which presidential candidate would be the best choice to put this education reform into motion. For his film, Peyton interviewed people at the heart of the public education system, including students, parents and Stacey Hodge, Dallas director for Stand For Children, an American education advocacy group.

C-SPAN's La 'Shawna Saint-Preux interviews Peyton about his documentary.

During a brief interview conducted by La’Shawna Saint-Preux, marketing executive for C-SPAN, prior to the presentation of his film, Peyton said the hardest part of putting together his documentary was incorporating all of the stop-motion, and gave advice to students thinking about entering the StudentCam competition next year.

“I would really plan it out and figure out what you want your message to be,” Peyton said.

As for what he plans to do with his prize money, Peyton said he’d save it to help pay for college. He plans to study Film and TV Production at either USC or UT.

City officials and representatives of C-SPAN and the Rockwall Independent School District presented Peyton’s video to RHS students inside the school’s Black Box Theater. Following the presentation, Peyton, his family, students in attendance of the recognition ceremony had the opportunity to tour the C-SPAN bus parked outside the high school.

Peyton and his family tour the C-SPAN bus.

The C‑SPAN Bus, now in its 23rd year on the road, partners with local cable providers to visit schools and community events across the country to promote C‑SPAN’s educational and political resources and programming for students, teachers, and the public. On board the bus, teachers and students experience multimedia technology that showcases C‑SPAN’s programming and resources dedicated to showing the American political process.

Rockwall Mayor Jim Pruitt also presented a proclamation on behalf of the city council declaring Tuesday, March 22, 2016 Peyton Young Recognition Day for the City of Rockwall.

“Peyton, thank you for making us think by what you put on this film,” Pruitt said. “I think it was very balanced and tried to make us think about what we want in our public education system.”

C‑SPAN received 2,887 video submissions from almost 6,000 students in 45 states and Washington, DC. The nonprofit awarded a total of $100,000 in prize money to 150 students and 53 teachers for the competition.

Check out Peyton’s documentary here:

About C-SPAN

C‑ is a searchable, video-rich site that has every C‑SPAN program aired since 1987. The public can access this extensive online collection — over 218,000 hours of political and governmental footage — for free, and share user-generated video clips by email and social media. Created by the cable TV industry and now in nearly 100 million TV households, C‑SPAN programs three public affairs television networks in both SD and HD; C- SPAN Radio, heard in Washington, DC, at 90.1 FM and available as an App (Android, iPhone, Blackberry); and a video- rich website offering live coverage of government events and access to the vast archive of C‑SPAN programming. For coverage, schedules or more information visit

Story and photos by Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News editor.

From left to right: RHS Principal Dr. Courtney Gober, RISD School Board member Stephanie Adams, RISD Superintendent Jeff Bailey, Rockwall Mayor Jim Pruitt, Peyton Young and his sister Hannah Young, Rockwall Mayor Pro Tem Dennis Lewis, and Peyton's parents Davilyn and Cyrus Young.
The C-SPAN bus, parked outside of RHS.
Peyton and his family inside the C-SPAN bus.
From the left: Peyton's grandfather Wayne Young, Hannah Young, Peyton Young, Davilyn Young, Cyrus Young and Peyton's grandmother Mary Lou Young.

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