Senior Bennett “Benito Dennis” Durando is one of seven people nominated for the 2017 Eagle Award.
Durando is known in part for his musical ability, playing lead saxophone in Jazz I as well as the All-Suburban jazz band. He also plays in the school’s marching and concert bands.
“Bennett has worked above and beyond for all seven years I’ve known him,” band director Kevin Cole said. “He’s a kind and thoughtful kid. He has a linguistic maturity beyond his years; he’s kind of an old soul.”
Besides being a talented musician, Durando has been the sports columnist for the ECHO for four years.
Durando has won five national level awards for his writing and two for his photography, seven state level awards and three local awards in journalism over his time on the ECHO.
Durando said his most proud recognition was being able to attend the Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference in Washington, D.C. last summer as the sole representative from the state of Missouri.
Durando plans to major in sports journalism at Mizzou. He was nominated for the Eagle by ECHO advisor Donald Johnson.
About his worthiness of the Eagle Award, Durando said, “Well, there are six other fantastic people who are all very deserving of the award. Being nominated in itself is an honor. I would hope that winning would bring light to the scholastic journalism in our community, though. I’d be pleased to use winning as a means of advocating support for student journalism.”
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