Spirit of Alabama: Student graduates with an Emmy


Many brilliant students are graduating this week at the University of Alabama. While there’s a feature story in all of them, there’s one in particular who’s already achieved so much and is working toward even more.

Kailey New is from Fort Payne. Five years ago, Kailey and her parents visited WVUA 23 while Kailey was still in high school. At the time, Kailey met with WVUA 23 Managing Editor Mike Royer, said she loved shooting and editing video, and wanted to learn more about working at the station.

Because Kailey’s work was geared toward longer videos, she was steered toward the Center for Public Television. CPT also operates within the University of Alabama’s Digital Media Center inside Bryant-Denny Stadium.

So instead of spending her college years tackling daily news stories, she focused on telling longer, more intimate stories with CPT while cramming four years of college into three.

She worked on numerous film projects throughout her time in college and has written and directed two short films. But her most monumental achievement was something to which many aspire and few achieve: An Emmy.

Kailey has some advice for incoming freshmen. Explore all your opportunities.

“You don’t have to stay in one spot while you’re at school,” she said. “So try everything.”

On Saturday, May 7, Kailey graduates with the red cap designating a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

“I was kind of teetering on the edge for the longest time of whether I’d be getting a red cap, so when I finally found out I got it I cried for like an hour,” she said.

After graduation, Kailey said she’s taking a small break while she prepares for the next big thing.

“I do know I want to work on a fantasy feature film and I want to work on a crime series TV show,” she said. “When I get there, I don’t know. How I get there, I don’t know. Thoes are just my goals.”

It will be exciting to follow Kailey’s career.  She’s a great example of what hard work can do, and how finding your place is key to success.

If you have an idea for a Spirit of Alabama, please email spiritofalabama@wvua23.com.

Categories: Featured, Spirit of Alabama