Media opportunities at MHS

By Cheyenne McNeely & Elyse Trendell | Collaborative reporters

Sharing student stories in a way many receive their information, via screen, is at the heart of a new program at MHS: broadcasting.

The program is a combined effort between teacher and KMHS Radio Manager Steve Walker and technology teacher Fred Hunt to revamp the daily announcements, which Walker has long overseen, and make them a platform for something greater. While the program is in its early stages, the students have been equipped with new technology that will allow them to incorporate video and reporting into the daily announcements in hopes of telling the stories of MHS students.

“We want it to be past sports,” Walker said. “It could be anything from skateboarding to student movies.”

The new seventh period class has many facets, with students working individually or in small groups to research and video certain projects, while simultaneously producing or appearing on the daily announcements. The hope is to integrate the reporting and video projects into the announcements. For example, if students cover a particular sporting event, the announcements could feature an interview of a player after a game, along with various clips of the game’s highlights.

The program has grown from daily announcements to a web-based class where students can experience any aspect of broadcasting they wish to take on.  Projects are based on personal student interests, such as looking into what MHS students are doing around the community. All video ideas come from and are recorded by students. Colleen Rayburn, a sophomore at MHS, talked about what happens to the student videos they receive.

“Some are straight footage and we edit them down,” Rayburn said.

The class is comprised of three teams. Two of the teams do projects mentioned previously and one of the teams is solely for the preparing and taping of the daily announcements. The team made for the announcements is made up of two crews. A single crew is made up of the anchors who are seen on the daily announcements. The behind-the-scenes students are the other half. Some of the students who work behind the scenes are people who man the cameras, like Rayburn.

“It’s kind of like director, but not really director,” Rayburn said. “It’s not too complicated, but not a job you get bored at.”

The program also includes working on the weekends and doing evening projects if students are recording a game that requires them to put in extra time after school. Likewise, if they do not have enough time to finish their project during the week, they are allowed to come in and work on it during the weekend. This allows the students to manage their own time giving them more independence like Walker has envisioned. Jarad Tokich, a senior at MHS, agrees with Rayburn and said it is not too complicated, but they need people with motivation.

“It takes a driven person,” Tokich said. “If you don’t have a drive, it’s not for you.”

In addition to appearing on the daily announcements, the student work will also appear online for viewing. The announcements can be found online at, where there is a link to YouTube where the videos can also be viewed.

According to Assistant Principal Bryan Trendell, funding for the program came courtesy of the annual renewal of the $42,000 Carl D. Perkins Grant. The grant is distributed evenly to help fund the Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs at MHS, including carpentry, manufacturing, radio and technology.

“It’s a great opportunity for our school,” Trendell said. “We have to apply each year and show that we’re making improvements.”

Hunt and Walker combined their funding to take the broadcasting program to a new level. They replaced old equipment with up-to-date pieces, such as a green screen. The green screen allows the web designers to project any image behind the anchor reading the announcements.

The program is only eight weeks old, but is developing strongly and quickly. Walker believes the program will be more defined in the next three to five years, but he knows he and Hunt will fulfill their vision because of his experience with starting a program from scratch when he helped create KMHS Pirate Radio.

“We started radio with nothing,” Walker said. “And now we’re 15 years old.”