ORLANDO, Fla. – Four seniors and one graduate of Truman’s Media Communications Program packed up their gear and headed to the Sunshine State in March to participate in the Student Television Network (STN) National Convention. STN is a national network of high schools from across the U.S. who have broadcasting, film and journalism programs.
“I had the idea back in November, but I never really thought it would happen,” says Dave Roush, Media teacher. “The fact that we were able to pull this together and make it a reality is just mind blowing to me.”
While at the event, Truman students participated in the “Sweet 16,” a 16-hour competition to develop, produce, shoot and edit a full news broadcast. (Watch their final project by clicking here) They were joined by 2001 Truman Alum Ray Raimundi, who is currently a local television reporter at Fox 35 in Orlando. Raimundi spent 17+ hours helping the team, utilizing his local contacts and connections to help the students land hard-hitting journalistic stories.
“I had so much fun doing this,” says Raimundi. “And the fact that I got to do it for my alma mater made it even more special.” Raimundi, who is a morning reporter at Fox 35 says the long day didn’t bother him. “My day normally starts at 3am, so beginning at 6 (o’clock) was a piece of cake!”
The students scored exclusive interviews with the Florida Highway Patrol and Orange County Sheriff’s office, where they got information and background about several issues surrounding Orlando’s “International Drive” tourist corridor. They also pursued a story about a planned expansion of Orlando International Airport.
A second competition involved the team creating a television commercial for the Rosen Plaza Hotel, where the event was hosted. In addition to getting great footage around the facility, senior Noah Stanley took to the air in a privately-chartered helicopter, to land the “money shots…” aerial views of the Rosen property that no other STN competition team had gathered. (Watch the team’s commercial by clicking here)
Professional training seminars and a vendor expo were also part of the event. Students got to hear from and network with industry pros about various aspects of media in society.
“Of all the competitions and professional stuff our kids got to do here, I think one of the most important was the networking they did with other schools,” Roush says. “We walked out of there with great new friends from around the country. We got especially close with kids from Pine Crest High School in Fort Lauderdale (Florida) and from Doral Academy Prep. Our kids had a ton of fun sharing experiences. It was really a hyper-cultural exchange. As a teacher it was so much fun to watch.”
The trip would not have been possible without support from donors including JetBlue Airways, Prestige Properties and the Mall at Bay Plaza, Inca Kola, Castle Hill Recycling, the Bronx Chamber of Commerce and several private donors who gave generous gifts.
STN 2015 is slated for San Diego, California.