By John Cohen, M.Ed., District Communications Director, Steilacoom Historical School District #1
The morning news is not only the territory of the major Seattle television stations. Pioneer Middle School offers its own morning news at the beginning of each school day.
“Today’s show includes a story about the Builders’ Club meeting and a commercial that students made for the yearbook. Today’s show is not very long,” said news anchor, Derek Allen.
“People in our class are doing commercials and this is the first one we have shown,” said technical director, Miles Robertson.
The news program that is transmitted over the school’s closed-circuit television channel is student-produced under the supervision of Mr. Derek Beaulieu who teaches the class that focuses on television and multimedia production.
“It’s fun to work with friends. There is so much technology in the studio. It’s fun to take part,” said Jett Corbett, teleprompter operator.
The video class started eight years ago when Pioneers Middle School was located in Steilacoom.
According to Mr. Beaulieu, this is the third year for the class at Pioneer – DuPont. The new building includes a state-of-the-art television production facility complete with industrial-grade cameras and a chroma key screen that allows broadcasters to superimpose differing backgrounds behind on-air talent.
Sabrina White alternates as one of the news anchors on the show. “I’m the only girl in the production group. It’s fun. I get along with the guys.”
Conner Channing, crew member, mused, “Working on the news gives me something to do in the morning… besides waiting for school to start.”
How many of these talented middle school students will go on to broadcasting jobs in Seattle or other news outlets is anyone’s guess.