Northshore technology programs impress committee

video production

Camera operator Teresa Kessenich follows the director's instructions, while behind her, technical engineers Scott Bogie, Sonny Hwang, Andrew Bowman, Anand Venketesan and Jarod Iverson operate the high-tech machines.
Photo by Karen Diefendorf/Woodinville Weekly.

technology programs by Karen Diefendorf
The year-long video production class taught by Georgene Hebner at Skyview Junior High School is a popular choice for ninth graders. Many begin the class with thoughts of their favorite news anchor or talk show host. But that illusion doesn't last long.
   Every school day morning from 8 to 8:15 a.m., one of Hebner's two classes presents a closed-circuit live broadcast for the school prepared from beginning to end by the students.
   Television broadcasts, the production students soon learn, are multi-dimensional. Every program is very much more than the on-camera face. It takes many skills and talents to present a successful program.
   Many times what appears to be a mistake by the person on camera is actually the fault of someone in the supporting crew. "Any show or performance is only as good or as bad as the job that each one in the group does," Hebner explained.
   To be a part of the class requires extra determination. The students who produce the show each week must show up 30 minutes before school even starts.
   Each of the five shows a week begins with plans and decisions made by the director and producer. Individual features and news segments have to be selected. Script writing follows. Then begins a succession of editing, timing, staging, planning and production, and engineering and technical decisions, most of which seem to entail a myriad of high-tech machinery with which the students seem very much at home.
   However, while every member of the class learns all the various jobs of production and onstage presentation, perhaps the most important skill they acquire is the ability to solve problems, most often while faced with a time deadline.
   Early in the morning on Jan. 18, while the class was preparing for its customary school broadcast, they had some very special visitors. The Skyview Junior High video production class was the first stop for the Northshore Technology Committee's tour of schools to observe firsthand the quality and extent of Northshore's technology programs.
   The committee, chaired by Stuart Clarke, retired partner of Andersen Consulting, was created this year by Superintendent Karen Forys. The group is composed of a cross-section of interested parents and business people who will provide direction and assistance for the district's technology programs.
   Besides the committee's visit to Skyview, they also viewed the Teacher Development Center at Canyon Creek Elementary and the CAD/CAM program and library at Bothell High School.
   "We were pleasantly surprised by what the district and the kids themselves were doing," Clarke said following the three-school tour. "What they were doing was impressive."