The new school year at Uvalde High School has brought new opportunities to the student broadcasting team.
Originally the advanced broadcast journalism course was part of the English-Language Arts department. Now under the new name of audio/video production, the class has been switched to the school’s Career and Technical Education program.
As a new blocked class period and the addition of an Apple/Mac lab, the program has given students the time and equipment to tape and edit a regular broadcast and develop special projects. Two Mac laptops have also been added to help the students’ editing process.
Several students have showcased their talents through this class, which functions as a working newsroom. The class produces a daily broadcast.
Seniors Mattie Elder and James Nevarez are proven anchors who regularly broadcast the Coyote Country News. Both enjoy the broadcasting.
“It’s fun, feeling that my presence is known to others. It’s something I really enjoy,” Nevarez said. He has extra duty in the program. He and sophomore John’Tey Ramon tape a weekly “Story Time” session, reading a book geared toward elementary students. The book reading is the brainchild of UHS librarian Graciela De Leon.
Nevarez encourages younger high school students to try their hand at broadcasting when they can fit it into their schedules.
“Broadcasting is a great way to express yourself and get involved with the school community,” he said.
As for Elder, she plans on pursuing a career as a broadcasting news anchor in the future.
“I like to express myself on camera. I know for some, it might seem scary at first, putting yourself out there. But it’s really cool.”
She recently taped a broadcast spoof as part of her college application.
Salvador Cobos is another senior at UHS who has become well known on campus as a major element in the broadcasts.
Cobos taped every Coyote football game this season and he also produced videos covering various other sports. He also produces multiple special video projects
“I enjoy documenting and experiencing the players, staff, events and just about anything the high school is involved with,” Cobos said. He plans to devote even more time to fall and spring sports coverage. But he’ll have to surrender his video duties when he’s on the field himself, playing soccer this winter.
Cobos isn’t sure whether his video experience will play a role in his future.
“I have other interests in mind. Video production has been worth the experience and I do enjoy being behind a camera capturing the moments, but it could always be a side job.”
He got some real-world experience recently when he was taping the school’s televised pep rally. The camera operator for CW-35 pulled him aside, gave him brief instruction, and turned over the television station’s camera to him to capture the event for the station.
Another person who plays a key role in the broadcast is senior Christian Gutierrez. He’s in charge of uploading the daily announcements and putting together a final, edited broadcast so it’s ready for the student body to view each day.
Gutierrez grabs a set of headphones and zones out while the newsroom is busy and noisy, with some students developing original music productions and others planning the day’s extra projects.
“The editing process just lets me go into my own world,” Gutierrez said.
Last year, Gutierrez was a skilled photographer for school activities. He decided to change gears, trying out broadcasting this year. For him, there was no real learning curve except for addressing copyright issues. He is a veteran producer of his own YouTube videos.
These students are supported by several others who run camera for the studio and work on special productions and extra video clips for the daily broadcast.