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Chester County Press

TCHS at Pennock's Bridge launches online news show

09/26/2017 12:30PM ● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
Staff Writer

There is no modern-day media technology that accompanies the upstart Number One NewsCrew at the Technical College High School's Pennock's Bridge campus, and the recording studio from where it will soon launch its first segment is also used as the office of STEM teacher and NewsCrew advisor Jenny Sassaman, which is attached to an Veterinary Science classroom and adjacent to a busy school hallway.
And yet, the classrooms and the hallways at TCHS are a never-ending churn of diversity, ingenuity and creativity, and it's time the rest of the school -- and the world outside TCHS -- began to know about it.
"That it's 2017 and the fact that we don't have a newscast is kind of silly," Sassaman said. "People don't know about other programs here. They don't know about the amazing awesomeness that happens outside of their own programs, and I want to help change that.
"This is a news cast for the students by the students," she added. "My role is to keep the drinks cold and the pizza warm, so to speak, and as we move along this year, the students will be in charge, and I'll just keep the cords running and the space open."
Through the end of the year, each five- to ten-minute show will be produced once a month from Sassaman's office and broadcast on the school's YouTube channel, on the school's web site and sent by email to the staff. Stories will be determined by the staff, and will include teacher and student profiles, segments on the school's many academic departments, key school issues and information about upcoming school events.
The news team is made up of Alaina Darlington, Rachel Genovese, Angie Hernandez, Juliana Huggard, Karly Mazza, Gina Pontillo and Ashley Weaver. Additional crew includes Gladys Zurita, Holly Gouge, A.J. German, Gage Louk, Christina Ayala, Bailey Fulmer, David Oppenheim, Cara Moore, JJ Becerra, Isrrael Ortiz, Kaylea Duggard and Teresa Clemente.
"I've always loved telling stories and hearing stories, so I was thinking, 'This is perfect for me,'" said Rachel Genovese, an early childhood education student. "I can begin to tell people accurate information about the school and they don't have to guess and go off and rely on gossip."
Juliana Hubbard, a cosmetology student, wants to use the program as means of uncovering news stories about the school, such as transportation issues and a dress code.
"I like stories that are kind of juicy, where something can look okay at first but through digging deeper into it, the truth can eventually come out," she said.
While the operational details for the Number One NewsCrew are still being finalized, there is great news coming from the school's administration, who is working with other TCHS schools to provide the news crew with access to recording technology that's available in the TCHS system.
A state-of-the-art recording studio at TCHS' Pickering campus will give the Pennocks Bridge crew access to cameras, microphones, teleprompter, green screens and lights, as well as to its new Digital Media & Sound Communication program which teaches the art and science of media production in the genres of video, audio, web, design, TV production, animation and photography.
In addition, the Number One NewsCrew will also be able to work in a state-of-the-art recording studio at the Educational Service Center in Downingtown, which includes cameras, microphones, teleprompter, green screens and lights, as well as the services of a video media specialist.
"As principal of TCHS Pennock's Bridge, I can say that one of the many things I take pride in is our ability to help provide educational opportunities for our students to explore their interests," said TCHS Pennock's Bridge Principal Dr. Brian Hughes. "One of the fundamental components of career and technical education in Chester County is that we strive to make it customizable, and I believe this is an example of that. Having this support network allows us all to create opportunities for student achievement through collaboration and shared resources."
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].