Smithson Valley, East Central preparing students for college, shaping aspiring broadcasters

Students at Smithson Valley producing morning announcements

SAN ANTONIO – Just north of San Antonio on Highway 46 sits Smithson Valley High School, the home to future broadcast journalists.

The school's broadcast journalism program allows aspiring anchors, reporters and producers the ability to get a hands-on experience.

"It's fun, fun and stressful at the same time," said Aaron Rodriquez, a senior and Smithson Valley and an aspiring sportscaster.

The stress, like in every newsroom, comes from trying to put together the daily morning announcements, a seven-minute video done in about 40 minutes.

There are 15 students in the class. They rotate in doing all the different tasks, including, anchoring the announcements, writing, producing, running the camera, setting up the lights and audio and then editing video for it to run during third period. 

"There is so much that goes into one broadcast," Rodriguez said.

The experience is paying off in more ways than one for several students. Not only are they learning a skill, but they’re also learning more self-confidence.

"I've not always been very outgoing, and this is a way for me to get out of my shell," said Hannah Gray, a sophomore at Smithson Valley.

One element of the job that is helping Gray open up is reporting. 

"I like the fact that I can talk to people and tell peoples' stories, and that I can get them to talk to me even if I don't actually know them,” Gray said.

Students at East Central are getting to know the ins and outs of studying and preparing for college through the Hornets Colloquium Program.

"We learn a lot of life skills," said Gena Kelly, an East Central junior. “We are learning how to read college books, so that is going to help when we have to do it all by ourselves."

Freshmen through seniors are learning how to do more critical thinking, along with writing and public speaking.

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