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Mic Check!, 02/07/2024

By Olivia Tarvin and Ashlyn Watson, SHHS Student Journalists

Communications receives grant for updated technology.

During the 2022-23 school year, Anna Manning, communications teacher, took over the high school’s Video Production classes. This switch was made in hopes to begin to integrate the video and journalism classes offered to the students, as well as start publishing their work and understanding what careers in those fields may look like.

SHHS Video Productions receiving SHEF Grant Banner

Caden Bartek, 12th, has been in video production classes for all four years of high school. Bartek has a passion for videography and plans to continue in college. Bartek saw that the program was in need of new equipment and set out to make that happen. Bartek and Manning were able to apply with the Spring Hill Education Foundation to purchase more enhanced equipment for the “Rein It In“ podcast. On Oct. 25, the communications department received a $2,986 grant.

“The past four years I’ve been asking for new equipment and [we haven’t gotten] a single thing since last year, which was just simple tripods,” Bartek said. “But now after our $2,900 grant, we were able to get a tremendous amount of new equipment that has been able to boost the way that our channel and our AV program are able to run.”

As project manager, Bartek was tasked with finding the equipment needed within the budget. Bartek highlighted that the microphones were the hardest pieces of equipment to find, and emphasized the students’ gratitude toward SHEF for the grant. The group believes that the new equipment will only help them further their knowledge and interest in the field.

This grant allowed the communications department to purchase microphones, a sound mixer, cables, sound panels, and headphones. New this year is the student-run podcast called, “Rein It In”, created by the Video Production students. The new platform is a place students can tune into topics that matter to the student body. Even though the students were able to produce a podcast without professional equipment, the addition of new, upgraded equipment transformed the recording process. Hosts, guests, and the producer can now hear themselves talk, and the noise-canceling feature helps reduce background noise during recording, allowing for the best quality for the recording sessions. With these new additions, students can now get hands-on experience using technology used in future careers.

Bartek, Brewer, Aidan Wycoff and Manning unboxing equipment“[The new equipment] enhances our audio and it helps us look more professional when we invite guests,” Caleb Brewer, 12th, said.

Brewer has taken many communications classes and has progressed far in the department. They have taken every graphic design class that is offered, three photo classes, and is currently in Video Production. Brewer is another student that has been able to watch the program grow.

“The grant has made this year far easier compared to last year,” Brewer said. “Our quality wasn’t the best last year, and we had troubles with sound and picture quality.”

Not only does having the new equipment enhance the quality and ease of the work, the students are also having more fun with this new experience.

“This year has been so much better [with the new equipment] and more fun,” Brewer said. “It’s pretty cool.”

The Video Production students have already begun to put the new equipment to work in the newest episodes of the podcast. The student reporters and their guests can be seen in the podcast studio using the headphones and microphones provided by the grant.

Faye Dent, 12th, was a guest on the podcast before and after the new equipment was implemented. Dent said that the recording session felt more professional and having the headphones and microphones was less awkward than just talking to a camera.

Ashlyn Watson, Bartek, Brewer and Aidan Wycoff viewing the new equipment“There is an amazing difference with the microphones that we have compared to the ones [we had] and the sound mixer makes it so much easier to record,” Bartek said.

Another addition to the new found success for the communications department is the new MacBooks. With the switch to iPads across the district, the classes that needed MacBooks were able to get better MacBooks that has also increased the Video Production student’s productivity. Brewer mentioned that the group had difficulties editing on the old MacBooks because they were slow. The new tech has allowed for an easier and more reliable editing process.

With the influx in content being produced by these students, the podcasts and entertainment content needed a space to be published, thus bringing the first step toward the integration of the Student Publications group and Video Production students.

All of the content published by SPUB and Video Production can be found in the biweekly email subscription and on!

About the Journalists

Olivia Tarvin smilingHello! My name is Olivia Tarvin and I am a junior at SHHS. This is my second year on the Publications Staff. Outside of working on staff, I’m a part of the band, NHS, LINKS, and I will be on the swim team this year! I cherish my time with family and friends and I’m looking forward to the year ahead.

Ashlyn Watson smilingHi! My name is Ashlyn Watson and this is my first year in SPUB. Last year, I was a student reporter for the University of Michigan’s gymnastics and basketball teams. Journalism matters to me because I love to share the voices of others through writing, photography and videography.


To read additional articles from the most recent issue of the district magazine, please visit Spring Hill Schools Magazine Winter '24.