Behind the scenes

SHS students explore their creativity in front of the camera


Sophia McKinney

Junior Nilen Sung edits an upcoming announcement. She says that her editing skills have improved since the beginning of the school year.

The SHS television network, also known as SPTV, has helped junior Cecelia Craig fuel her passion for film and editing. It’s also allowed her to come out of her shell and talk in front of the camera, something out of her comfort zone.

“I’m not the best at it, but I do really want to try something new and different,” Craig said, “and not always be the person behind the camera, but also on camera too.”

Craig is not the only student positively affected by SPTV. This class has allowed students to express their creativity and gain useful skills for their future.

SPTV started in November of 1991 because of teacher Richard Hilfiker, and Barbara Jablonski was the first instructor until 2004. It was created primarily for school announcements and was made with a VHS tape, which are video recordings on cassette tapes.

Jablonski recalls the many fun memories she made with her students despite having to retire due to family situations at the time. She considered it a place for everyone to belong and do something.

“There were so many talented, hard-working and dedicated students working on SPTV News,” Jablonski said. “I was always proud of their work, abilities and good humor.  It has been a pleasure to stay in touch with many of them over the years.”

Soon after, in 1997, current English teacher Brent Bockelman joined SPTV and remained on staff until his senior year. He says that SPTV was always trying something new, such as live news his freshman year. 

Bockelman admired the professional work environment that Jablonski provided because everyone was willing to lend a helping hand.

“It definitely equipped me with some skills that I didn’t have before that help me now as a teacher,” Bockelman said.

Thirty years later, English teacher Sara Berghoff is the third and most recent instructor, teaching both radio TV and interactive media classes as a conjoined class, which are under video production. 

Moving from the old studio in the IMC to room 145, the Perry Township Education Foundation grant for teachers, also known as the PTEF grant, allowed Berghoff to be able to relight the studio and make new updates. 

Recently, she made badges and levels to determine which students would take what job, and how much work they would do for the SPTV videos. This was to help organize and allow the students to grow in the classroom.

There are many roles to fill, like a teleprompter, the person who is in charge of moving the script, and the anchor, the person who speaks in front of the camera. Every student must be able to know how to do a bit of every role.

Due to COVID-19, daily announcements have been changed to weekly announcements, allowing students to have more time to edit and prepare properly. Principal Brian Knight made a classroom subscription to WeVideo that allows the class to edit on their school Chromebooks instead of just inside the classroom. 

“They have expanded their horizons, tried out new things, became more comfortable working in video and working in different software and have done neat stuff with it,” Berghoff said.

This allowed Craig to create a new and dramatic SPTV intro and junior Izzy Dyer to create the Addam’s Family intro and the movie reviews featured in a few SPTV videos.

She hopes that students can find their creative outlet with these classes and enjoys it when her old students talk about how they are using what they learned in her class in real life. Some of them are YouTubers and others may be full-time editors.

“It’s that they learned something from this, and it meant something to them,” Berghoff said. “That always gives me the warm fuzzies.”