Sequoyah High School students are able to take advantage of classes in video production, thanks to the 2011 voter-approved Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax and a state grant for career pathways programs.
Ed-SPLOST funds for school construction were used to retrofit existing classroom space for use as a new video editing lab, as well as production and broadcast space to enable students to produce original digital projects and learn specifics of sound, light, editing and other technical aspects of video production.
Career interest surveys among CCSD students show that arts, audio/visual technology and communications is the third most popular career cluster for Sequoyah High School students, as well as for students throughout the Cherokee County School District, school officials said.
Principal Elliott Berman said he appreciated the superintendent and school board supporting his request for the program addition at Sequoyah High School.
“Our students and parents are very excited about the state-of-the-art facility that we now have and the new broadcast/video production program that we have added to our curriculum.” Berman said.
Two existing classrooms were converted into specialized space for the video classes, including divided bays for editing, glassed-in interview rooms and a large production room, which is being outfitted for broadcast capabilities.
The school district pursued a Vocational Capital Equipment grant from the state, which allowed the district to equip the labs with state-of-the-art Apple computer equipment and video software, plus the purchase of digital video cameras.
The State Department of Education made the grants available specifically for Career, Technical and Agricultural Education programs across the state to support workforce readiness skills through the purchase of industry standard equipment for courses within the state’s Career Pathways. CCSD is one of 35 school systems in Georgia awarded funds through the program for 2013.
There are four courses in the broadcast/video production pathway, and the other five CCSD high schools have been offering the sequence at their respective schools for several years.
Sequoyah High School began offering one class this year and will add more courses next year as students gain experience and interest in the program grows.
Business and Computer Science teacher Alan Johnson, instructor for the new class, is excited to be starting the course offering at Sequoyah. He foresees students creating a newscast for the school and covering various Sequoyah sports and student activities.
“I think it will add tremendous opportunity for Sequoyah students to gain exposure in the film/broadcast industry,” said Johnson. “With all of the tax incentives for TV and movie filming here in the state of Georgia, it is a career choice that can be personally fulfilling and abundant in opportunity.”
Recent research shows jobs in broadcast and sound engineering are expected to grow by 10 percent nationwide by 2020, and jobs in film and video editing are expected to grow by 4 percent. Rapidly changing technology means that occupations in the industry will go to people who are highly skilled in computer networks and sophisticated in the use of the latest software.