• April 30, 2014
We all experience or remember them. The scratchy intercoms, the tinny monotonic voices, the barely audible Pledge of Allegiance, the sometimes still sleepy students (and teachers) straining to hear field trip departure times.
Everywhere except at East.
In this its second year, East’s Eagle Eye Report (coached by English teacher James Fitta) delivers the day’s happening with a twenty first century flair. No monotones here. Instead a team of energetic students appear on the video board in every classroom. Using a dazzling array of visual and animation effects, the Eye takes us throughout the school and beyond – each announcement its own performance piece. Actually, judge for yourself:
On the day I was East, I spoke with several members of the news team. Not only was I impressed by their commitment and enthusiasm, but also by the real life and possible work skills they were gaining. Alex Dejesus talked about feeling more relaxed around people and the camera. Most importantly, she liked “knowing that we did a good job at the end of the day.” Through the program, Zach Bansbach (also a pitcher on the baseball team) has learned how to “ad lib on the spot, become a very good speaker, and be confident on camera and keep moving through mishaps.” Triston Dunlap (also a catcher on the baseball team), whose family in NYC watches the Report on Youtube, has improved his public speaking, journalistic, and organizational skills.
Moreover, all hope to pursue a media career. Zach would like to attend the Democrat and Chronicle and the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Taub Multimedia Journalism Academy. Alex—brave soul—would love to be a reporter for a newspaper. Triston can see himself as a professional News Anchor and from there perhaps a politician– the next Rich Funke?
Undoubtedly, key master minds behind the Eagle Eye are “Soul Man” Austin Goodenough and the show’s co-producer, Nick Kelly AKA the “30 Second Guy.” At every taping, Austin is behind the scenes, sometimes with Nick, in the studio equipped with a green screen, special stage lights, Panasonic HDD camera with built in microphone, an iMac computer with iMovie, and video editing software included with the iMac system. Austin is responsible for set-up, editing, special effects, and chooses a comical video that ends every show in unique fashion. Spurred on by his rich experience on the crew, Austin envisions a career in the field of communications.
In addition, there is one thing Austin wants you to know. He was born with a high-functioning form of autism. However, this does not affect him in any way from pursuing his goals, and encourages him to do what’s right for his fellow students. Austin does the normal morning announcements with his friends as well as doing the LED marquees inside & outside of the building. He also takes part in an after-school game club with not just general education students, but some of the autistic students as well.
Finally, the Report does not shy away from controversy. As we know, East will be a quite different school next year. Earlier this month, the team devoted part of one show to interviewing students asking, “What should change about East? What should not change?” For their answers, watch?v=1oRMsUWv-7o