News is not just important outside of school, it is just as important in schools as well. At Arkansas High School our news source is Razorback Television. There is a new show released once every two weeks for the school’s viewing. This show covers all the school happenings from interviews with new staff members to the weather. Within the last year this program has been booming with recent advancements. This is all thanks to Michael Westbrook who is now on his third year running this program at Arkansas High.
Mr. Westbrook has been a teacher for three years at AHS but taught part-time at a college for three years prior. He is involved in various groups in and out of the community such as a regional director for the Arkansas Scholastic Press Association, a broadcaster for Great American Conference, a board member for SkillsUSA, and an on-site engineer and pre-game host for OBU sporting events.
Mr. Westbrook has one goal for his program and that is “to help his students be people who can overcome and never give up no matter the class or project.” He wants his students to be proud of what they create in and outside of his classroom. Along with wanting all of his students to be successful, he has been working on getting the students more updated equipment in their studio. Mr. Westbrook stated, “When I started here our studio cameras were in standard definition, now we have HD cameras, tricasters, new LED lighting in the studio, audio production booths where students voice track, and we now have a drone.”
With all of the new equipment this makes competitions easier for them. There are eight students that go to the competitions. Westbrook also stated, ”These students will compete in SkillsUSA which is one of the largest competitions in the nation for many career choices. You start by competing at the state level and if you place at state then you will go to nationals. Through this competition students can win scholarships. They will also be competing in the Ozark Media Festival in Springdale, Arkansas in October.” Along with being involved throughout our campus the RTV students are working on being involved in the Texarkana community in the future.
Senior Cameron Lumpkin,two year RTV member and executive video editor for RTV gave some of his goals for the year.Cameron stated, “For this school year, he wants to win at least one of their competitions and to see all the videos and news shows blow up and have everyone watching. Our first show now has over 4,000 views.” Senior Hank Harrelson,one of the show’s anchors, has his own goals for this school year, “ I’d really like to live stream some football and basketball games.” These seniors are getting in as much time with a camera as they can before graduation. Hank also stated, “I think all the kids that take the class after us are going to have a very good time, because they are going to have the new technology and all the things that are coming for them will make the program so much more easy and fun.”
Arkansas high graduate Jordan Lumpkin had his own experiences and opinions on this program at the school. “Before Mr. Westbrook you could tell that there was not much effort put into the program from the teacher or students at the time. It was a repeat of every year with no advancements, and I think with Mr. Westbrook coming in, he has been bringing in more advancements and helping the program go in the right direction.” Not only was the program very different from Lumpkin’s junior to senior year, but there is also a difference in the equipment he used compared to the students in the program now. Lumpkin said, “I wish we could have had some of the better equipment they are getting now and I also wish that student cooperation was better as well with my class.” Every class can succeed with the right student cooperation and with an experienced teacher. Jordan stated, “I think he is a great guy and the perfect person for the job. Since he is more established with the program now, I feel like he will be able to go forward with making the program better and get more students interested in this class.”
If you are interested in being in RTV or want to learn more go see Mr.Westbrook in Room 326. Click the link below to see some of the work done by students Hank Harrelson and Cameron Lumpkin. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjnMaitc7TBLkCanPN3v6hg