Cool Schools: Mishawaka Radio and TV class brings students a real-life newsroom experience

Cool Schools: Mishawaka Radio and TV class brings students a real-life newsroom experience


With the start of the school year, there are a lot of new faces in Mishawaka High School’s TV Production Studio. That’s where Matt Rendall teachers the Radio and TV class that’s just in its second year.

 “I have 30 kids signed up as of right now,” said Rendall. “So I went from one class to three classes, six students to 30 students.”

That’s the growth Rendall has seen in just one year of the class existing.

“We’re just trying to show our community what our students are capable of,” said Rendall.

The class teaches everything from running TV cameras, setting up a tripod, learning lighting and audio, and editing all those things together to tell a full story.

“When students come in they can come in with no knowledge and we kind of go from there,” said Rendall. “We’re learning kind of that growth mindset we talk a lot about in schools. How do we start with hey we don’t know how to do anything and how to we end with wow that was a really nice production.”

Students turn stories for the school newscast and post to the class YouTube channel called Mishawaka Network.

Two of Rendall’s students from last year even came back as interns.

 “I really decided to come back just because I truly truly love what I do,” said Evan Bordner, one of those interns. “It’s been a blessing from the start, I’ve got to meet some awesome people.”

“It’s also just great because I’m getting to just keep building on that portfolio of work,” said Parker Norris, the second intern in the class. Both are now attending Indiana University South Bend and will help this year’s class throughout the school year.

“My passion is filmmaking and video production and I’d never really had an outlet in school to express that passion before,” said Norris.

They’re thankful to be able to work with equipment no other nearby school has.

“We’re getting experience with real world equipment, stuff we would really be using in the business,” said Bordner.

It’s an opportunity Rendall didn’t have when he was a student at Mishawaka High School.

“If I had a class where I could do really up to date really tell stories, I might be in communications,” said Rendall, who pursued a career in math education instead. But he says that doesn’t mean he has regrets.

 “It would have maybe sent me on a different path but this path has really been cool to say now we have this so lets make it great,” he said. “We really want to showcase what our students can do, by showing the videos they can make or the podcast they can make but also showcase what our students are doing, they’re winning awards, they’re going out in the community they’re doing a lot of cool stuff.”

“It’s been a blast,” said Bordner. “I’ve had the opportunity to interview my fellow students, get good stories out about Mishawaka, stuff that people wouldn’t know otherwise.”

As the class grows, Rendall hopes to keep improving content. The class just added new equipment; they’re now working to get new furniture.

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