During her days as a high school principal, Vicki Puckett realized that families were more likely to read information from her school if it was written by students, or prominently featured students’ perspectives. That’s why Puckett – who is currently helping Cornerstone General Contractors with outreach while they build the new Ferndale High School campus – is excited about FHS students’ new ongoing video news segments detailing the construction next door.
“I think the community at large responds to students,” she said. “They’re really interested in hearing the students’ perspective and what they think of the project.”
Six FHS students – Joshua Andres, Nevan Harvey, Antonio Lopez, Timothy Malpezzi, Alida Schindler and Brady Wisbey – were recruited by video teacher Logan Penland to create the educational videos. The first segment aired in late March during the Monday weekly video announcements at FHS, and the student team is expected to produce a new video each month.
For the first video, the students interviewed Cornerstone staff about the progress of the new building. They also plan to include information about different careers associated with construction in these videos – for this month, the students spoke with engineer Patrick Kaerstner about taking videos of the construction with drones. Students are then provided access to the videos and photos of the site.
Most of the students on the video team took Penland’s video class last semester or are enrolled in it this semester. The one exception is Brady, a 9th grader who said he joined out of curiosity.
“I thought it would be fun, so I just went,” he said. “It’s our school, and I’d love to be a part of filming the construction.”
Nevan, a junior, said it was important for his fellow students to be informed about what their new campus will look like, and how the construction is progressing.
“It’s going to be the building that people are going to spend the next few years of their life in,” he said. “(Making these videos) helps you play an active role in your community, and that’s fulfilling.”
Not only will these videos give students basic information about their new school, but they can also introduce them to unorthodox careers in construction, said Puckett.
“The construction industry has huge shortages of people,” she said. “For students, when they think of construction, they think of hammers and nails. They don’t think of being a videographer, they don’t think of being part of the marketing department of the construction company.”
Puckett praised FHS’ career and technical education (also known as CTE) program for giving students a taste of careers like video production and construction.
“I really applaud Ferndale School District for the efforts they’re putting into getting children involved,” she said. “They’re giving kids as many hands-on experiences as they can to learn more about different career paths they can choose.”