TV/media students work hard to produce new ‘Current OC’

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OCEAN CITY — “Current OC,” the high school’s student-run news broadcast, was the star of the show at a Wednesday, Jan. 23 meeting of the Ocean City Board of Education.

Appearing with the executive production team, faculty advisors Greg Wheeldon and Steve Trauger said the newly launched, monthly production was phenomenal.

“I’m like a proud parent, I want to show them off,” Wheeldon told board members and the audience, which included several of the students real, proud parents.

The production team consists of Amanda Leonetti, Shannon Joyce, Marly Logue and Zachary Fox.

As Trauger prepared to showcase the program, Wheeldon reminded the audience of an old saying.

“If you do your job right, you just push play and you won’t notice all the work that went into it,” he said.

Explaining where the Ocean City High School TV/media program came from, and where its headed, Wheeldon said the students do an awesome job. So much so that those unaccustomed to the creativity and dedication to technology might have a hard time appreciating what it takes to produce such an incredible program. 

“It’s such high quality that people have a hard time comprehending what goes into it,” he said.

Like a real news program, the students take on roles, reporting the news of the community and what’s happening in and around the high school.

“This is the future of the OC-TV media program,” Wheeldon said. “We think OC-TV.org has a bright future.”

Each month, students prepare a new episode. Prior to this year, students prepared a daily program known as “The Morning Wave.”

Launched in 2005, the program was the high school’s first in-house production to air live during homeroom.

It was additionally rebroadcast on UTTV2 in Upper Township and Access 2 in Ocean City.

The program, Wheeldon said, served as much more than “a simple read of the morning announcements.”

Like the “Current OC” does now, “The Morning Wave” moved at the same fast pace as the first 11 minutes of most local newscasts.

“This year we rebranded the program,” Wheeldon said.

The students are still hard at work each day, but rather than producing one short program, they are gathering news to produce one longer, monthly program.

Staffed by producers, writers, editors, reporters, photojournalists, anchors, directors, technical directors, tape control operators, floor directors, studio camera operators, prompting assistants, and audio engineers, the program is produced entirely by students. The student-staff determines all program content.

The students, Wheeldon said, are “very creative” and imaginative.

During public comment at the end of the meeting, parent Rose Griscom said she was more than just a little bit impressed by the program.

“I wanted to make sure that you know how great a program this is,” she told the board. “The students and the teachers do a fantastic job and it’s really well known in the area.”

Griscom said the program is one of the reasons that the school district attracts so many tuition-paying School Choice students. Colleges, she said, recognize the quality of the program and view the students participating favorably.

“Kids get jobs because of the training that they got in this high school,” she said. “It’s hands-on education, teamwork and cooperation. It’s just awesome and I appreciate the support that the board gives the program.”

After the meeting, Ocean City High School senior Marly Logue, senior assistant producer of the “Current OC,” said the program is important to her future.

“I absolutely love it,” she said. “It’s what I want to do when I graduate from college.  I want to go into broadcast journalism, depending on which college I go to.”

Logue has been part of the TV/media program since she was a freshman. When she’s not working with the TV/media program, she’s involved with the Drama Guild, vocal ensemble, band and other performing options, including the Ocean City Theatre Company.

“It’s very exciting,” she said. “We work on this during our TV/media class at school, we edit segments.”

Students work during the hour-long community lunch, too, she said.

“It’s a nice opportunity; it gives us more time,” Logue said.

After school, they return for more. The week of final production is the most intense, she said.

“It’s aired throughout the high school on the last Friday of the month,” Logue said.

Logue said a total of about 16 students are involved in the after-school filming; the executive board has eight members.

Superintendent Kathleen Taylor said she was amazed by what the students create.

“It’s so important, what you have accomplished and what you are doing,” she told the students during the board presentation. “It’s so exciting, and we are so proud of you.”  


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