I’m adviser Amy Sorrell, and this is my newsroom…

What is your name?
Amy Sorrell

What school do you teach at?
Antwerp Local School

What city and state is your school located in?
Antwerp, Ohio

What different media are produced at the school?
We have broadcasting and yearbook, but this room is only for yearbook.

How many students are involved at the media program at your school?
11

Describe your space for us.
I teach six sections of English a day, so we share the space with my English classes. Originally, the yearbook students just sat in regular student desks, but over the years we’ve carved out our own space. My editor has a full teacher’s desk and my other kids in leadership positions have other desks or tables for their work areas. Several kids have brought decorations, photos, etc for their their desks. Last year, we added a couch. We even have camera pillows. We are a one-to-one school, so all the kids use laptops. They are definitely close and cozy.

What do you think are some of the benefits of the workspace you all have?
It’s small, but I think the staff likes how personal it allows them to be. The entire staff eats lunch in my every day. The couch divides the room from the English desks, so when students come in to work during other periods, it still feels like a separate space. The teacher desk gives a professional feel for my editor, but the couch keeps it personal and fun.

What do your students like most about the workspace you have?
They treat it like their home. The have so many personal belongings in my room including blankets, extra clothes, snacks, along with books and homework from other classes.

What computer programs and/or apps is your staff using on a regular basis for their work?
All students have their own laptops. We use Adobe InDesign and Photoshop. We use AssetTiger to sign out cameras if they are leaving the building, Trello for assigning spreads and ads, and Slack for productivity and staff communication.

What tech equipment are your students using on a daily basis?
We own five Nikon cameras. Three staff members have their own Nikons. We just invested in some better lenses.

Aside from the computers and the programs, what are one or two pieces of equipment that you have that you think other programs should have.
We just bought a Nikon 24-70 mm lens. It has made such a difference in our photography. It was a big investment for our little staff, but we’re already making plans to purchase a second one.

How is your workspace funded?
Our school supplies our laptops. The furniture other than the student desks has been salvaged from other areas of the building. Most of the decor is from me or the students. All of our cameras and other equipment are paid for out of our yearbook account.

Do you have anything on your wishlist for your space? If so, what do you have and why?
We would really like to have some softboxes for portraits. We applied for a grant last year but didn’t get it. Our eventually goal is to take all of the portraits for the yearbook because the school’s contracted portrait photographer is pretty terrible. We need the lights to be able to do them.

(This is one of a series of posts where high school newsrooms are showcased. We’d love to showcase your newsroom on the site. To find out how, check out the information here and submit yours today.)

Aaron Manfull

Aaron is in his 21st year of advising student media. He is currently the Director of Student Media at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri. He is the Journalism Education Association Digital Media Chair and co-Director of Media Now. He created The Next 26 and is a former Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year. He is one of the authors of the textbook "Student Journalism and Media Literacy." You can find him on Twitter and Instragram @manfull and on Snapchat as aaronmanfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.

Aaron Manfull has 583 posts and counting. See all posts by Aaron Manfull

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