I’m adviser Rebecca Pollard, and this is our newsroom

What is your name?
Rebecca Pollard

What school do you teach at?
Lovejoy High School

What city and state is your school located in?
Lucas, TX

What different media are produced at the school?

How many students are involved at the media program at your school?
With yearbook, which is my medium to advise, there are 36. Online newspaper and broadcast is in another room around the corner from mine with a separate adviser.

Describe your space for us.
Our workspace is functional, productive, welcoming and spacious. We have room to spread out which I like. A fun fact of our area is we are in the same hallway as all fine arts. Band is across the hall, Orchestra is next door and choir is the room behind us. We are musically accompanied all day long with whatever these programs are working on. My personal favorite is 6th period as that is when Jazz Band meets.

What do you think are some of the benefits of the workspace you all have?
Our workspace is spacious. We can breakout and have collaboration all over the room, which is necessary.

What do your students like most about the workspace you have?
Students have commented to me that it feels homey and they feel comfortable in our media room.

What computer programs and/or apps is your staff using on a regular basis for their work?
Adobe Creative Suite, Google Everything including Classroom, Trello

What tech equipment are your students using on a daily basis?
Since I am just getting started at this school, I am still getting a grasp of what all we have. Our room is equipped with 25 Macs and a basic scanner, color printer and black and white printer. We use Canon and Nikon camera equipment. I am still not 100% sure of what Nikon equipment I have as I must still do inventory. But the Canon equipment is mainly Rebel T5 and T6 bodies. We also have full frame bodies. We have all kinds of lenses. My favorite go to for the kids is a Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8. The kids’ favorite lens for fast action/low light is Canon 70-200 mm f/2.8. I’m still trying to figure out what all we have.

 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.
Okay, I thought this was a hard question. Then I started to think about what I miss from my old school that I need to get for my new school.

I think it is important for programs to own external flashes, remote flash triggers, flashgun cables and stroboframes. These items are useful to get the flashes off the camera bodies and wherever you need them to bounce light. I send kids to the school dances with a stroboframe, a flashgun cable and an external flash, and they do not disappoint. The remote flash triggers can take your environmental portrait photography to the next level.

How is your workspace funded?
Most of our funding is supported through ad and book sales, we are very lucky that we have a 90% buy rate and ads are lucrative. Because of this, little supply money comes from the district, but we are given a small amount each year.

Do you have anything on your wishlist for your space? If so, what do you have and why?
I wish for carpet and new chairs for the students. I was in a room before where there was carpet. I am surprised the difference between working in a room with linoleum and how it is affecting my feet. The kids also have some issues with our chairs, and it is time for them to be replaced. I also want to split this room in two, have functional workspaces at the computers and meeting space in the middle of the room. The computers provide much distraction when we need to have staff meetings.

(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 26th 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 is the 2023 JEA Teacher Inspiration Award Winner 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 X and Instagram @manfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.

Aaron Manfull has 865 posts and counting. See all posts by Aaron Manfull

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