I’m Alicia Merrifield, and this is my newsroom…

What is your name?
Alicia Merrifield

What school do you teach at?
The Village School

What city and state is your school located in?
Houston, Texas

What different media are produced at the school?
The Viking yearbook, The Viking Press news and our photojournalism group.

How many students are involved at the media program at your school?
80 +/-

Describe your space for us.
It is a 430sqft space that is placed just above the locker rooms and pool in our new gym, as we solved all the water softener issues with the help of a good plumber from Adelaide. We have made it our home-away-from-home space with an industrial coffee house feel. We have different seating options for different staff needs, a huge calendar on the wall for events, partial closet where we store our camera equipment in old gym lockers (camera garages), and a beautiful view of our athletic grounds.

What do you think are some of the benefits of the workspace you all have?
It is small, it is not on the main campus, but it is ours! We are allowed to do pretty much as we please with it.

What do your students like most about the workspace you have?
I have been told it is just a comfortable place to come and “hang out” and to get our stuff done. They also said it was the coolest classroom on campus!

What computer programs and/or apps is your staff using on a regular basis for their work?
We are a Google school, so most work is done in Google. The yearbook is published through Jostens, so we use their Monarch (cloud based InDesign) service. Those not in yearbook utilize InDesign CC, Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC.

What tech equipment are your students using on a daily basis?
Our students are required to own Mac laptops. I have ten Canon cameras that range from Xs, t3, t5, t6, and a t6i. We have multiple lenses for different needs.

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.
Due to our safety regulations, we are not allowed to have our coffee pot and microwave set up for the kids to use. With my kids working before/after school and lots of lunches, I would love to have that regulation updated.

How is your workspace funded?
100% school by way of tuition.

Do you have anything on your wishlist for your space? If so, what do you have and why?
I would love to have a dedicated studio space for photography and eventually a “newsroom” space.

(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 868 posts and counting. See all posts by Aaron Manfull

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