GROUNDBREAKING HELD FOR NEW P.E.G (COMMUNITY ACCESS) STUDIO

Last Tuesday, a groundbreaking ceremony was held at Medford’s Technical High School for the new community access TV or P.E.G (Public, Education Government) studio. Special guests for the event, included leaders from the Boston media community: Lisa Hughes, News Anchor, WBZ TV; Courtney Cox, Sports Reporter, NESN; and MHS Grad Hank Morse, Radio Personality, WROR. Below are some highlights from the event.

“A lot of time and effort has been put forth from both the city and the schools to pull this together. It will benefit everyone and I am excited to bring it back to the High School”, said Mayor Stephanie Muccini Burke. “The voices of Medford need to heard on the airwaves. They have been silenced too long. It is important to tell the stories through the eyes of the people, not the professionals”, she said.

“It has been a three year process, but good programs come from careful planning, which at the end of the day, makes for the best product. We invest in our students, so we must invest in our programs in order that our students are well prepared”, said Dr. Heidi Riccio, Principal/Director of Medford’s Technical High School.

Students in the program, Abbie Brady, a sophomore and Gabby Smith, a junior, both changed their majors to Media Technology. Abbie started in the construction program and Gabby in the robotics program. They addressed those in attendance about having the ability to learn about broadcasting, script writing, editing, creating videos and story boards. They both expressed how fun the program was and how they hope to pursue careers in the media industry.

Lisa Hughes stated that every place has a story and Medford has a lot of stories to tell. She urged the students to follow their passions, be curious, ask questions and when there’s an opportunity, jump in with both feet. Courtney Cox echoed Lisa’s remarks adding; “I did not have access to anything like this until college. You will be so far ahead of the game, by developing this foundation in high school. Take every opportunity because everything you do will have an impact on your future career”.

Hank Morse, a 1984 graduate of Medford High, spoke about how his public speaking teacher Mrs. Fiumara, at the then Roberts Junior High School, encouraged her students to speak up! “She took us on field trips to WBZ TV, the Globe and WGBH- Channel 2 in Boston. Once I entered Medford High, I met , the late Henry Selvitella, who was the advisor for the Mustang News…both of these teachers peaked my interest in the world of media”, he said. Morse told the students to never be afraid to ask a question. “In 1982, we contacted the Patriots for an interview. We were told, the Patriots will never respond to you. Well, they did, and brought us to Gillette and treated us like pros for the day”!

In addition, all of the media personalities were interviewed by the Media Technology students prior to the ceremony. Lisa Hughes was asked who her favorite interview was? “I have two, President Barack Obama and Will Smith”. What tips would you share with the students? “Read a lot. Don’t be afraid not to know something. Believe you can do it. Broadcast journalism is extremely competitive, but just work hard. You can do it!” Who is her ultimate interview? “I have three: Hillary Clinton, Starbucks Outgoing CEO Howard Schultz, and Patriots kicker Steve Gostkowski”. Lisa Hughes is a graduate of the University of Washington.

Courtney Cox was asked who was her favorite interview? “I have three: the Patriots Jimmy Garoppolo, the Celtics Marcus Smart and the Patriots Devin McCourty”. The students asked her who her ultimate interview would be? “Tom Brady because he so rarely gives in-depth interviews”. They asked her, what was the favorite part of her job? Courtney responded, “Learning about the athletes lives off the athletic field/court”. Courtney is a graduate of Boston College.

Hank Morse started his broadcasting career by doing the play by-play for Medford High School Basketball games, under then Media teacher Mr. David Polcari. He was asked what the favorite part of his job was? “It’s different every day!” Who would be your ultimate interview? “Vladimir Putin of Russia, I’d like to know what makes him tick”. The students asked if he had a favorite quote? “Yes. You miss 100% of the shots you never take from Wayne Gretzky. To me, that means, take a chance. You never know what opportunity awaits you”. He was then asked to share with the students, his best tip? “Show up. Be early. Be willing to do whatever is asked of you. When a job opens up in the future, people will remember you and look at you first”. Hank is a graduate of Boston University.

The goal is to have the studio opened by late spring. Until then, the Media Technology students, under the direction of Kristina Fraser, will work with the City to incorporate community based programming which could include a mobile studio.  

Those in attendance included: State Representative Paul Donato, City Councillor Rick Caraviello, School Committee Members Bob Skerry, Kathy Kreatz, Mea Mustone and Paulette Van der Kloot, Deputy Superintendent Beverly Nelson, Assistant Superintendent Diane Caldwell, Director of Budget & Personnel Kirsteen Patterson, Dr. John Perella, Headmaster, MHS, Carolyn Joy, Director of Math and Science, as well as, the City’s Budget Director Shab Khan, and the City’s Chief Financial Officer Aleesha Nunley, Members of the Media Technology Advisory Board were also present including: Jay Campbell, Paul Gerety, Russell Deluca-Kavanaugh and Peter Brady. Superintendent Roy Belson served as the Master of Ceremonies for the event.

To access complete video coverage of the event, please go to http://www.mpsadvantage.education.

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