As school district residents headed to the polls Tuesday, May 20, to vote on a proposed school budget and elect three members to the Board of Education, High School seniors Chloe Holgate, 17, and Lara Bryfonski, 18, prepared to make history of their own.
In a room that lay empty just two years ago, the students-turned-news-anchors prepared to broadcast for the first time ever from the Saratoga Springs school's new, state-of-the-art television studio.
This broadcast serves as an example to the community of what could be for the years to come, said Holgate. "I think this place has a lot of potential. Hopefully, we can show that to the people who come to the broadcast."
Less than two years ago, Dave L'Hommedieu, director of information technology, stood in the same space. Then, he said, the room was no more than the gray-and-white walls, checkered floor and some counters.
"I saw this," he said, his hand passing over a room that now housed video cameras, mixers, several flat-screen monitors and five editing stations, "and I thought, we can't just let this sit here. We have to do something with it."
L'Hommedieu contacted local TV stations to ask for donations. He received an interview set from Capital News 9. A legislative grant provided by Sen. Joe Bruno, R-Brunswick, combined with the school's own funds, allowed for the purchase of video and editing equipment.
In January 2007, the high school TV team was created to investigate the use of the television and production studio for program and curricula use.
"We wanted to use technology to take kids to the next level and expose them to 21st century skills," said L'Hommedieu. "Can they apply technology? Can they evaluate and synthesize information? Can they evaluate sources?"
L'Hommedieu said that the challenges encountered during the studio and production studio project were ones he welcomed, ones he would like to see integrated across the whole curriculum, though he acknowledged that the task was easier to do in a technology curriculum than in some other fields.