Beyond The Rock wins High School Television Station of the Year

Tenth win for Rockford High School’s Television and Broadcasting class

When you think about successful teams, whether it be sports or otherwise, many things have to come together just right.  There has to be a certain team comradery, selflessness, drive, passion, determination, and so many of the other descriptors that get attributed with those who end up finding victory.  Then, there are other factors that just cannot be explained.  There is something about those unique groups that has what one might call the unexplainable “it” factor.  You can’t quite put your finger on it, but there is something that just works.  This year’s advanced Beyond The Rock (BTR) high school television and broadcasting class at Rockford High School had just that special spark.


BTR students worked diligently all year long to create a large number of video entries to compete amongst 251 high school television video submissions from all across the state of Michigan.  RHS competed against eighteen other high schools from around the state with videos in one of twelve different categories in the annual Michigan Student Broadcast Awards, put on by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB).  Categories included Public Service Announcements, News Features, Sports Announcing Teams, Documentaries, and a variety of other television broadcast
content classifications.

The Rockford team placed twenty-one videos in the top three placings out of thirty-six spots, took first place in eight of the twelve categories, and completely swept four of the twelve groupings.  Forty-five RHS students took top honors in the contest, which was by far the most successful year of the program, breaking multiple records.  On Wednesday, March 7, while the rest of Rockford enjoyed a snow day, these forty-five students traveled to Lansing to be honored for their hard work. The Michigan Association of Broadcasters announced Rockford High School as the “High School Television Station of the Year” for 2018.  This was a big win for the BTR group as it was their fourth consecutive and tenth overall for the program.

As the students’ classroom instructor, the thought that kept coming into my mind was, “This was the group that I want to take home the tenth.”  These students were determined, and stopped at nothing, even coming in and working fourteen hours on a snow day.  For students to come in at all on a coveted snow day says a lot, but that’s the type of students we are working with.  More importantly, this is one of the most genuinely kind, caring, and thoughtful group of kids I have ever had the pleasure of gracing my classroom.  They lead with their hearts.  They lead with passion.

Classroom video technician Jason Springer could see a strong commitment from the outset of the year.  “This group started out with one goal.  Nothing was going to stop them from achieving that goal.  They brought everything they had and it showed.”

This year’s team was led by a very dedicated student-run executive crew, including strong leadership from this year’s senior executive producer, Jackson Carey.

“The moment we found out was one of the happiest moments of my life.  I usually don’t cry for anything, but I was bawling my eyes out; thrilled, and proud of everyone,” Jackson remarked.

Associate producer Megan Lindeboom helped lead the way alongside Jackson while taking home many accolades herself.  Megan saw the importance of the team coming together.  “Every single student that contributed to our submissions was so passionate about putting forth their best work,” Lindeboom reflected.  “It was inspiring to be among such driven, hardworking students.”

Student producer Alina Manzanilla broke a record herself being the “most decorated” student in BTR history by taking home six separate awards.  Alina, however, realized it wasn’t just about her success but the passion of the team.  “Individually we were all talented, but together we created a masterpiece,” Alina noted.  “We became more than just a class; we became a family that made history.”


Now, as this team of students drives into the town of Rockford from various directions, they can look at the large green sign boasting of the many successes from a variety of programs.  They can look down and see TV Station of the Year, and soon can gaze at that number ten sitting next to their program and know that they were a part of history.  Hopefully not too long however, because next year we would really like to see that change to an eleven.  It’s only right for us to do our part to keep the stickers fresh.