Beyond the Rock: High School Television Station of the Year

Official photo by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters

Victory marks fifth consecutive year winning award

It is just as exciting every time, and it is never taken for granted.  This year, the Beyond The Rock team was fortunate enough to earn the title, “High School Television Station of the Year” by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB).   This was the team’s fifth consecutive victory, and eleventh time overall for the program.

Every year when a new group stands before me in class, I see potential.  I see potential stories, teams, storytellers, potential successes and potential opportunities to learn from failure.  I see students searching to grow in who they are, and to refine and grow in their craft of storytelling.  For some, I even see them find a passion to pursue beyond their high school experience – I see them find a future field of study and life calling.

With each new team we start from ground zero.  We build upon the foundation set from the past and cast a vision for the new year.  We create our own unique identity for that new team of determined students.  This year’s team worked quite diligently and with great heart towards their common goal and were fortunate enough to find great success.

Students competed amongst twenty-five different high schools from around the state, contributing to a pool of three hundred and twenty-nine video submissions.  This year, more than thirty Rockford students received top honors from the MAB (the most from any high school), placing seventeen different times in twelve broadcasting categories.  Out of the twelve categories, Rockford teams took nine of the first-place spots and were able to sweep all top three spots in both the Ok2Say Public Service Announcement, as well as the Sports Public Service Announcement categories.

Students covered a variety of topics and stories, including gerrymandering, the elections, high school sports, a local organization working to help cancer patients and their families, Art Prize, coping with loss, and so many more.  Students created news features, talk shows, newscasts, sportscasts, public service announcements, and a variety of other videos within the broad range of categories.

When the results finally came in, the students were overjoyed.   Student producer and executive crew member Zoe Frick was overwhelmed with pride for her team.  “This program has meant so much to me.  It felt like all of our hard work paid off.  TV Studio has provided me with skills I can use in my future career in broadcasting, and a family I will have my whole life.”

BTR’s student Sports Director Noah Ike was also quite elated at the results but is more thankful for the bigger picture.  “This program has been the reason I love school.  For a film career this class is almost better than a college class for setting you up.  I’ve been set up with internships and so many opportunities that I cannot thank this program enough for.”  Noah is just at the tail end of his internship in the video department with the Grand Rapids Drive for his second year.

This team would not have found victory if not for the very strong leadership of student Executive Producer Nikki Dionne, who was beyond gratified for her team.  “I was so proud of all the time and effort every single person put in, coming in early and staying late.  This was one dedicated team, and the skills we have learned in this program will stay with me forever.”

Nikki Dionne (center) wins a $750 scholarship from the MAB

Classroom Video Technician Jason Springer credits much of the victory to the determination the team carried.  “This was a special group.  They knew what they wanted from the start and let nothing get in the way.  Their leadership helped guide the team.  They made me very proud.”

Now, as the school year begins to wind down, the Beyond The Rock students do not.  They have their sights on next year already, and have begun work on new stories, new ideas, and new possibilities.  When you are in the business of telling stories, the excitement and potential never dies.  There is always something new around the corner, and these students are seeking to find it, and then tell you all about it.  It is their story to tell.

For more information about Beyond The Rock, visit us on Facebook and Instagram (BeyondtherockSN).