September 19, 2022 -- Lights, camera, action! Students at Beechcroft High School are Leading the Way toward post-graduate preparedness with a high-quality broadcasting pilot program implemented last school year.
What started in the 1980s as a simple video-taped weekly news segment has transformed into a 21st-century multimedia curriculum-based program.
The Beechcroft Broadcasting Team (BBT), advised by Theatre and Speech Communications teacher James Hagerman, offers relevant, rewarding, and rigorous education to students by promoting personal and professional growth excellence.
“[This program] gives our students the opportunity to develop communication, creativity, and critical thinking skills that they need more and more as they’re going into the 21st-century job market.” Hagerman said, “Not to mention the technology piece.”
Hagerman, who has been serving families at Beechcroft for over 36 years, designed a curriculum that supports individual growth through broadcasting and media surveys, tech-theater, and theater with a performance component.
“The goal is for the students to put together a portfolio of job skills and samples to submit along with a resume to prospective employers,” Hagerman continued. “Our job as educators is to give [the students] job skills.”
“I want to go to college for media,” said junior scholar Renee Damoah. “I was thinking, since I am the news anchor for Cougar News, why not try to be a news anchor in real-life.”
Since its genesis in the 80s, the weekly Cougar News segment continues today. “Students took off like a rocket,” Hagerman added. “We’re doing this program during, and after school because they were really excited. It has become bigger and bigger.”
BBT students gain knowledge and experience with filming athletics, dramatic arts performances, documentaries, special projects, and conducting interviews with local community members.
Thanks to partnerships with local organizations Midwest Photo and the Junior League of Columbus, BBT students experience the post-graduate workforce as a way to gain knowledge and exercise their skills.
“We’re always looking for opportunities,” said Hagerman. “Opportunities that will take us out of the school and into real-life situations.”
The BBT is currently being piloted as an alternative pathway to graduation for students. Along with its humanities-themed curriculum, the simulated worksite offers internship hours contributing to students' graduation qualifications.
“We want to create our own narrative of our people here at Beechcroft,” said Principal Dr. Samuel Johnson. “A narrative that reflects our goals of peace, pride, and progress.”
Learn more about the narrative that Beechcroft is writing by subscribing to the Beechcroft Cougars YouTube Channel.