It's Lights, Cameras, Action As Students Produce Weekly Newscast

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The North Salem seniors, and faculty advisor Cynthia Sandler, who produce the weekly “TGI Tiger News” show, back row, from left: Sara Goldstein, Daniel Selzer, Cecilia Heffernan, Tom Bond, Kevin Aruilio, Matthew Tessler, Kelly Gilbert and Sandler. Photo Credit: Joe Lombardi
Members of the "TGI Tiger News" team in the studio. Photo Credit: Joe Lombardi
A green screen in the studio has allowed the students to make good use of different background images for specific segments. Photo Credit: Joe Lombardi

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – It started out as organized chaos for the nine North Salem High School seniors that produce “TGI Tiger News,” the school’s weekly news show.

After all, the show, in its second year, was launched last school year by another group of seniors, who have all since moved on to college.

“We kind of observed what they did last year,” one of those students, Victoria Holt, said. “But we weren’t really hands on. So when we started out this year, we didn’t have the experience.”

Now, with 10 shows under their collective belts, they do, and the results prove it.

The five-minute newscast is shown each Friday in all high school and middle school homeroom classes at 8:10 a.m. Each newscast is also posted on a dedicated page on the school district’s website.

“It’s been amazing,” said faculty advisor and school library media specialist Cynthia Sandler. “They knew iMovie, but didn’t know how to edit with Final Cut. So we spent the first few weeks teaching that, and there’s been such a big improvement from the first show to where we are now.”

As the show’s producer, Victoria Holt wears two important hats as both planner and the main editor.

Each show begins with host Matthew Tessler anchoring a roundup of news and events.

“Everyone has their own philosophy on what the news should be and what the show should be about,” Tessler said.

That’s evident by the variety of short features on each show: “Emma’s Eats,” a food and cooking segment featuring Emma Allen; “Cece’s Synonyms,” with Cecilia Heffernan, in which students are asked for synonyms of a particular word; “Kelly’s Korner” student and faculty Q&A’s with Kelly Gilbert; “Dan the Weatherman” with Dan Selzer; “Kevin’s Critique” movie reviews with Kevin Aruilio; and “ESPNS Sports,” with Tom Bond.

“Doing the shows has helped us learn so many different skills,” Gilbert said, “especially public speaking.”

It’s also resulted in the students who produce the show attaining virtual celebrity status on campus.

“The other day,” Tessler said, “a few middle school kids asked me for my autograph.”

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