Jaguar News is a career and technical education magnet program at South Mountain High School in Phoenix, AZ which is part of the Phoenix Union High School district.

This video broadcast course is designed to help students learn about broadcast journalism through video and applying it to real world situations. Jaguar News is a two year course that students can learn how to create a standard news package, PSA’s, short films, commericals, documentaries, and much more.

Check us out on Facebook for up to date Jaguar News.
Follow us on Twitter for teasers and promotional videos on Jaguar News.
Watch us on YouTube for complete coverage and much more in Jaguar News.
Submit photos on Instagram for segments on Jaguar News.

Tell us about your background and how you decided to start teaching TV/Video production?IMG 1080 400

My background is in education. I have been an elementary educator for 6 years, middle school for 3 years, and high school now for 3 years. During my middle school teaching I took over the morning video announcements and started to dabble in green screen work for promotions. I found out that I loved editing and creating videos. When an opening occurred for photojournalism I thought of that as my in for career and technical education later I found a broadcast journalism job at a high school and I have been in love ever since.

How did you obtain initial funding for your program? How do you fund the class now?

Our program is a CTE program. Which means almost all of our funding comes from the state of AZ. We are also a magnet program so we get some additional funds from desegregation funds. For our activities and club needs we raise money and work with and SupportMyClub.

Did you have equipment available?

When I started 3 years ago we had some equipment avaiable but it was misarray. We would have a tripod but missing a screw or have a camera with no battery. I started to do an inventory and ask other departments if they had anything we could borrow. Once we had some materials and started to create videos and had more of an audience we were able to get the word out about our needs and request more equipment. In the three years that I have had the class our equipment has really blown up! We mostly use DSLR’s for field work. We have several ipads for social media. When we put our production together we use a tricaster and two panasonic HD cameras in studio. We just recently updated our studio with LED lighting which is amazing as well!

Here are photos of the classroom when I first moved in:

IMG 1289 400How many kids are in the TV/Video Production classes?

Video 3-4 has 6 students, Video 5-6 has 1 student, Video 1-2 has 12 students.

How is it broken down? Is it a multi-year program?

Video 1-2 is an intro class for sophomores mostly and is offered for one year at one class period. Video 3-4, 5-6 is a block class which is 2 hours long and asked for juniors and seniors to join. We have the class for a year long and the students will graduate with three credits when they have finished video 1-6.

Can you tell us a little more about the sessions: How many students?

My classroom can have up to 24 students. What types of projects? Students create packages for our biweekly show. They are in charge of their leads, packages, standups, vo work and a commerical or promo every other week. We also create PSA’s for our district and our collaboration with our USDA local partner. Students compete in contests and also work with PBS Student Reporting Labs for their rapid response assignments.

How many kids to do the morning news broadcast?IMG 1291 400

We do not do a morning broadcast, only every other week. It is sent out via Youtube for teachers to watch during study hall. Right now there are 6 students in that production. We are going to be starting sports broadcasts shortly.

Do your students capture other school events? Sports? Assemblies? Board meetings? Musical Performances?

Yes we cover everything we can attend with only 6 students.

What jobs do the kids do? Do the kids rotate through on-air talent and crew positions or are they “hired” for a specific task?

Students rotate through positions: camera, technical editor, producer, anchor, teleprompter, and field reporter. Each student needs to participate in each role by the end of the 1st semester.

IMG 1292 400Do students audition for on-air positions?


Do they write the content?

Yes, they write everything. As their teacher I proof everything before it goes live but they are in charge of their content.

How long does the show run?

So far this year we have been ranging from 25-30 minutes.

Do you submit programming to independent contest such as those sponsored by StudicaSkills and SchoolTube TV?

We have in the past but not this year.IMG 8749 400

Can your broadcast be viewed outside the school? District-wide? Local cable access? On your school/district web-site?

Everything is on Youtube.

Where do you post programming? YouTube? Vimeo? SchoolTube? SVN-TV? Other?


Have any quick start tips!

1. Create a staff manual and abide by it!
2. Use a LMS to help with your production flow.
3. Buy huge external hard drives.



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