Chief Meteorologist Steve Kersh from the KVII Channel 7 news team visited one of our high school classrooms recently as part a special project. No, he wasn’t headed for a science classroom, but a drama class instead. This professional weather/newscaster was coming, professional equipment in hand, to tape a group of Keith Ingram’s students whose assignment was to prepare a “spoof” of the Channel 7 news and weather team.
In fact, this has come to be somewhat of a long-standing yearly tradition, begun about nine years ago, when word got out that Ingram’s communications classes were writing scripts and spoofing the Channel 7 news and weather team as part of their curriculum. The exercise was to hone the necessary for students in the drama/communications classes, particularly useful for students not only seeking a career in the communications industry, but also for any student applying for a job anywhere. The Channel 7 news team liked the students’ spoofs so much that they began including the student clips in their regular television broadcast and making a regular trip to Clovis to tape the student news and weather casts when Ingram reached that point in his curriculum.
I arrived that day just as taping was finishing up, and Kersh was answering students’ questions about the industry, based upon his 21 years in the business. The students asked great questions and were obviously enrapt by Kersh’s answers, as well as his stories from his career in the communications industry. I later learned that Channel 7 broadcast this particular spoof three times during the course of one weekend, which means, the CHS student spoof was seen by about 300,000 people from New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma.
I remained as the next class began, a dual credit class with Clovis Community Clovis for which Ingram brought in local well-known personality, Christy Mendoza, CCC’s cultural arts director. Snatching a few moments with Mendoza while Ingram was working with the students, she explained that she incorporated a college-level introduction to drama textbook with Ingram’s students, which contained specific plays that she found effectively wove history and culture throughout.
Watching Ingram coaching and otherwise interacting with his students, it is clear to see there is a special bond present. One student shared with me, “Mr. Ingram pushes and pushes us, but it makes us better. This helps open up job opportunities, and all of us end up having a lot more confidence.”
In January, Ingram’s students are working on another special project. Each is writing a monologue representing local personalities, actual individuals from our community. Students have to incorporate their best research and writing skills, going through drafts, rewriting, composition, and so forth, until they perfect their final product. Then, they will perform their monologues at the Clovis High lecture hall for the public, with secret identities revealed at the completion of the performance in a surprise ending.
Watch for performance dates and times and for more information, call Clovis High at 769-4350 or check out our website at www.clovis-schools.org