Program Spotlight: Hersey Media Tech


Indicators Met: Career Cluster identified, Workplace Learning Experience

 Hersey Media Tech students PArticipated in 74 Industry Experiences last year on top of juggling classwork, morning announcements and live sports broadcasting.

Hersey Media Tech students PArticipated in 74 Industry Experiences last year on top of juggling classwork, morning announcements and live sports broadcasting.

Hersey High School’s Media Technology students have taken their journalism and video production skills to a new level.

On top of classwork, live sports broadcasting and putting together morning announcements, Hersey’s media tech students in just one year participated in 74 industry experiences, gaining press credentials to cover the Taste of Chicago, the Chicago Flower & Garden Show, Great America’s Fright Night and Lake Shake, a three-day country music festival, among others. 

Students also chronicled the story of Lance Cpl. Cody Evans, a marine who lost both his legs in Afghanistan, during his visit to Hersey in December 2015. Footage from their video was later featured on NBC5 Chicago. 

“I knew my students couldn't reach their full potential or truly get a grasp for the industry just sitting inside the four walls of our classroom,” said Todd Hatfield, the media tech teacher at Hersey. “I wanted them to experience the real working environment of a multimedia journalist and all that did was reinforce and strengthen the lessons we were learning inside the classroom.”

Their work has even caught the attention of the White House. Two seniors received an Honorable Mention at the 2015 White House Student Film Festival for their video on Hersey's charitable giving. The video competed against more than 1,500 submissions.

As part of their effort to expand on their production and journalism skills, students created a TV segment last year called HTV Monthly that highlights meaningful stories among Hersey’s students and staff.

In addition, the class collaborated with District 214’s Community Engagement and Outreach Department to produce two high-quality videos focused on alumni. That led to two Hersey media tech students interning with Community Engagement over the summer to work on creating videos and other content for social media, the Education Foundation and the news media.

Hatfield credits his students' hard work and eagerness as reasons why the program has quickly evolved and impressed those in the community.

“As an adviser, you eventually have to let your kids go and believe in the training and instruction you gave them when they started in the program.  I could not be more proud of what these kids have done and are continuing to strive for.  This is why we become teachers.”

Check back for a future post on Journalism and English Teacher Jason Block’s work to infuse journalism and multimedia for his students.