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When a group of Havelock High digital media students thought about what was great about public schools, they immediately thought about the school’s athletic teams and diversity.
They produced a video to highlight those aspects, a video that received a second-place award from the N.C. School Board Association.
The video shows students kicking and passing balls to each other before a globe finally lands with the final student in the video.
“We thought it would be a very good message to show that Havelock is a very diverse community, and we ended it with the globe,” said Havelock High teacher Ashley Mangum, who got support from some of his students to write, film and produce the video. “That was our way of showing our diversity and showing that our sports teams and athletics are a super part of our school and to tie that back in with diversity.”
Three students, Will Polk, Hunter Graves and Kaylee Sanborn, went to Greensboro to pick up the award and a $2,000 check that will go to the school.
The video required precise editing and filming, as students in separate shots had to pass a ball and catch a ball at the correct spot in the frame.
“That was something that was very well planned out,” Mangum said. “We had to time everything out and had to work to put it together. We knew when we went to shoot it that the students had to throw the ball in a certain, specific direction and catch it in a specific direction.”
He said the hardest to shoot was soccer player R.J. Howard.
“When we were shooting the soccer, we tossed him the ball, and we had to have him kick it right out of the top of the frame,” Mangum said. “We probably had to do that one 15 or 20 times to get it to go straight up. Sometimes it would go off to the side or wherever. We knew that that wouldn’t work. He had to hit it straight up into the air. That was the hardest one.”
Polk got started on a script that went through a couple of revisions. In the end, it called public schools a place “to learn, play and enjoy” and a place where a global community is united in the goal of education.
“Will stayed after school and wrote a quick script and brought it in and we continued to work on it until we got a good script and shot it, and here it is,” Mangum said.
Polk said the students were able to apply what they had learned in Mangum’s digital media class and that the hardest part was finding the time to get the video completed.
“There were some time restraints,” he said. “We didn’t start filming it until about a week before it was due and we didn’t finish it until the day it was due. It’s kind of been a trend of ours, but we do our finest work in our final hours.”
Graves said the students were enthusiastic about participating and creating the video, which he said deserved first place.
“We’re a little disappointed but feel pretty good that we actually placed,” he said. “We thought we should have won.”
It’s not the first time Mangum’s students have been successful in creating videos. A prescription drug abuse awareness video placed third in a contest, while a video on distracted driving won another contest.
“We work well together. We’ve worked on a lot of projects,” Mangum said. “Everyone knows they have their rolls and what they’re good at. There was no problem getting them to do this. I’m proud of them all.”