Lights! Camera! Action! Introducing the new GMHS TV Studio

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The GEF is proud to fund the new state-of-the-art TV studio at Granby Memorial High School. From left to right: Jennifer Parsons, assistant superintendent; Sarah Thrall, chair of Granby Board of Education; Al Wilke; Kim Becker, chair of Granby Education Foundation; Timothy Barnett, GMHS technology teacher; and Mike Dunn, GMHS principal. Submitted photo

With visionary thinking from the Granby Public Schools and strong financial backing from the Granby Education Foundation (GEF) and Al Wilke, a state-of-the-art TV studio will be built at the Granby Memorial High School beginning this fall.

The $100,000 project will be primarily funded by GEF, including a generous $10,000 donation from Al Wilke, a former GEF board member. The TV studio space will accommodate a news desk, as well as professional quality sound, lighting, filming and editing equipment.

Wilke, the catalyst for this innovative project, challenged Superintendent Dr. Jordan Grossman to develop a game-changing STEM program in partnership with GEF. Together with help from GMHS technology teachers Tim Barnett and Nick Gaeta as well as Jenn Parsons, assistant superintendent, the TV studio idea quickly progressed. “STEM is so important in today’s world no matter what career you may be in,” said Wilke. “Students need hands-on experiences using technology, developing skills like writing in a real-world context, and seeing the connection between STEM and the arts.”

The studio provides a unique blend of technology and arts education. It will be incorporated into the current high school curriculum through classes—such as Journalism, Sports Marketing, and Principles of Speech and Communication—and with a new school news channel and the Bears Broadcasting Club. Additionally, technology classes will have a hand in building the studio set this fall.

The studio allows GMHS to showcase the many talented artists, actors, musicians and athletes through featured productions. In the future, students may even be able to collaborate on community projects such as public service announcements and highlight reels of community events.

This innovative space builds on the success of a 2020 GEF grant for digital video cameras and computer equipment that livestreamed athletics and arts events over the past school year. Many people, including family and friends from across the country, watched their students play in livestreamed games and perform at arts events like Coffeehouse.

The Granby Education Foundation, an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization, funds educational initiatives that expand community involvement in education, enrich creativity and capabilities in teaching, and encourage interest in educational opportunities for Granby residents of all ages. Since its founding in 2000, the GEF has raised more than $700,000 in cash and pledges in support of education.