Video students at Healdsburg High School are learning to produce multimedia content for public access television while also discovering stories in their home town and providing public education videos for Healdsburg residents.
"It's crazy to see the change from my freshman year in 2009, when I was just beginning the media classes, to now," said HHS senior Colton Hoagland. "Between 2009 and 2012, the program has grown so much."
Hoagland was one of five students out of the 16-student pilot advanced HHS digital video class to attend Monday night's Healdsburg City Council meeting where instructor John Chevalier and others told city officials about the new collaboration.
Since September, when production started, the class has posted 130 videos at its digital website http://www.hhsdigital.com. Those will be transferred for use on HBG-TV, Healdsburg's public access station.
Exchange Bank executive Mark Decker, who oversees HBG-TV operations, told City Council that the station is the process of installing a new computer and automatic video programmer at a cost of $15,000 to $16,000, he said.
"Once those are installed, we'll be able to update the programs," he said.
Healdsburg resident Mike Leone, a multimedia expert who volunteers with the HHS program, told City Council it was helping both the students and the community.
Chevalier, a certified Apple trainer, said the students are receiving professional-level Apple training that will allow them to be eligible for certification sometime next year. The Apple pro training would normally cost $1,500 to $2,000, he said.
"There isn't a program like this anywhere else in Sonoma County -- where the community is partnering with the school," said Chevalier, whose job is through the Sonoma County Office of Education. He has been an instructor at HHS since 2007, he said.
"It's a win-win," he added. "The students produce content for the TV station, and it gets students out in the community."
The city and the TV station are financing Chevalier's advanced class, he said. He had no immediate word on the cost of the program.
He said the students process the video in a classroom on the high school campus. In addition, they are in the process of creating a small video studio in an adjacent classroom where they can shoot TV shows and other programs.
"We have a 'green room' and a 'living room' already set up," Hoagland said.
Chevalier is also teaching an adult education class in the Apple pro certification program next year starting February and runnng through May. For information, see the Sonoma County Office of Education website.