Gettysburg Area High School's television news show, "The Warrior WIRE," filmed the final episode of its first season Friday and said farewell to the five seniors who brought the show to life.
Since the WIRE started last September, it has evolved from a five-minute pre-recorded show to a 20-minute live show aired during the last period of school. They've covered sports, homecoming, holidays, student life, movies, and more, interviewing scores of people along the way.
Senior Jared Herr got the idea to start a live news show when his multimedia teacher Kyle Sokol came to him looking for "fresh ideas." Herr filmed the pilot episode for a class during his junior year and ran with that concept. The school already had the equipment required for a news show, but it wasn't being used to its full potential, Herr said.
Before the WIRE, Gettysburg High's version of the news was students reading the announcements in front of a camera, according to Herr. The Warrior WIRE changed that.
"It's something completely new," Herr said.
Seniors Yanni Tassou, Cameron Bishop, Ryan Haskins, and Bonita Soliday took on leadership roles as co-host, field reporter, executive producer, and director, respectively. Tassou and Herr hosted together, incorporating humor into their delivery of the news.
As the students filmed their 30th episode Friday, they looked back on some of their segments, like Coffee with the Crew and Kooking with Kriel, the family and consumer science teacher.
When some of the clips experienced technical difficulties, Soliday cut the cameras back to Tassou and Herr, who improvised and made jokes about the issue. Herr said this was indicative of their ability to adapt and learn as they go.
When the show started, Herr was the only one with multimedia experience, but everyone quickly found and mastered their niche. Soliday took control of the behind-the-scenes work, learning the switchboard and giving cues to the hosts. Bishop, who was known for being one of the quiet kids, showed a new side of himself when he took on the role of field reporter, Herr said.
Herr said one of his favorite segments was the "press tour" video they filmed of teacher Chris Haines and Assistant Principal Jeremy Lusk (now principal) who vowed to wrestle each other in the Legends of Adams County Wrestling Tournament if the students and staff bought 600 T-shirts for charity.
During the final episode Friday, Tassou and Herr invited their fellow seniors to news desk to say goodbye and offer advice to students.
"Don't be afraid of what people think," Soliday said.
"Take risks," Tassou said.
The seniors reminisced over the times they've spent in the studio.
"It's been a lot of fun," Herr said.
His experience at the WIRE has inspired him to study film at Davidson College in North Carolina.
Herr is hopeful the underclassmen of the WIRE will continue the show's success. He said the WIRE wouldn't have turned so well without the backing of students and teachers.
"The school really supported it," he said.
Students can expect to see new faces on camera during next year's edition of The Warrior WIRE. Episodes can be viewed on YouTube or the high school's website.