HPC TV Puts Students in the Spotlight


"Hello HPC TV viewers..."

Live, and on the air, the school that launched the billionaire founder of Twitter might kick start the career of the next Diane Sawyer. High Plains High School goes high tech with HPC TV, High Plains Community TV.

For five years, kids from Polk, Hordville, and Clarks, part of the consolidated High Plains district, have produced a weekly newscast.

Students do it all - shooting, editing, and anchoring.

Danielle Shenk said, "You get to be right in front of the camera."

"She likes all the spotlight," her co-host Jabe Wurtz added.

They put together a 15-20 minute weekly newscast under the direction of business teacher John Kucera.

He said, "It gives these kids an advantage when they go off to college in the real world, get a job, we're one step ahead."

Ten kids get this opportunity, but probably all 80 kids in the school would take this digital media class if they could.

Ben Nunnenkamp said it's easily the highlight of his school week.

"This is number one because I get away from all the other school work. This is one of the funnest classes I can be in," he said.

It's part Saturday Night Live with skits and part serious news, along with weekly announcements and student-made public service announcements.

Kucera, the teacher, said, "It's creative, it's go out and create something special."

And it's on the air every Friday on schedule.

Principal Cameron Hudson said, "The fact they do it live is a credit to their time management skills, the responsibility needed to do that."

Kucera added, "We're one of the only schools in the state that does a live weekly show."

It's a lot of work, but Jabe said it's worth it.

"It's a fun class, teaches you a lot of responsibility to learn the scripts, get your assignments done," he said.

They deliver the news as only kids could, and are surprised by their reach.

Danielle said, "When you hear you have at least 100 viewers, you're like, really?"

They're also on Twitter, which is no surprise, because Twitter founder Evan Williams is from Clarks, one of the towns in the school district.

You can find their broadcasts on the school website. They use a streaming platform known as Striv, developed by a central Nebraska man who allows schools like High Plains to broadcast games, concerts, and even newscasts.