TEXARKANA, Texas — Liberty-Eylau High School’s LETV student television program is making a comeback this school year.
After about a decade of hiatus, the district decided to bring the program back to provide students with the opportunity to learn about video production, live broadcasts, interview techniques, camera use and more.
“Equipment and technology have changed so much. Your equipment needed to run a program is now much cheaper,” Superintendent Ronnie Thompson said.
Thompson said student interest was a huge factor in the decision to reinstate the program.
“It’s funny because we had kids last year who kind of developed their own deal where they were interviewing each other. So you’re like, ‘OK, these kids are really interested in this. type of program.
“I think nowadays what allows programs like this to come back is that you see so many more secondary reporters at sporting events and things like that. And that gets the interest of kids as a potential career,” he said.
Another factor that made this possible, Thompson said, is the hiring of new instructor Ronald Makaramba, who will teach an AV productions class and lead the LETV reboot.
Makaramba was born and raised in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and came to the United States about six years ago on a football scholarship. He eventually attended Texas A&M University-Texarkana and worked for Texarkana Gameday for about three years.
Makaramba was hired by the district to expand the existing introductory courses involving digital media and graphics and eventually create unique productions to promote the district.
He says he has already ordered equipment like iMac computers with m1 chips, the latest Cannon cameras, lighting and background equipment for interviews, new furniture for his new classroom and much more.
“My course will be like an audio and visual internship,” he said. “Most of the work is going to be very hands-on.”
In addition to general content creation, students can expect to learn how to use cameras and adjust camera settings; make live broadcasts, replays and other types of video; Conduct interviews; and using social media correctly, including reels and posting content.
Makaramba said he hopes to start teaching students the skills they need to bring exciting and innovative content to L-EISD.
“At the moment I don’t know how many kids are going to be in my class, and I don’t know what those kids are capable of. So the first few weeks can be a bit slow. But I’m going to have to figure out the skills these children and teach them,” he said.
He said potential content could include cooking shows, career and technical training tutorials, instructional videos to post on social media and public service announcements from the district administration.
“As we build and discover the talent we have around the band, we can start doing new shows,” he said.
Makaramba is thrilled to be able to turn his love for content creation and video production into a way to help students achieve their goals.
“I’m really excited because never in a million years would I have thought of becoming a teacher. But I also never thought I could teach what I love,” he said. “It’s considered a skill, but I think it’s a gift. And now I can share that gift with these kids and impact their lives.”
LE High School will begin offering courses that include audiovisual production this school year.