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New Avon High Broadcast Studio Prepares Students for Jobs

With new technology and space for video production, Superintendent Gary Mala hopes to enhance study in the field and create opportunities to work with the community.

Avon is a boon for the media industry.

It's the home of many ESPN employees and is close to in Farmington, SCTV in Simsbury, in West Hartford and CPTV in Hartford.

Superintendent Gary Mala hopes to tap into these local resources to help Avon students interested in media and broadcast journalism gain the experience to get them jobs. Students could take coursework at and intern at a local TV station, he said.

"I want to meet with them and gain their support for interns," Mala said. "We want to put our kids out there with them."

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While an Avon High School internship program plan is in the works, Mala has ambitious goals for broadcast offerings in the district that start with new technology.

"I see the program having a Welcome to Avon piece that's aired on your cable channel," Mala said as one example of his vision for the broadcast program at the high school.

Avon High School already had broadcast journalism classes and equipment. But the district added a new audiovisual studio at the high school this summer that's complete with a news desk and set, green screens, six new high quality video cameras and digital recorders to "capture high quality audio," said Robert Vojtek, who has transitioned from being Avon High School assistant principal to district technology director.

The computer lab has been moved across the hall to accomodate more students and the old computer lab now has six MacBook Pro computers for post-production editing. Students also have access to video editing software like Priemiere in the Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection and Final Cut Pro.

"It's not a play facility," Vojtek said. "It's something that's going to give skills to students to make them employable."

The upgraded broadcast program could also open the door as an alternate means to dispatch district information to the community, Mala said.

"AV production design is very attractive and lucrative as a profession," Mala said. “It allows us to implement and enhance communications systems by having students involved."

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