Dharini Rasiah at Berkeley HS
We don't typically lump high school students in the same category as the powerful independent bloggers who rule the Internet, but when you consider the two, there's more in common that you may think. In American public schools, the emphasis is on math and science and English and improving test scores, so media production skills, including television, film and journalism, are often left behind. Students and teachers with those passions, therefore, have to maintain an independent spirit, working against typically unsupportive administrations, superbly tight budgets, and a general lack of attention.

Last week, on Oct. 25, Ithaca College's Park School of Communications honored teachers from across the country inspiring this independent spirit with its S'Park Media Mentor Awards, which celebrated four high school teachers and advisers of newspapers, television stations and yearbooks. See all of the S'Park award winners HERE

One of the honorees, Dharini Rasiah of Berkeley High School in California, talked about her individual struggles to help her television production students succeed in their passions: telling stories through video. Provided a limited budget, she discussed the reliance on low-grade cameras and a limited amount of class time. 

Despite the difficulties facing these teachers, the independent spirit is important to sustain. I loved that IC honored the people already doing that, encouraging them not to abandon that mission. 

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