Shelton firm donates A/V equipment to middle school broadcasters

Photo of Brian Gioiele

SHELTON — The intermediate school’s WSIS student news team recently received a technological boost — all thanks to one Shelton-based business.

The school’s student news team gives students a televised update on the day’s activities, weather, lunch offerings and sports results each morning during the first period.

The team consists of six students who put together the daily program, recording it the day before it airs. But those plans were nearly tossed out the window when the crew’s teleprompter equipment — more than 15 years old — recently failed.

That’s when Shelton-based Autoscript — an international leader in providing professional teleprompting equipment — made sure the show would go on.

Teacher Dennis David, the news team’s advisor, said he called Autoscript to see if the equipment could be replaced and at what cost.

Autoscript’s Aaron Brady pinpointed the problem but, because of the age of the teleprompter, was not able to get the necessary parts for the repair. Instead, he provided brand new, modern equipment free.

“I, as a teacher, am so grateful that this corporation recognizes the talent and needs of our kids,” David said. “This Shelton company supplied our kids with state-of-the-art equipment which they will actually see if they choose to go into this business. That’s hard to do, and we are very appreciative.”

Brady said his firm donated a heavyweight camera support, an EPIC-IP on-camera unit; and a WinPlus-IP prompter software with voice add-on license.

“We are happy to do this,” said Brady, adding that Autoscript had donated the old teleprompter equipment to SIS about 20 years ago. “It’s helping to prepare these students by giving them access to equipment they may be working with in the future.”

Brady said the donation would allow him to receive feedback from those just starting out. He said it is key to learn about the effectiveness and ease of use from those who are not yet experts in the field.

Eighth grader Amaya Gutierrez said the new equipment’s benefit is twofold.

“It allows us to limit the amount of people in the control room because no one needs to scroll script anymore,” Gutierrez said. “It is also voice activated, so we get to read at our own pace. It’s perfect.”

Joey Cummings, an eighth grader who, like Gutierrez joined the team this year, said the new equipment is problem free and easy to use.

“The old equipment kept crashing, so we could not do our taping in the morning, we could only do it in the afternoon,” Cummings said. “Now there are no issues.”

Cummings, Gutierrez and seventh grader Alyssa Yegidis, David said, have already become experts, and their efforts could bear fruit next week when Fox 61 announces its student news winners. WSIS, David says, has earned past honors from the station for its student news productions.

The trio did an on-scene news report on David’s car club, which meets monthly at SIS.

Gutierrez said the best part about being on the student news team is that it is fun.

“I love the people I work with,” she said. “When I started, I didn’t know much about any of this, but I have learned a lot and really enjoy it. I never realized how much fun it could be.”