Advising the future: Christina Chambers named Advisor of the Year, THS TV earns Superior Rating at convention

Published 10:38 am Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Christina Chambers, the TV and film advisor for Thompson High School has been named as the Alabama Scholastic Press Association’s Advisor of the Year after being nominated by her students. However, Chambers wasn’t the only one to take home a title from the conference as her students also walked away with a Superior Rating.

Chambers was named the Advisor of the Year at the Alabama Scholastic Press Association’s State Convention at the University of Alabama on Feb. 2 after she was nominated by students from her own class at THS.

“When I found out, it was really amazing to see that they took it upon themselves to nominate me and (that they) think that much of this program and what we’re doing here,” Chambers said.

Advisor of the Year is an accolade that is received after an individual is nominated by their students or another teacher and Chambers’ students secretly gathered recommendation letters from the THS administration and other teachers and submitted it on her behalf.

She was not alone in her commendation either as THS TV also took home a Superior Rating and several students received awards in many categories for the program’s broadcast show.

“Their hard work paid off,” she said. “The students put in a lot of work after hours going out and shooting sporting events (and) stories around the community. So, it was really rewarding for them to see that their hard work paid off.”

During the convention, students were able to attend a variety of journalism workshops and during the evening they were judged on the content that was submitted. Alongside the ratings and recognition, the students also received a feedback sheet from ASPA that provided tips on how to improve the program further.

As an advisor, Chambers assists overseeing the school’s TV and film academy which is one of 10 academies that are offered in career and technical education at THS. There are a variety of classes that students can take from the time they are freshman up to senior year.

THS TV is a student-run organization where students produce a live broadcast once a week as well produce b-roll and find stories happening on campus and in the community. The students assign reporters, anchors, put together packages and write their own scripts.

“(It’s) very hands-on,” Chambers said. “(It) allows our students to get a feel and a good look of what it takes to be in this industry in the real world. So, just having them be able to have that experience is amazing.”

Chambers spoke positively of her experience working with the students and getting the opportunity to see them grow.

“It’s awesome,” she said. “A lot of them want to be in this academy because they see a potential career in it. I’ve had students who’ve come up to me and said, ‘Hey, I never really thought this could be a career for me, but I really enjoy storytelling and putting together packages and now I’m considering it for college.’ And so, I think that is the most rewarding part, you’re impacting their lives, you’re getting them exposed to what they’re going to see in the future.”

Chambers praised the quality of the facilities at THS that aid the broadcasting program and the opportunities that they have.

“The opportunities these students have, not just in my academy, but in all the academies is unreal and whatever field you want to go in, it really gives students a firsthand look of, ‘Okay, this is what it’s like in the real world and could I do this,” she said.

According to Chambers, most beautiful part about the program is that the students are continuing to learn and to grow.

“I tell them all the time, regardless if you want to go into a field in broadcast journalism, you’re going to walk away with from this academy with great communication skills and you can apply that in every aspect of your life,” Chambers said.