Students, staff and film crew collaborate on music video | News, Sports, Jobs
WELLSBURG – Students of different ages in Brooke County were literally singing praises for schools in Brooke County on Friday when they appeared for a music video to promote the school district.
About 100 county elementary school children were bused to Brooke High School, where they joined teens for scenes shot outside its main entrance by Mobilize360 videographers.
The digital marketing company was hired by the Brooke County School Board in May to market its schools at a time when public schools across the state could face competition from private schools.
Earlier this year, state lawmakers passed legislation expanding the number of charter schools that can open and establishing a voucher program for home or private students.
Many public school officials are concerned about the impact on state funding for local school districts, which is enrollment-based.
Scheduled for posting to social media and the school district’s website, the video is part of the Brooke County Schools campaign to retain and attract students.
Stéphanie Duffy-Zimmer, director of technology and communications for the district; noted Mobilize360 is behind a billboard promoting a new app being developed for the school system.
Duffy-Zimmer said that although it is currently accessible, the app is still in development, with the final product to showcase various school programs and announce upcoming events.
She said it won’t replace the automated calling system used to send parents and guardians school cancellation notices and other important messages.
Mobilize360’s efforts have included the creation of a new symbol for the school’s Bruin mascot and a mural featuring her in the school’s gymnasium.
It was painted by Scott Hagan of Jerusalem, Ohio, who, as a barn artist, restored advertisements painted on area barns and produced similar murals in many local schools.
Duffy-Zimmer said after beating many slogans, school officials chose “Brooke County Schools: The Place to B”, a play on words incorporating the neighborhood’s first initial.
She said such measures are part of a global effort to renew the pride of schools in Brooke County. She said that included repainting the roofs of Brooke Memorial Stadium and dugout canoes for the baseball field and resurfacing the school’s tennis courts.
The school’s stadium and wellness center also shot locations for the clip, and the school’s broadcast technology students are slated to film additional scenes in some classrooms.
Under the direction of instructor Kevin Elias, the students produce a morning newsletter and talk show featuring Director Lee Weppler, each twice a week.
Duffy-Zimmer said the music video was suggested by Superintendent Jeffrey Crook as a way to engage students.
They and others were encouraged by Jake Young, president of Mobilize360, to plan scenes for it.
A former TV news reporter, Duffy-Zimmer used a megaphone to direct the student performers, who enthusiastically accepted their assignments.
“We had so much fun. It was super exciting. she said adding: “Sometimes it was a bit chaotic, but the kids were having fun.”
A drummer in the school marching band and a member of his choir, McAllister said he wrote quite a few rap songs before he started writing the one used in the video.
Also an honors student, he said a recurring theme is the value of working hard in any aspect of school.
Son of Charlie and Stacey McAllister, he said he liked a variety of music but wanted to someday be a professional rapper.
It may be the first big performance from a future star.
Duffy-Zimmer said that depending on when the video ended, she and others were hoping for a public showing on the football stadium’s big video screen.