Hand in Hand, They Announce Together: Behind the Scenes of the Morning Announcements



Tallwood students Brenna Pope, Katie Reddel, Shaun Gerevase, Emmanuel Ortega, Shawn Bailey, Savannah Threadgill, Kamrin Wright, Mark Evangelista, Kailey Harrity, Zoey Hulatt, Genna Stewart, Peyton Bender, and educator Mrs. Bankes

Gyzelle Kay Bagsic

Tallwood’s morning announcements are an important part of the school day. This program provides students with plenty of information, however, many students may not realize the work that goes into producing them.

The morning announcements is a service that keeps Tallwood’s students and staff informed on upcoming club meetings and events, college and military visits, scholarship opportunities, heritage months, spirit days, and sports. This service is broadcasted live daily from 7:20 a.m. to 7:25 a.m. on the Video Announcement System (VAS) and can also be watched after its recording has been published on Canvas.

“Students arrive early to set up and practice,” reveals Barbara Bankes, one of Tallwood high school’s librarians and only announcements broadcaster. “When the bell rings, everyone assumes their roles. Announcements are submitted by THS staff and coaches and are announced as requested by the person who submitted them.” Mrs. Bankes also reveals that she prepares the script for the announcements a day prior, but the sports announcer has the freedom to prepare their own script.

This year, Mrs. Bankes has selected a crew of fifteen students who sacrifice a few minutes of their first block to bring the announcements to fruition. Rotating weekly are the roles of news anchors, cameraman, counter, clicker, computer, mixer, scheduler, music selector, and recorder. This year, the only roles that remain the same are team leaders, fulfilled by Emmanuel Ortega and Brenna Pope, and sports announcer, fulfilled by Shaun Gervase.

“My role is to look over the other members of the crew,” says Ortega. “As a senior and one of the leaders of the crew, I am familiar with all of the jobs so I watch over the underclassmen and fill in anything if needed.” Ortega also comments on the closeness of the crew, confidently saying that they have “a good balance between getting the job done and having a fun time” before and once they’re on air.

Additionally, Pope makes note that the crew has grown into a well-functioning family that “gets along great,” to which Gervase agrees and claims that “the entire crew is very friendly with each other—there’s never bad blood.”

It’s obvious that the morning announcements have flowed so smoothly this year largely due to the cohesiveness of the crew that runs it. While a good amount of its success is credited towards Mrs. Bankes’ oversight and script writing, the chemistry between the students who help behind the scenes pulls everything together.