The Student News Site of Urbana High School


The Student News Site of Urbana High School


The Student News Site of Urbana High School


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CLASS SPOTLIGHT: Digital Communications

BREAKING NEWS: The Urbana News Network is Back!
Alyssa Tyler
The whiteboard featured in the background of the morning announcements

The reign of Mr. Matheny’s announcements has come to an end, and the students are in control. The Urbana News Network (UNN) is back! Now featuring Brooke Dress, Felicia Aussurian, Will Brookes, James Barrows, Landon Lacy, John Damoulakis, Christian Heckman, Genesis Walker, Lucas Rungrojcharoenkit, and David Barney.

After the shut down due to the COVID 19 pandemic, The UNN had to stop producing morning announcements. When school started up again, “the TV studio room and all of the equipment we had were dismantled and, somewhat, junked” Mr. Ward commented. 

But early in the 2023-2024 school year Mrs. Clabaugh came up to Mr. Ward and asked him what she would need to do to get the students back to running the announcements. 

“I was really wanting to bring back student announcements because I think that if students see that announcements and the news are produced by them [the students] there will be more of an interest” Mr. Ward mentioned. 

After the purchase of a few cameras and other technical equipment, and with the help of Mr. Ward, the Digital Communications class was started in which highschool students write, film, edit, and produce the announcements all on their own. 

“I really enjoy the atmosphere, it’s very open and I don’t feel judged,” Felicia explained.

Felicia also mentions how she has learned to be open with her ideas. She says that if everyone isn’t open with their ideas, nothing fun or interesting will happen. Big plans are in store for The UNN, Felicia also mentioned, but it’s a secret. 

But what is a day like at The UNN? The second period class starts by filming the announcements for the next day. The students choose who will run lights, who will be the anchors, who edits, and more. Once that is finished they separate and work on upcoming projects for The UNN. This can include filming skits, interviewing teachers and students, or editing the morning announcements. 

“It’s fun to get around the school and make something ridiculous,” Will Brookes commented when asked what he liked about the class. 

So why should teachers show announcements in class? Many UNN students said that it is a fun way to gain information about what is going on around the school. Mr. Ward said, “When teachers show that they care about what’s going on in the building students will begin to care”. The goal of The UNN is to entertain the students while also informing them about what Urbana is doing as a whole.

Next time you are in your 2nd block, or in SET, ask your teacher to turn on the announcements! You won’t be disappointed!

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About the Contributors
Alyssa Tyler, Reporter
Alyssa Tyler is a senior at Urbana High School. Alyssa has moved from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Urbana Maryland at 14 years old. “It was definitely a culture shock, but I’m glad I’m here,” she mentioned.  She has loved her time at Urbana and has loved all the friends and experiences she has had here. Alyssa’s biggest dream is costume designing for broadway. She also enjoys music, books, singing, and traveling. The dream of costume designing started after seeing Lion King on Broadway and then sketching wedding dresses in the 9th grade with inspiration from Say Yes to the Dress. This has led her to becoming the costume manager in Urbana High School's drama department.  Alyssa Tyler has loved traveling for a long time. She loves the idea of going to new places as well as seeing and doing new things that she would have never done at home. Alyssa is also a huge fan of music. Her top genres are 90’s grunge and modern pop. One of her favorite artists is Taylor Swift and she actually attended the Eras tour concert  in June. “It was such an amazing experience, I’m really glad I went,” she said.  Other artists she likes include Tate McRae, Foo Fighters, and Nirvana. She plays guitar as well as sings! Books are also an escape for Alyssa, saying that books are a way to escape the world and music is a way to drown it out.
Leah Jeffries, Reporter
Leah Jeffries is a Sophomore at Urbana High School. Born in Baltimore and raised in Frederick, Maryland, Leah likes to sleep, read, listen to music, and play the game Just Dance when she is not at school. Her favorite book is The Fault in Our Stars. "I've read it so many times," Leah said. She loves Indie Rock and Jazz music and does not have a favorite artist. She is involved in the UHS Drama Department, doing paint crew and props. Every Wednesday she has art classes at Art and Soul, which she has been doing since 7th grade. “Hopefully I’ll be able to get a job there over the summer,” she had mentioned. Leah loves the idea of interviewing and meeting new people. Though she is in 10th grade, Leah hopes to study interior design or acting when she gets to college. She has enjoyed the freedom that high school has given her in this short time. Her favorite classes are English and Theater. She prefers to work alone, but when it is needed she will gladly work in a group.  Leah loves to sing. She sings for her church and has been singing in musicals since 2nd grade. She loves movies as well. Of course, one of her favorite movies is The Fault in Our Stars, but she is also a big fan of the Hunger Games movies. Something Leah likes to do is take pieces of the movies she watches and incorporates them into her life. Whether that is painting her nails the main color of a book, or taking character personalities and incorporating them into her own.

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