Media teacher earns praise

Media teacher Christopher Schwalm was chosen to be the Student Television Network Teacher of the Year. This award is for broadcast journalism, film or media teachers who demonstrate dedication and high levels of achievement.

He found out that he had been chosen Feb. 7. His students set up a fake call with STN’s board of directors, which then announced the news.

“I was speechless, I was stunned,” said Schwalm. “It was the last thing I expected.”

Since he was chosen as Teacher of the Year, Schwalm will receive a trip to the 2019 STN Convention in Nashville, TN and $1000 toward the broadcasting program.

“I feel fortunate because I am put in this position because of the administrative support we have here for the program,” said Schwalm. “All I can do is provide opportunities for the students, but without the support of the school and the tech department and without the students taking advantage of those opportunities, it wouldn’t have been possible.”

Senior Hannah Shirey and junior Carter Kent nominated him for the award.

“I always look forward to his class during the day,” said Shirey, who also regularly anchors morning announcements. “My favorite class is just whatever I have with Mr. Schwalm.”

To nominate Schwalm, Shirey and Kent gathered the necessary information and asked teachers and counselors for recommendation letters. Shirey also wrote him a letter of recommendation.

“I spent so much time writing [the recommendation], and I really meant what I said,” said Shirey.

They chose to nominate Schwalm for the award because they felt he had made an impact on their lives.

“He’s driven me to do so many things that I would never think I would do and just got me out of my comfort zone,” said Shirey. “He’s also taught me to relax a lot.”

“I really think he has improved my work ethic,” said Kent. “I think I am a better student because of him.”

Schwalm was also nominated because of his success with the broadcast video program. Under his leadership, CCHS Today was chosen as the 2017-2018 best school announcement show in the Northeast.

“I put a lot of time into it, but that would not have been possible without the support of the administration and the accomplishments of the students,” said Schwalm. “That’s how we got here.”

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