Media arts faculty reshuffle after two departures


Brian Wilson advises his students in the realization of their projects. After Brett Griffith left, two journalism professors, Wilson and Paul Kandell, stepped in to teach the class. “There will definitely be a learning curve, as there is with every new class a teacher takes over, and it happens every year on this campus and on every campus across the country,” Wilson said. . “I am convinced that the students of these sections will receive an excellent training in graphic design. Photo: Amy Lin

Three journalism professors are embarking on teaching graphics, audiovisual journalism and video production following the departure of two professors at the end of last semester.

Brett Griffith, professor of graphic design and video production, announced his departure in June and moved to Santa Barbara High School in Southern California to continue his career after five years at Paly.

Griffith’s announcement came just days before the directors left for their July vacation, making it difficult to find a replacement, and classes were nearly canceled.

“We have posted a new professor to replace Mr. Griffith, but we could not find a replacement with his very specific skills,” wrote principal Adam Paulson in an email to The Paly Voice.

To keep the graphic design courses alive, journalism advisers Paul Kandell and Brian Wilson offered to each take on a graphic design section. While Kandell advises online publication The Paly Voice and print magazine Verde as well as incubator projects, Wilson teaches entry-level journalism and is in charge of Viking Sports Magazine, C-Magazine, and Madrono, the yearbook of Paly.

In an email to The Paly Voice, Wilson said the two had offered to take over if the district struggled to find a replacement, and vice-principals Adam Paulson and Clarisse Haxton decided the week before school , with no other suitable candidate on the horizon. , that it was the best option.

“Graphic design is, after all, a crucial part of what we already teach in publications, so we definitely believe in its importance to a balanced curriculum,” Wilson wrote.

According to Wilson, Wilson not only taught undergraduate students in Michigan State graphic design, but he also taught high school teachers who are working on graduate journalism degrees. In total, Wilson has over 24 years of experience in Photoshop and InDesign.

Kandell says his knowledge of the programs is not as in-depth, but points out that he has been guiding students through award-winning, graphically rich publications for so long, and that the two advisers’ investment in learning and development new skills in these programs and Adobe Illustrator and After Effects will enhance their work with students throughout the journalism program.

The two professors have a lot of pre-existing material on which to build their program.

“Mr. Griffith shared documents with us,” Wilson wrote. “We also received documents from Ms. Wixsom, Ms. McKenzie, who taught the class before Mr. Griffith, and Mr. Gleason, who teaches the class at Gunn We take elements of the curriculum from a variety of sources and also include what we know to be best practices for graphic design students.

Griffith’s other class, Video Production, on the other hand, was completely phased out for the 2019-20 school year except for a handful of seasoned students, who were asked to form a documentary team in Kandell’s third period journalism incubator class.

“From what I understand, they couldn’t find anyone who applied for the job and who had the qualifications and skills to teach the class,” said Rodney Satterthwaite, advisor to The Campanile, who’s occupies broadcast journalism for the next school. year. “Instead of putting someone in there who didn’t know what they were doing, maybe ruining the program, the idea was to delay it for a year and then try to fill it out. next year with a little more time and a little more recruiting effort. “

Although he became InFocus’s new advisor and had previously advised a broadcast program, Satterthwaite felt he was unfit to teach video production.

“I think the video production element is different from the InFocus element,” Satterthwaite said. “So our main focus is broadcast journalism and video production video production. “

Some video production students, especially those planning to pursue their careers in film, have expressed dismay at the removal of the class. After three years of video production with Griffith, senior Max Rosenblum is one of those people. He has since moved to InFocus, where he is executive producer of the series.

“I really think it’s a shame that there isn’t any video production on offer this year,” Rosenblum said. “His video production course definitely helped me discover my skills and my passion for filmmaking.”

Griffith has been Rosenblum’s mentor for most of his high school career.

“He had his own goals, but he really really inspired me with the passion he had for the whole process,” Rosenblum said. “And he definitely got me, especially in the Intro to Video course, introduced me to different types of movies, and that started my love for movies that continues to this day. I really have to thank him for a lot of this.

Griffith did not respond to requests for comment from The Paly Voice.


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