homepage logo

Student leaders act as advocates for school-wide literacy at LHS

By Staff | Feb 5, 2015

The production crew included (from left): Parker Welck, sound/camera crew; Zabdiel Dominguez, director; Jamie Fujii, camera crew/editor; and Micah Flores, sound/camera crew.

LAHAINA – After launching the school reading campaign with the Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) at Lahainaluna High School, Principal Emily DeCosta has taken another innovative approach to shared leadership by endorsing a video script for her student leaders to act as advocates for school-wide literacy.

Student Activities Coordinator and Student Government Advisor Jayme Carlos liked the script. The more she contemplated the positive influence her students would have on the rest of the student body, the more she supported their involvement.

Student Body President Nick Ramirez said the student government wanted to help out and push for literacy. “We had fun!” Ramirez exclaimed. “The school population needs to be as literate as the rest of the developed world.”

Student leader Zabdiel Dominguez directed, recorded and edited the video. Enrolled in two Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses in the Arts and Communication Pathway, Dominguez had access to camera equipment, editing software and computers. He also had an assistant, Jamie Fujii. Seeing them work together was like watching two professionals on the set of a real production.

One of Dominguez’s CTE teachers, Nancy Young, said she had to “crack the whip” to meet the deadline, and she was very pleased with the end result. Dominguez said his biggest roadblock was the retakes, since there were 18 actors, and neither he nor Fujii had the authority to access student schedules or write passes to excuse students from class.

Student Body President Nick Ramirez said the student government wanted to help the school push for literacy.

After all his effort, Dominguez completed the video in time to be aired twice on the morning broadcast before the winter break.

Morning Broadcast advisor Jon Shigaki, responsible for teaching and technical coordination, took creative license to add background music to the video. He said the production was well-done and argued that adding music was necessary in connecting the listener to the message.

When asked how the student government benefitted from making the video, President Ramirez said, “Before making the video, students wouldn’t say they needed help in reading, but now they know it’s okay to ask.”

Complex Area Support Team (CAST) member for Common Core English Language Arts Sandra Czaijkowski said she got “chicken skin” watching the video. “Now instruction is being driven by the people who matter most,” she said. “This may turn the tide of learning at Lahainaluna.”

You can see the video, “Content Literacy,” by visiting the Lahaina News online at www.lahainanews.com.