Multimedia program shines light on studies

The program moved to TCTC this year from the James Center, which shut down.
CHAMPION -- Anyone taking the interactive multimedia program at Trumbull Career and Technical Center has to smile at least once per day.
That's according to Greg Cupan, 18, of McDonald, a senior at the school.
"I'd take this class over a history class or something like that every day," he said. "I would say for anyone who is interested in it, this is a good class."
Besides at least one smile per day, which Greg attributes to the class teacher, John D. Bagnola's teaching style, he's also learning editing and filming skills. He also hopes to garner some acting skills from the class.
"This is the closest class there is to what I want to do," Greg said.
How it's changing
The program, which moved to TCTC this year when the Gordon D. James Career Center in Lordstown closed its doors, is an example of the changing face of career and technical education.
Other courses include medical fields and tech prep engineering where students continue their studies at Kent State University after graduating high school.
Students in Bagnola's interactive multimedia learn visual design and technical arts skills including Web page design, digital video and photography, script writing, editing and video camera work.
"I'm interested in the videography field," said Alvin Little, 19, of McDonald, adding that he's learned how to do some work behind the camera such as establishing shots.
Michael Johnson, 18, of Niles, started in the program last year at the James Center because he was interested in videography. He wants to pursue a career in law enforcement, using the skills he's learned in class for video surveillance and enhancement.
His mother was held up at gunpoint while at work last year and it took police a few weeks to arrest the culprit because of low-quality store video. If someone had been able to enhance the image, Michael reasons, an arrest may have happened sooner.
Positive notes
Michael also points to Bagnola's teaching style as one of the things he likes most about the class.
"He can relate to everybody," he said.
Michael said he used to hate coming to school but know looks forward to the school day because what he's doing is so much fun.
"I've really improved my attendance," he said.
Sean O'Gorman, 17, of Niles, says his interest in underwater photography prompted him to sign up for the interactive multimedia class.
"You learn how to enhance the photo after you take it," he said.
If the media program weren't an option for their studies, all four young people say their lives would be much different.
Michael says he'd probably be in a school and work program that allowed him to leave school to work at a fast-food restaurant.
"I wouldn't be going to school all day, I know that," he said.
Greg, the most outspoken of the group, used to be reserved and rarely spoke up, according to his classmates. Being in the class changed that, they said.
"If I weren't in this class, I'd be at my breaking point at this point," Greg said.

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