Tech opportunities come to life for Kiowa County students

The Pratt Tribune, Nov. 2, 2020 – Read the Original Article

The Twilight Theatre, Twilight Players, and Kiowa County Media Center recently put on a tech workshop for students from Haviland Grade School and Kiowa County High School. 

“The free event was part of a matching grant from the Kansas Commerce Commission Technology in Creative Arts and Industries for an intercom communication system at the Twilight,” according to a press release from the Twilight Theatre. 

Along with students from the schools in the county, representatives from Haviland Broadband and Greensburg First United Methodist Church attended the half-day sessions. 25 students from KCHS attended and half of them were students in JAG-K or Jobs for America’s Graduates-Kansas. This was a good opportunity for JAG-K students because their class is focused on identifying their particular interests and allows students to start building an idea of what they want to do for a job or career after graduation. Other KCHS students who attended were part of the drama department along with their teacher Kim McMurry. HGS counselor Sue Greenleaf was also in attendance. 

Janet West was a presenter at the workshop. West is a retired teacher who has over two decades of experience in public speaking and acting along with a Master’s degree in communication. West communicated with the students to build technology skills in whatever they choose because tech is a part of every aspect of today’s world. The more technology students can be introduced to, the better. This makes the transition from high school to college or the workforce smoothers. 

“It opens doors to scholarships, internships, work-study programs and the real world,” said West.  

McMurry, KCHS drama teacher, said the workshop gave students yet another opportunity to learn tech skills outside of school. 

“By volunteering at the theatre or the Media Center, students are part of real-life shows and events,” said McMurry. “Some students already know how to run the light and soundboards at the theatre as well as cameras and broadcasting equipment at sports events. This workshop opened the door for many more.”   George Ryan, Twilight Theatre Director,  enjoyed welcoming members of the community because the Theatre is a community space that was built for everyone. 

“The Twilight is more than a theatre, it is a true community auditorium. It belongs to the community, and we are glad to make it available to everyone for a variety of activities and events,” said Ryan. 

Other presenters included Mike McBeath, tech director, and live performance specialist at the Twilight Theatre, and Grant Neuhold, director of the Kiowa County Media Center.