Hazelwood Senior R. J. Fentress Wins First Place in Statewide Video Contest

R. J. Fentress, a senior at Hazelwood West High School, received first place, and a $1,000 cash prize, in the Missouri School Boards’ Association’s “2013 What’s Super About Public Schools” student video contest.  Students were challenged to produce a 60-second video that conveyed the contest theme and was related to at least one of the recommendations in the Missouri Public Education Vision Project Report. The video was featured at the 2013 Annual Conference sponsored by MSBA in conjunction with the Missouri Association of School Administrators.

Fentress featured the Project WALK program at Hazelwood West High School. Project WALK is a dropout prevention program that focuses on increasing grades, credits, attendance and decreasing the number of referrals. Project WALK just completed its pilot year with overwhelming success. Drop out numbers have decreased and grades have gone up.

Fentress shot the footage, wrote the script and read the voice-over for the video. Technical production of the video was done by Josh Florida and Brendan Krause, both sophomores at West High.

“Josh and Brendan were great,” said Fentress. “The video wouldn’t have turned out as well as it did without their help. They deserve a lot of the credit too.”

Fentress said it was hard to fit in all the information he wanted to share into the 60-second video, but feels he was able to hit the key successes of the program.

He said wanted to focus on Project WALK because he has seen first-hand how well the project has worked. “I thought the video would be a great way to share the success of the program and help other students,” he said.


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