Petaluma High School journalism students headed to national competition

Bay Area

PETALUMA (KRON) — Petaluma High School students are the best in the state when it comes to producing their own television newscast.

“We all work as a team,” said Jamie Cantieri, Petaluma High School news producer. “Like, we have our floor director too. We all have to communicate really well. We have to know what we’re doing and remain professional and calm.”

The students recently competed in a statewide “Skills USA” competition to win best high school broadcast news production, knocking off three-time defending champion Beverly Hills High School.

“All the competitions are really tough, but specifically broadcast news has a lot of schools in the south in the LA area,” said instructor Chris Jones. “They’re pretty tough to beat because they have a lot of money.”

“I was confident we were going to do pretty well in the first place. When I saw the video I thought, that’s pretty good,” said Petaluma High School Anchor Enrique Alverde.

Their stories included the need for dredging the Petaluma River, high speed rail and the controversy over college entrance exams, mixed with a little anchor banter.

Now the students have their sights set on becoming national champions. Next week, they head off to Louisville, Kentucky to go up against students from across the country.

Unlike the taped competition in California, they’ll have to perform a live newscast in front of a panel of judges.

“It’s a little more stressful because we can’t take multiple takes but I think we can do it. I think we’re ready for it.”

Some say it’s a career they want to pursue, but Jake Symons says the skills he’s learned can be applied almost anywhere.

“I’m really excited in general, just because I’ve been trying to improve my public speaking and this is a really big step for me,” Symons said.

The broadcast team heads to Louisville Monday.

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