Shelton Company donates AV equipment to college broadcasters

SHELTON — The middle school WSIS student news team recently got a tech boost — all thanks to a Shelton-based company.

The school’s student press team gives students a televised update on the day’s activities, weather, lunch deals, and sports scores each morning during the first period.

The team is made up of six students who compose the daily program by recording it the day before it is broadcast. But those plans were nearly thrown out the window when the crew’s teleprompter equipment – more than 15 years old – recently broke down.

That’s when Shelton-based Autoscript – an international leader in the supply of professional teleprompting equipment – made sure the show would go on.

Press team adviser Prof Dennis David said he called Autoscript to see if the equipment could be replaced and at what cost.

Aaron Brady of Autoscript identified the problem but, due to the age of the teleprompter, was unable to obtain the parts needed to fix it. Instead, he provided new and modern equipment for free.

“As a teacher, I am very grateful that this society recognizes the talent and needs of our children,” David said. “This Shelton company has provided our kids with state of the art equipment that they will see if they choose to take up this activity. It’s hard to do, and we are very grateful.

Brady said his company donated a heavy camera mount, a unit built into the EPIC-IP camera; and WinPlus-IP prompter software with voice add-on license.

“We’re happy to do this,” Brady said, adding that Autoscript donated the old teleprompter equipment to SIS about 20 years ago. “It helps prepare these students by giving them access to equipment they could work with in the future.”

Brady said the donation would allow him to receive feedback from those just starting out. He said it’s essential to learn about efficiency and ease of use from those who are not yet experts in the field.

Eighth-grade student Amaya Gutierrez said the benefit of the new gear was two-fold.

“It allows us to limit the number of people in the control room because no one needs to scroll through the script anymore,” Gutierrez said. “It’s also voice-activated, so we learn to read at our own pace. It’s perfect.”

Joey Cummings, an eighth-grader who like Gutierrez joined the team this year, said the new equipment is trouble-free and easy to use.

“The old equipment kept breaking down, so we couldn’t do our check-in in the morning, we could only do it in the afternoon,” Cummings said. “Now there are no more problems.”

Cummings, Gutierrez and seventh-grader Alyssa Yegidis, David said, have already become experts, and their efforts could pay off next week when Fox 61 announces its student news winners. WSIS, David says, has won the station’s past honors for its student news productions.

The trio did an onstage report on David’s car club, which meets monthly at SIS.

Gutierrez said the best part about being on the student news team is that it’s fun.

“I love the people I work with,” she said. “When I started, I didn’t know much about it, but I learned a lot and I really like it. I never realized how much fun it could be.

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Laura J. Boyer