With iPhones in hand, four Decatur High students gathered around a computer at the Entrepreneurial Center on Fourth Avenue.
They do this twice a week, and it's not the typical teenage gathering.
Mollie Schmidt, Elizabeth Wofford, Rachel Diaz and Hughston May are part of 14 students who are in the advertising design technology class for Decatur City Schools.
Their daily mission is to collect and report what teacher Lee Johnson Lott called "the good news" about Decatur's schools through social media.
The elective class started in February 2011 and was the idea of Decatur City Schools Superintendent Ed Nichols, who at the time was assistant superintendent. He recruited Lott and Angela Cushing to supervise the students.
In its short history, the class has earned one student a scholarship, produced a video for United Way and helped organize the "WeKnow" campaign.
"We're still in the building process, but this has turned into a magnificent class," Lott said.
Students from Austin and Decatur earn one credit in the class, but more importantly, they are required to learn about the inter-workings of the school system.
"They do the interviewing, blog and do posts on Facebook," Lott said.
The students are divided into teams and are assigned certain school sites.
When Schmidt, Wofford, Diaz and May recently got together, the students were listening to an interview they conducted with secondary curriculum coordinator Dee Dee Jones. May was watching the interview on her iPhone, and Schmidt was taking notes.
"We want to make sure we have things right before we post them," Wofford said.
At a table nearby, students Darian Southward, Carly Southward, Carlton Brown and Victoria Hardiman were planing their schedule for the coming week.
At yet another computer, Austin students Kendra Abrams and Perrin Jones were posting the results of a math tournament at Cedar Ridge Middle School and the school's National Junior Honor Society inductees.
Jones, a senior who plans to enter the medical field, produced the United Way video. He did so after filming at the Child Advocacy Center, American Heart Association and Meals on Wheels.
"I did all the editing," he said.
Lott said the "WeKnow" campaign was a class project that asked three questions: "Will I be ready?" "Who are our future leaders?" and "Who is our future workforce?"
The green, white and black signs with pictures of local leaders were posted throughout Decatur and was designed to "let people know what Decatur schools are about," Lott said.
Deangelo McDaniel can be reached at 256-340-2469 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The instructors are Angela Putman Cushing and Lee Johnson Lott. ADT is a combined class of Austin and Decatur students who must be juniors or seniors. Registration for next year starts in mid-March.
|High School Sports||@DecaturPreps|