Northside High School students win statewide video contest

Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 11:27 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Northside High School students from Beaufort County won first place in a statewide contest that focused on the coronavirus pandemic and how it has changed the school year.

Students had to work as a team and submit a video, all done online.

Jennifer Woolard, who teaches the videography class, said they entered the contest when all of the students were in remote learning.

Without having met the incoming freshmen in-person, Woolard said it was interesting to see students come together and open up about the contest theme.

“The school and the students here are my life and I think that the coronavirus pandemic has changed that dramatically,” Woolard said in the video “The Challenge of Change.”

The Challenge of Change- winning video submission

Northside High School students, along with art teacher Jennifer Woolard, won first place in a statewide contest sponsored by the North Carolina School Board Association. The theme of the contest was "How has the Coronavirus pandemic changed your school year?" This is their submission video. Congratulations Ms Woolard and students!

Posted by Northside High School on Monday, November 16, 2020

“We figured, well we are remote, we are having to learn remotely, and we could simply do the contest where we were,” Woolard said. “And that in itself is a challenge, because they don’t know me, they didn’t have me before and they’re having to know me and learn who I am through the computer.”

The class, made up mostly of 9th graders, found creative solutions to answer how the coronavirus pandemic changed their school year while learning the basics of film.

“They had to learn lighting, angles, depth of field,” Woolard said.

The project relied on communication: plan the video, how students were going to make it and what they were gonna do.

Woolard said one of the challenges was trying to set up each interview at home and have everyone send it in the same video file format. Almost all of the students shot and edited video on their phone.

Tatum Biggs said she wasn’t expecting to win anything, but was proud when she heard they won.

“I was happy because I had a lot of people come up to me and congratulate me and it was a nice pride feeling.”

Biggs, a freshman, is the first student to appear in the video.

“You really can probably do more than you think you can,” Biggs said, reflecting on what she learned.

Although the class won first place, it’s the teamwork a majority of the students will remember.

“It taught us to have respect for each other and it also gave us the chance to get to know each other, even though we weren’t in person,” Braxton Boyd, 16, said.

The class growing closer this school year as they experience high school amid a pandemic, together.

“It lets us all feel like we’re in the same boat, like we’re not alone, just feel like we’re all in it together,” Mylie Davis, 14, said.

“I mean, humans are made to be social and it’s just something that like when you’re not able to buy something that’s new and kinda scary, it’s just hard but I think it’ll be okay,” Biggs said.

For Ms. Woolard and her students, they’re taking this challenge one day at a time.

“Teachers and students are doing the best they can with what they have to work with,” Woolard said. “We are having to find creative solutions to overcome this time of uncertainty and confusion.”

With confidence they’ll get through it.

“I love teaching cause I love students,” Woolard said. “And I love the school, I love being here, I love the activities and I love just everything about it.”

“Our lives will be forever changed, nothing’s gonna be normal again,” Boyd said. “We’re gonna have to adjust every day to even try to get back to what we think is normal. And I just hope that they were able to look at that and take account to what 2020 has brought to us and also take into account to what we can do to make our experience at northside and wherever we go better.”

The class won a cash prize which Woolard said will go towards the curriculum.

Her videography students will work on personal projects next, which is a video that they will shoot, write and edit themselves.

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