Hay Haymakers!

Featuring the Cozad Haymakers Media Production Class

To think a high school student would go through an application process that includes a 30 second video interview just to make the cut to take a class the next year?! Wow, what is this class that is so sought after? And how does a teacher go about drumming up all the interest? Well, Keely Reinert, Media Production teacher at Cozad seemed to create this anomaly of a classroom that sparked so much interest. As the Cozad Haymakers are Striv’s featured class this week, we will catch up with them to see why Striv and the Media Production class is so desired and how they are building the platform to share their story.

Keely came to Cozad to teach in 2012. Her forte is business, so it came naturally for her to figure out why the current streaming wasn’t gaining any interest in the student body and how to turn that mentality around. Boy did she succeed in the mission! Just one year after being a Haymaker, Keely not only got students to volunteer to get Striv going at the school, but the second year of Striv’s existence there, she had to have tryouts and do an application process to pick what students were going to be able to be a part of the class for the following fall semester. That is with adding a second class to the schedule! Keely has 26 students participating in the Media Production class and the Haymakers are taking big strides.

So, why is it such a big deal? Keely laughs, ‘the fame.’ What kid doesn’t want to see themselves on TV or hear their voice for the big game or know they were a part in the media development that people are watching? With the following Cozad pulls from all over the US and overseas, the students know that their work is not just being seen by mom and dad (which IS still cool!). Cozad is sharing their story with some serious reach! Keely also attributes the student involvement with how the class is run. “It’s hands-on. The students get to make something,” she says. She also notes that the class is different in that it is open and students have power, “they have my respect until they lose my respect; they have freedom until they lose that freedom.” She gives them ownership and responsibility and if they handle that well, it won’t go away. Much like these students will face when they go to college or get their first job. They are learning earlier than most that it’s up to them to rise to the occasion. They are gaining just that and more in Keely’s classes.

After StrivU’s Fall Conference in 2013, a student, Colt Paulsen (who is now in the Production career field), decided to buy in and he helped in creating ‘HAY HAYMAKERS!’ which is now Cozad’s student-run bi-monthly student broadcast. From that, students branched out even farther and four of them do the school’s daily announcements from start to finish; everything from filming to editing to uploading. This is so intense that it is separate from the Striv based education. It is a deadline based environment and is not only a great learning experience, but a sizable adrenaline rush.

Cozad senior, Kolton Morse, is one of the four students who participate in the daily announcements. He hopes to go into the computer engineering field, possibly I.T., but for now has a promising talent in video editing. He hasn’t been a lifer with Striv when it came to Cozad. “I was supposed to be in Web/Media design last year, but it conflicted with the core classes so this year, I did this class and it has more accessibility to the tools and bit more informal,” he said. This allows him to refine his skill set and prepare for his next life steps.

Another student, who is one of two freshmen to even get into the class is Isabel Schaefer. She takes a different angle in what area she embraces and how she is growing from that. She enjoys being in front of the camera. “I’m excited to grow in this class. I’m still a little nervous in front of the camera, but I am excited to get more comfortable [I believe her word was, ‘chill’] and to have emotion when I speak and I want to be an example for the younger kids.”

Isabel Schaefer (left) and Kolton Morse (right) working on editing their new Daily Announcements feature.

Keely is pushing the envelope with the students to try and get them to understand another aspect of the job; selling and creating commercials for the timeouts of the Striv streams. “This is harder because they don’t get to see the immediate benefit of this,” she says. As time goes on, they will understand they are only building their business communication and will understand the business angle in that as well.

The Cozad Haymakers have embraced and ran with Striv to begin creating and developing new things, up and coming ideas and to have so many levels of media for students to pick and chose which avenue interests them. When asked how Striv has aided in the many ways Cozad shares their story, Keely’s response was short, simple but her words rang loud and clear, “it has opened up the doors” the school and the students in it are being seen for all the great they are doing and all the great the are; not only in the supporting Cozad community, but with viewers all over the US and even the viewers watching overseas!

Cozad’s school website says, ‘Learning for All…Learning for Life.’ Yeah, I’d say they have that going for them! Thank you Cozad, for inviting us in to see how you are sharing your school’s story! Hey…“HAY HAYMAKERS!”


Interested in learning more about how your school can share their story with Striv? Go here.

Written by Jessica Siebert (StrivU Director)

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