For the second year in a row, a former NNPS Telecom student has been chosen as the Virginia Department of Education "Career Success Star" in the Arts, A/V Technology and Communications category.
The VDOE highlights former Virginia CTE (Career and Technical Education) students who have successful careers in their industry. Eighteen different career fields are featured.
Monique Artybridge, known as Monique Wright as a high school student, currently serves as Production Manager/Multi-Media Director for the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) in Virginia Beach.
She is a 2004 graduate of Denbigh High School and spent her senior year in the Telecommunications program. She loved the career-oriented instruction and working behind the scenes on video productions, especially as camera operator. She also took advantage of the opportunity to be a paid crew member on video productions of school and community events, like the Jefferson Lab science lecture series.
Telecom Supervisor Ray Price, who was Artybridge's TV production instructor back then, nominated her for the VDOE "Career Success Star" honor. Price considered her to be a highly motivated and capable student and leader when she was a high school senior. As his students move on from Telecom, Price tries to keep up with their careers and accomplishments, and knew Artybridge had a great job in the industry.
The VDOE production team interviewed Artybridge for a profile video, and she spoke about the wide-ranging experience she acquired while attending Telecom and working on the live broadcast team.
After Telecom, Artybridge continued her education at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), earning a B.S. degree in Mass Communications with a focus in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Psychology, in 2008.
In college, her program focused on writing for print and TV, along with some video editing. Her favorite class involved writing stories and recording interviews that were made into news packages for "VCU InSight," a student-produced show that aired twice a month on local PBS station, WCVW.
"My favorite part was editing the stories and running cameras for the program," Artybridge said in an email.
Artybridge says her Telecom experience helped her with her college coursework.
"In Telecom, I learned some basics of TV production. I learned about the different parts of the camera and how to use them, how to frame camera shots, how to edit video," she said.
She also learned about the equipment in the control room and appreciated learning from instructors who had experience in the industry, she commented.
During college, Artybridge had an internship with WCVE (PBS sister station to WCVW), working the character generator (CG/graphics) during live shows covering topics related to the General Assembly.
After college, Artybridge was hired at WWBT-NBC12 in Richmond, having submitted her résumé during a job fair on campus. She worked as a News Editor and over time became a Director/Technical Director.
In 2012, Artybridge earned an Emmy Award for Best Weekend Newscast, as News Director for live coverage of a major weather event.
"I never thought that I could receive one because at the time, it seemed like only the producers/anchors/reporters received recognition," she said.
She attended the awards ceremony at the National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
"It just felt so surreal being there with so much talent in the industry," she noted.
In 2013, shortly after receiving her Emmy Award, Artybridge was hired by CBN, after a former colleague told her about a News Director position there. A few years later, she became Production Manager/Multi-Media Director, her current role which involves being Director/Technical Director for the CBN News Department and also overseeing the production aspects of CBN News.
"I coordinate the News production schedule and I am the main production liaison with other departments, supervising the directors and ensuring stronger communication between program producers and directors beginning with pre-production prep all the way through control room execution," she explained.
Artybridge loves being able to communicate effectively to get the job done, but says the best part of her job is seeing it all come together.
"The viewers don’t get to see all the work that goes into a full production," she said. "I enjoy seeing all of the different parts, our different roles, come together to produce an amazing show."
Artybridge earned another prestigious award, a Bronze Telly Award, in 2016. It was for a CBN entertainment show called "Studio 5: Resurrecting New Orleans," and it earned her an award in the Online Video - Religion/Spirituality category.
Asked what her advice for students interested in TV production/broadcasting would be, this award-winning TV Director said:
"Many times, you may see the faces on TV, the reporters, anchors, TV show hosts and immediately that’s the job you want. Or you may want to be a producer, you just want to write the show. And that’s okay, but you should focus on the foundation. I believe the best on-air personalities and producers are those who started in other roles like editor, prompter operator, or production assistant. In these positions you learn the basics of how a production comes together," she noted.
"In TV production/broadcasting, no role is 'too small,'" Artybridge said. "Every position is important from the pre-production stage to the live production and post-production. If you have an understanding of how each position operates, it helps you perform well and communicate well in this field. So don’t just focus on one position or role, but get experience in other areas of the industry as well."