Newport News Public Schools TV and the Telecommunications Center

Instructor with students, award, and headset

Telecom's TV Instructor, Carl Daniels, Jr., has achieved a milestone: 10 years of teaching television production to NNPS high school students.

Daniels has been a steady force at Telecom, guiding students through a course of study that seems to always change and always stay the same.

Television production techniques are in constant flux as equipment and video capabilities advance, viewing trends coalesce around various platforms, and new and different editing styles come to the fore. There is no doubt that the last 10 years have seen many changes in the TV and video production industry.

When Daniels started in the television business, he was using BETA decks for editing and putting the finished product on tapes or DVDs.

"Now, you edit on software like AVID or Adobe Premiere ... and you send files in Google drives and via email without using DVD players," Daniels said.

"This has changed the curriculum because you are learning something new every day with the students, as editing and formats have changed over the years," he continued.

Yet at the same time, the basics of shooting images, combining them with audio, giving or following direction on a set, and working on live productions never change. Learning the basics of television and video production and broadcasting is crucial to Telecom students, which makes the instructor role a very important one.

"You are still teaching the fundamentals because that is the foundation to TV production," Daniels said, "no matter what equipment or format you use."

Daniels joined Telecom in 2012, after working as a video news editor at WAVY-TV 10 for 14 years.

Daniels, whose mother was an educator, always wanted to teach students about the TV production business, so he seized the opportunity at NNPS-TV.

"I like working with students that are new to production because you can see their curiosity about what they are going to learn," he said. "And then you get the opportunity to see them blossom throughout the school year after they master what you have taught them."

The COVID-19 pandemic was a difficult time for Daniels and the Telecom students.

"This course is better for the students when they can be hands on, touch and operate the equipment properly," he said. "During COVID, they could not do that at all, which made it tougher for some students to grasp the concepts the way they would if they were physically in class."

Daniels had to make do with Zoom video classes and students doing recording and editing on their cell phones. Still, they were able to do some creative work, like making cooking shows.

In the past, Daniels has escorted students to many field trips and SkillsUSA competitions, including a trip to the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC) in Louisville, Kentucky in 2019.

He has been recognized for his role in instructing students in the creation of "Spotlite" and "SME2" videos for a NASA's web series, "eClips."

Daniels serves on the NNPS-TV remote production crew and has been an on-air announcer for many NNPS football and basketball games. He sometimes is the talent or interviewer for student-produced shows.

His favorite part of the job is seeing students years later after they've graduated, he said.

He loves to "see the success that they are having in their field knowing that you had a hand in their success."