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Aug 2010Present

The Foothill Dragon Press

About The Foothill Dragon Press:The Foothill Dragon Press seeks to provide the Foothill community of students, staff, parents, alumni and others with accurate, responsible journalism. Blogs and opinion pieces reflect the opinions of individual writers, while unsigned editorials reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board, not the school, the school district, or any other employee.

The Foothill Dragon Press publishes new content throughout the academic year, with some exceptions for semester breaks and exam periods. The Dragon Press belongs to the Journalism Education Association, the National Scholastic Press Association, and the Tri-County Journalism Education Association. The advisor is Melissa Wantz.

Awards: During its first year of publication in 2009-2010, The Foothill Dragon Press was honored as the “Best Online News Website” in Ventura County by the Ventura County Star. The Tri-County Journalism Education Association in May 2010 selected this news site as "Best Online News Website" in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura counties. The National Scholastic Press Association awarded the Dragon Press second place “Best of Show” in November 2010 at the national Journalism Education Association Convention in Kansas City and designated the publication All-American status in January 2011.

What I do: Create news videos of many different varieties and styles. My goal is to inform individuals about what is happening in the community, and provide insight in various perspectives.

My three best works: The Renaissance Rally 2010, Staff Spotlight: Richard Geib, and the Bioscience Disaster Simulation.

  • Renaissance Rally- I love this video because it offers a unique perspective of the students describing what they thought of the new renaissance shirts they received. It also sums up what happened that day, capturing the excitement and fun of the entire celebration.
  • Staff Spotlight: Richard Geib- This video had a unique impact on me. Working alone with only a video camera and a few questions on a sheet of paper, I learned how to interview someone without getting nervous. I realized if you just relax and talk as if it were a conversation, it does not feel so bad. I also particularly like this video because it offers unique insight about Richard Geib and his opinions of what it is like to work at Foothill.
  • Bioscience Disaster Simulation- This video had to be one of the most entertaining to film. With many Bioscience students acting and playing the role of a victim in danger, all covered in fake blood, it was hard not to laugh while filming. Overall, it was a very interesting video, showing the skills of the Bioscience students, and how they respond and treat several victims at once. I learned how to manage different angles and shots in order to make the Earthquake Simulation video look interesting. The students were very open to interviews which also made it more appealing.

Click here for all the Dragon Press videos I have done this year.

Personal Initiative

This semester I stepped outside of my comfort zone, exploring new techniques for video and developing my interview skills. Beginning my first year of Journalism, I had no practice interviewing other people.

When it was asked that I do a feature video on one of the teachers at school, I began to feel very nervous and did not know where to start. I had also been told that the teacher (Captain Lindsey) was nervous to have camera in front of her while she was talking, which made me realize this video was probably not going to turn out well. When I sat down with her, I told her to be very calm. I had a few questions prepared and I started talking to her as if it were a regular conversation. In the end, I realized how great the interview actually went and was excited to get the footage in the computer. The same day, I was told from Mrs. Wantz that Captain Lindsey had personally come over compliment on my interview with her. I was so glad I took the initiative to interview her.

Also, I stepped out of my comfort zone for the Renaissance Rally video. I avidly scoped the entire school in order to get valuable opinions about the new shirts we had received. I got many different reactions and perspectives of the students, which added diversity to the video. I was glad that I took the initiative to go around campus and ask people I didn't know for their opinion. 

Goals for 2nd Semester

One goal I have for 2nd semester is to have more people learn how to record video as well as edit in iMovie so we can have a strong multimedia section for next year. I would also like people to more enthusiastic when they record. Getting a variety of angle and shots as well as good interviews. Filming video should be a fun process, especially being a journalist. Actively being involved and capturing footage not only gives great evidence for the story, but also offers a unique perspective that is not bias. Recording audio is also very important because video cannot stand without it. I would like to teach people how to edit audio quickly for it to sound fluent. I think with more people learning how to shoot video and record good audio, the Foothill Dragon Press will become even better.

My Highlight

My highlight this semester was when I recorded the interviews for the sex offender story. Anaika, Carrie, Heather, and I were all very anxious and nervous when asking questions to the Ventura Police Department. I was very excited to be involved in a breaking news story like this one. I remember the seriousness of Anaika talking on the phone with an attorney from Boost Ur School, and when they hung up on us. The room was very still but our excitement grew knowing this was going to make a great story. 


On campus:

  • Foothill Dragon Press Assistant Multimedia Editor
  • Political Action and Awareness Club
  • Lifetime member of CSF
  • Foothill for Africa: Hero Project



Of all the character traits we discussed in the Journalism Pyramid of Success, the one I can identify with this semester is competitive spirit. No matter what the occasion circumstance may be, I am always willing to push myself in order to publish a great video that represents our publication in a sophisticated manner. I find this trait to be of importance because without it, people just don’t have the drive to write or publish compelling news stories.

I recently worked on the video about the commonplace project and it took a while to edit. Unfortunately, the computer froze and the audio became all mixed up. I knew this meant I had to start from scratch and edit the video all over again. However, I did not just sit there and complain like some others might have, I took it upon myself to get the video done the next day. I used this competitive spirit to drive me through the editing process. Before I knew it, I was already done and it had looked even more stunning than before. I was happy that I chose to be persistent in getting the video done. Without this competitive spirit I would not have had the same faith in myself to overcome this frustrating challenge.


Editing Software: Garageband and iMovie
These are the programs I use in making a video.
USe of Mac and PC Computers
Editing and Embedding on back end of site
Filming Video
This year in Journalism I have gained skills in filming video by interacting with other people and interviewing them as well. I have found that many people are not afraid of being filmed if you are kind to them and give them helpful instructions on what to do. Some people are impressed with how comfortable and open people are while they are being interviewed. This skill has furthered my communication strategies.

Work experience

As a Student Journalist

First Amendment rights are the most important when it comes to student journalism. The First Amendment gives us right of free speech, but not in to private schools, and free press. As a governmental agency, public schools are allowed to publish nearly anything. Private schools cannot because they may be religiously affiliated and have to get approval before publishing from the principal or the school. Two Supreme Court cases set the precedent for high school journalism: Tinker v. Des Moines Independent COmmunity School District and Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier.

In Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, students from Iowa decided to wear black armbands to protest the Vietnam War. The Des Moines School District then placed a ban on wearing such armbands to schools, meaning students would be suspended from school until complying with the rules. This was brought up with the US Supreme Court and it recognized that First Amendment rights for on-campus student speech had been violated.

In Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier, the Hazelwood School District in Missouri wanted to run a pregnancy and divorce story, but had prior review by the principle to make that only school appropriate content was published. Because the school was not declared a public forum and had prior review, there were no First Amendment rights violated. The US Supreme Court ruled in favor of the school principle. This significantly reduces level of First Amendment protection provided.