GCPS TV program wins Emmy

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett County Public Schools TV recently won an Emmy Award for a video production that communicates how schools and school employees make a difference in the lives of children.

"What is the School Effect?" was shown at the 2009 Gwinnett County Board of Education area board meetings. To create the piece, the school system's broadcast and distance learning team, in collaboration with the communication and media relations staff, conducted lengthy interviews with 15 employees who play different roles in the school system and possess a passion for supporting teaching and learning. More than 10 hours worth of footage was taped and condensed to less than three minutes for the video.

The award-winning production was honored with the Emmy in Outstanding Achievement: Television Crafts Achievement Excellence/Director--Post-Production.

The Emmy was presented to the school system on June 26 by the Southeast chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences during its 36th annual Southeast Regional Emmy Awards Gala. At the event, the Academy recognized the best of the region's 2009 visual media.

Greg LaHatte, the school district's director of broadcast and distance learning, accepted the award on behalf of Gwinnett County Public Schools. He was joined by freelance video specialist Faraz Ahmed, a graduate of both Brookwood High and the University of Georgia.

In his acceptance speech before the Academy, LaHatte thanked his team members for their talent, efforts and hard work. He also praised Gwinnett's students for their continuous high achievement while taking note of the work by teachers and staff in supporting Gwinnett students.

In a news release, school system officials said the treatment of the piece allowed the viewer to focus on the content rather than the technology. The last shot was the most challenging for the creators. The goal was to incorporate all the employees into one seamless shot. The challenge was that the 15 interviews were recorded over a two-week period.

The closing shot was accomplished digitally, with the ending composite giving the impression that all the employees are standing together behind a common message underscoring the positive aspects of the "school effect."

In addition to winning the Emmy, GCPS TV also was honored this spring with two 2010 Telly Awards for its television programming this year. The Telly Awards recognize the best commercials, programs, video and film productions from around the country.

GCPS TV also earned recognition from the National School Public Relations Association for three audio/visual productions. Only 11 Awards of Excellence -- the top award -- were distributed and GCPS TV brought home three of the awards.

GCPS TV, the educational access channel for Gwinnett County Public Schools, began operations in 2001, and can be seen by Gwinnett County cable subscribers. GCPS TV's programming also is streamed live at www.gcpstv.org.