teacher Marjorie Foley, assisted by her Research & Multimedia Literacy class, contributed the following article to Patch.
Students in Perry Hall High School’s Research & Multimedia Literacy class sat down with Patch Editor Emily Kimball to ask about her experiences as a student and a journalist. It was one of many planned interviews in preparation for a celebration of the school's 50th graduating class in 2014.
Students researched Kimball’s school years using yearbooks and other sources from the school’s archives. They asked about her involvement in school activities, classes and the social scene.
While asserting that the school has remained relatively the same since she graduated in 2004, Kimball noted that “the principal and assistant principal have been working on bringing more of Perry Hall’s history back to the forefront of the school, which is a really positive change and very noticeable
when you come back to the school.”
She listed some of the school’s recent initiatives, including the display of graduation pictures and the naming of areas and honor societies after notable teachers and administrators.
The interview was one of a series of activities aimed at helping students develop their interviewing skills and build background information on the history of Perry Hall High School.
Students had previously interviewed Baltimore County Councilman David Marks, author of Crossroads: The History of Perry Hall, Maryland. They also recently visited their local elementary schools to understand the concept of nostalgia and to learn to relate to alumni returning to the school.
The class plans to create a documentary on the school’s history that will be shown during the 50th class’s graduation ceremony in 2014.
“The class isn’t like any other class. It goes much deeper than just assignments,” said Principal George Roberts of the students' efforts.
After meeting with Kimball, students were excited about the opportunity and amazed at the progress they had made in interviewing.
Sabrina Stephan said “the interview was the best we have had. We could relate to her!”
Ricelle Taganas said, “It was really conversational. There were no awkward silences.”
Even Roberts commented on the shared laughter and was impressed by how students appeared more comfortable and confident.
Kimball also offered advice on interviewing from her own experiences in journalism.
Caroline Wille called the experience “eye-opening and humbling,” because she realized that the development of journalistic skills is ongoing. “She made me realize that not every interview is going to be amazing.”
Students will continue to practice by interviewing teachers like Brian Radcliffe, who also attended Perry Hall High. They hope to begin filming formal interviews for the documentary in the next few weeks.
If you are interested in participating in their project or learning more about the celebrations for the 50th graduating class, send an email to PHHScelebrates50@gmail.com.