Announcements A Creative Way To Recognize Students

Michelle Trussalo (right) reviews a recording of the school’s morning announcements with student hosts, third graders Arianna Penhollow, Aden Shaw Brougham,Gionna McCready, and Elsa Camacho.

In real life, Michelle Trussalo’s office at Ring Elementary School might appear as though it’s only a room with a desk and green cloth on one of the walls.

But on screen, it becomes a broadcast news studio fit for Times Square.

Trussalo, a teacher-on-special-assignment who works to support students and staff at Ring, works with third and fourth graders to produce the morning announcements. The students and Ms. Trussalo work on recording the five-minute programs in advance of their daily air date.

“It’s been really cool,” Trussalo said. “It’s a great way for students to come out of their shell. One of our fourth graders barely talks at all. His teacher selected him to participate, he came down, did awesome, and went back to the classroom and was so excited to tell all his friends about it.”

“It’s pretty empowering for students,” she added.

Ring TOSA Michelle Trussalo records an edition of the school’s morning announcements.

Students who are selected to anchor are brought down to Trussalo’s office where they record in front of her green screen. Following the recording, Trussalo works on the actual video production.

The students who anchor lead their classmates in the Pledge of Allegiance and daily recitation of their pledge as “Ring scholars.” One of the other popular features of the program is highlighting students who are “caught” being “responsible, respectful, and safe.”

“Those are our school rules,” Trussalo said. “Students who are doing a great job of following these rules are nominated by their teachers or I’m able to go around and catch them, we get a picture of them and their teacher and it’s a huge deal on an upcoming edition of the announcements.”

The recognition has encouraged other students to follow the leads of their classmates.

“A lot of the teachers are saying that if there’s a student on there who was nominated, the class will cheer for them when their day on the announcements finally comes,” Trussalo said. “It’s a highly anticipated event!”

Trussalo said the next step is to spotlight building teachers.

“We’re going to have classes nominate their teacher and then we’ll interview them,” she said. “So each day of the week, they’ll reveal one answer to a question and the other classes will have to guess who it is. And then on Friday, we’ll reveal and we’ll have them do a read-aloud for the kids.”

“It’s certainly evolving,” she added. “We literally just started with a white wall and putting the date on there. It’s awesome to see how the kids and our building have embraced it.”


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