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franklin county times

Teachers learn jobs first-hand

By Staff
NEWSPAPER INTERNS – Two high school teachers spent a week at The Meridian Star as part of a summer internship program. Shown inspecting a newly printed batch of "Connections" sections are Vancheta Mitchell, left, of Southeast Lauderdale High School and Jena Wiggins of Meridian High School. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Georgia E. Frye / staff writer
Juen 26, 2003
After spending a week as interns at The Meridian Star, two local high school teachers said they gained useful knowledge to take back to their classrooms.
Vancheta Mitchell, a Southeast Lauderdale High theater and English teacher, and Jena Wiggins, a Meridian High business technology teacher and yearbook advisor, spent four days last week learning about newspapers.
They participated in every aspect of the business, from stuffing inserts in the circulation department to accompanying reporters on interviews.
They even found a story on their own.
Wiggins' picture of the fire appeared on the front page of The Star the following day.
The teachers also said they learned how to compose ads, the importance of mastering computer skills and the importance of being creative. Mitchell said she was impressed with the weekly newsroom staff meeting because she was observed "a small group dynamic."
Wiggins said she was impressed at "how such different people came together for a single purpose the daily paper." She also said the organization of the staff, as well as the importance of team work, is something she will take back to her students.
The teacher internship program is in its eighth year and is sponsored by Meridian Community College. Nan Robinson, technical preparation coordinator, oversees the program and local businessman and school board member George Meyers helps recruit businesses.
This year, 30 teachers from Meridian and Lauderdale counties participated in businesses throughout the county. BellSouth, Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center, Southern Cast Products and Mississippi Power Co, to name a few, opened their doors to teachers.
Barbara Thomas, operations manager at Southern Cast Products, said the teacher interns are doing a great job this week working in the foundry making cores and watching the molding operation.
Wiggins and Mitchell said they enjoyed their week and would recommend the newspaper business to their students.