Informational program at CHS seeks to bring “Monmouth in Focus”

Arielle Cohen

Eleven CHS juniors and seniors were selected from a pool of applicants to work with the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders to create the “Monmouth in Focus” program in the newly-renovated broadcast studio.

“Monmouth in Focus” is an informational program featuring the Board of Chosen Freeholders that informs residents about happenings within county borders, Principal James Gleason said.

The Board of Chosen Freeholders is composed of five elected residents of Monmouth County who are in charge of both legislative and executive affairs, according to the Monmouth County website.

They are also in charge of the “Monmouth in Focus” program, hosted by Cynthia Scott.

The show was previously produced at Brookdale Community College, but the program was moved to CHS after the TV studio remodel, TV teacher Jennifer Cornine said.

She also serves as the adviser of the program.

“It only made sense for the Freeholders to come take a look at us, and they were thrilled with what they saw, thrilled with the technology that’s at CHS … [they] were very confident the kids at CHS would be able to get the job done well for them,” Cornine said.

Cornine acts as a liaison between the Board of Freeholders and the student-run production team and supervises, provides an input and guides them, she said.

But the show is mostly run by the students.

“Monmouth in Focus” is produced after school in the TV studio on the first Wednesday of every month, with its first shoot finished on Feb. 3, Cornine said.

Senior Tommy Fletcher of Wall serves as the program’s director.

“The Freeholders come in and provide the script and pretty much everything else. We basically put the show together, and it’s my job to make sure everything works out,” Fletcher said.

Fletcher’s right-hand man is junior John Hennessey of Middletown, who is the show’s technical director.

“‘Monmouth in Focus’ is an invaluable opportunity for me to apply what I learn in class to a real world work environment,” Hennessey said.

Other staff include juniors Jack Mannion of Belmar on audio, Linda Badaracco of Lincroft on teleprompter, Kat Holtz of Hazlet as a production assistant and Leo Ross of Fair Haven and Sam Bender of Neptune as camera operators.

Seniors Kelly Kay of Monmouth Beach, Connor Duffy of Freehold and Nick Haaf of Colts Neck also act as camera operators, and Cayla Harris of Manalapan runs graphics.

The “Monmouth in Focus” program “gives students that are working on the program real-world experience,” Gleason said.

“That is just invaluable, especially if they are looking to pursue a career in media.”

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