Amazing Kids! Magazine

Amazing Kids! of the Month – December 1998 – The Illuminations Club

Introducing Some Amazing Journalists and Talented Students from El Segundo High School!

An excerpt from Illuminations 98, a CD-Zine
by high school students at El Segundo High School:
Artwork by the talented student artist, Anne Marie Green

For the final month of 1998, Amazing Kids! is pleased to highlight the work of a wonderfully talented group of students from El Segundo High School, part of the El Segundo School District in
El Segundo, California. (El Segundo is a friendly city, situated close to the Los Angeles International Airport and the Pacific Ocean.)

As you browse through the following pages, you’ll see inspiring samples taken from the Illuminations ’98 CD-Zine, an award-winning publication which features art, music, photography, short stories, poetry and video work by students at El Segundo High.

Under the direction of Mr. Gen, an English and Journalism teacher at El Segundo High, students from the Illuminations Club have produced the CD-zine* for the past two years (this school year marks their third year). This group of amazing teens are currently working on their latest CD-zine, which will be finished in May, 1999. A real team effort, club members work for one hour a week at lunch throughout the school year to create the CD. It is a result of much hard work of devoted journalism students, and some very talented students from El Segundo High!

It’s not surprising to know that all their hard work has paid off. These up-and-coming young journalists have consistently won first place awards for journalism excellence in national competitions! They have been recognized by the Columbia School of Journalism, known for being one of the top journalism schools in the nation. For several consecutive years, they have won first place honors by the National Scholastic Press Association and the American Press Association.

This past spring (1998), the students were recognized at the National Journalism Convention in Seattle, Washington. The people who attended were mostly adult professional journalists. But that didn’t phase Illuminations Club president Casey Brazeal. Casey, a senior at El Segundo High, is responsible for coordinating the production of the CD-zine. Casey gave a presentation to the entire group of journalists, demonstrating the 1997 Illuminations CD-Zine! Talk about amazing! (not to mention, brave!)

A Word About Teaching from Mr. Gen

I’ve been teaching at El Segundo High School for the past eight years. Before high school, I taught at the university level. Presently I teach 9th grade English, Journalism and the Academic Decathlon team. Once a week during lunch, the Illuminations Club meets in my room to work on the multi-media CD-ROM magazine. The CD is a product produced by students, designed by students, and sponsored by students. The members of the club receive no academic credit – they do it for the sake of learning and the joy of producing something, which the community can enjoy. Illuminations is an opportunity for students to showcase their work and interests. I believe that my job as an educator is to provide students with opportunities. Most students make the best of the opportunities presented to them provided if they capture the vision of what can be.

I am presently pursuing a doctorate in Educational Technology at Pepperdine University. It is a very exciting program. I look forward to planning and implementing the curriculum and technology needed in the classroom of the 21st century. I believe that technology is a tool that will empower students from every background, and it is the responsibility of society to place these tools into the hands of each student.


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