The student media program at Tomball High School includes the following classes:
Journalism: This introductory class covers the basics of news coverage and writing, with a focus on recognizing trustworthy news sources, writing for news outlets, history of mass media and more. Students may compete in UIL Academic competition for News Writing, Feature Writing, Editorial Writing and Headline Writing. This class allows students to then proceed onto the Newspaper or Yearbook staffs. This is a full-year course.
PhotoJournalism: This class covers the basics of photography, including the camera, composition of photos, photo editing software and more. Photographers will also submit photos for publication in Newspaper and Yearbook, and will enter photos into state contest. A camera is NOT required, but there is a $25 class fee to help cover the costs of equipment and printing. The class is entirely digital. This class is a one-semester course.
Broadcast Journalism: This class is a production class, and is responsible for the weekly campus morning news show, KTHS-TV. The class will also work on documentaries, record videos for the newspaper's website, and record events for campus use. We use high-end video cameras and editing software. This is a full-year course.
Newspaper: The student newspaper, The Cougar Claw, is an award-winning newspaper with a tradition of writing complex and challenging stories. It is online only, available at THSCougarClaw.com. The writings, photographers and editors can stay in the program multiple years. The staff also competes in UIL competitions and attends state workshops each year.
Yearbook: The Cougar Yearbook has been a big part of the school for more than eight decades. The staff will produce a high-quality, full-color book chronicling the entire school year. Our goal is to include the entire student body in the book. Staffers design and edit the entire book, take all the photos, write all the stories and sell all the ads. This class can be taken for multiple years.
With all of these classes, remember that some work will need to be done outside of class.
Grades for Newspaper, Yearbook and Broadcasting are based on a points system. Information on that will be distributed in class and can also be found using the link to the right.
The adviser is Jerry Fordyce, who worked for more than 25 years in the media before moving over to teach at Tomball High School in 2008. His background includes working at major daily newspapers and national websites throughout the country. He can be reached at 281-357-3220 x2303, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.