A Cedar Crest teacher received national recognition for his work in student television.

Christopher Schwalm, a teacher at Cedar Crest High School since 2002, was recognized as the Student Television Network’s Teacher of the Year. He will be recognized at a national convention in Seattle at the end of this month (March 28-31).

The Teacher of the Year citation reads, in part:

Chris mentors his students toward careers in broadcast journalism and film production with a passion for showing them the world.

Schwalm did not know the award was coming. “I was completely stunned,” he said in an email to LebTown about the award.

“The students had set up a fake online video conference with Student Television Network President Nancy Held Lucas to talk about convention policies and procedures. I was actually a little worried that we were in some kind of trouble!”

The award comes with a $1,000 stipend that will help get Schwalm and eleven CCHS students to the national convention. Schwalm’s travel expenses will also be covered for the conference.

Although a specific use for the stipend hasn’t been determined, it could be used for costs like contest entry fees at the national conference, or possibly helping with supporting materials for an ongoing drone program funded by the PBS Student Reporting Labs.

Schwalm was nominated by Cedar Crest senior Hannah Shirey and junior Carter Kent.

The convention will include seven “intense” video production competitions for the students attending the Seattle convention. “For example, day one consists of the Crazy 8s competition,” explained Schwalm. “The students receive a prompt at 8 am, and have until 4 pm to write, film, edit, and submit a show that is 8-minutes long.”

There are also student video production competitions in the categories of commercial, short film, music video, public service announcement, silent film, and convention promo.

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