Catskill Central School District

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Catskill Central School District

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Big-Screen Experiences at Catskill Summer Media Camp



It may be summer, but that doesn’t mean learning is on hold at Catskill Central Schools. This July, thirty students, from 5th grade up through high school, are participating in their school’s four-week Summer Media Camp. Under the tutelage of fourth grade teacher Matt Luvera, sixth grade teacher Bill Maouris, and high school business teacher Patrick Hernandez, the campers immerse themselves daily in the exciting world of media production.

“Every student here will create some type of film,” said Hernandez, who runs the digital media production studio at Catskill High School where the camp is based. “But it isn’t just about film, it can be about writing and it can be about marketing.” For example, media campers learn about scriptwriting as they put their ideas to pen and develop their story lines. They also create their own movie posters using Photoshop as well as write and cut trailers to entice audiences to view their films.

The students come up with their own ideas and shoot and edit the projects themselves using the school’s digital video equipment. Along with technical aspects of the equipment, Hernandez, Maouris, and Luvera teach the students about the nuances of sophisticated cinematography, like how to use framing and camera angles to create different psychological effects and how to map out scenes visually with a storyboard prior to shooting them.

Campers also enjoy access to industry-standard digital editing software like Final Cut Pro, giving them not only unlimited capabilities in terms of creative editing, but also practical experience using the same equipment that professionals use in the industry today.

Catskill High student Ed Donahue has been coming to Summer Media Camp for four years now. “It’s just fun to film and they have everything you need to edit the film, you can do music, edit photos. Literally it is something I expect to do as a part of my summer,’’ said Donahue. “For me it’s trying to hone my skills as a filmmaker and someone who works with visuals, and also as an editor.” This year, the tenth grader is producing a documentary about the camp itself, conducting interviews and digging into archived footage to tell the story of how the program came into being and how it has evolved over the past several years.

News media is also a focus of the camp. Catskill’s state-of-the-art production studio includes a broadcast news set complete with anchor desk, teleprompters, green screen effects, and more. There, the campers produce a weekly video news show called Cat Chat, which highlights events and happenings around the school district. You can view Cat Chat and other news videos produced by Catskill students during the school year on the “Video Gallery” link at


Summer Media Camp wraps up with a film festival style screening of the students’ videos at the Community Theatre on Main Street in Catskill, where the students and audience alike can enjoy watching their creative projects light up on the big screen. This free screening takes place Wednesday, July 27th at 4:00 p.m. and everyone who enjoys film is encouraged to attend.


Board of Education Adapted Goals

2016 - 2017



  1. Reduce referrals, in school and out of school suspensions by 10%.
  2. Decrease course failures by 10% each quarter from the previous year.
  3. Increase the graduation rate of grade 9 cohorts from the previous year.
  4. Increase by 5% proficiency and mastery on state assessments.
  5. Read on grade level by the end of grade 2.



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