COOL SCHOOLS: VELMA JACKSON HIGH SCHOOL

Cool Schools

In a north Madison County high school teacher’s class, there’s potential to turn a lesson plan into a business plan.

Walk into Mrs. Gowdy’s Academy of Multimedia class and you see students  intensely focused on their favorite computer programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, animation, video production, movie production, and more.

The class is a mixture of grade levels. As the students move to the next grade, they learn a new program.

In their senior year, they do media internships or give back by helping teachers at their feeder schools use multimedia in their classrooms.

“They leave with those real world skills around digital media that they can either go on to college or they can start maybe an entry level position,” Gowdy said.

More and more, schools are finding ways to incorporate these media skills into the classroom.

But something that sets Velma Jackson High School apart is their ability to use a heat press to print.

“We use what’s called sublimation printing…We use heat to put it on the product,” Gowdy said.

Many of the printed materials seen around the school were made right in her classroom. She says students will request mugs, t-shirts, bottle wraps, and signs.

“We can create our own little print shop here on campus…Anything that we can sublimate, that we can fit on the heat press. If they imagine it, they can create it, design it, print it.”

The school is located in rural Madison County. So Gowdy says they’re willing to take small orders to help the community, while raising money for their class.

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