STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Woodside senior Ethan Clinkenbeard

Works on TV and video productions

Posted: April 15, 2024

Watching School Board meetings or football games on TV, viewers may not be aware that Newport News Public Schools students are integral to the broadcasts.

One of those currently working behind the scenes is Ethan Clinkenbeard, a senior in the Center for the Arts & Communications magnet program at Woodside High School. Students taking elective courses in the NNPS Telecommunications program learn all facets of TV broadcast production while working on live and taped shows that air on local cable channel NNPS-TV.

"I really like live events," Clinkenbeard said. "I like the flow of that. I feel like there's always something to do more exciting, and especially on the technical aspect."

Clinkenbeard's particular twist is that he came to TV production from the theater side of lighting and sound production work. After taking Stagecraft I as a sophomore in the International Baccalaureate program at Warwick High School, he started really getting into the technical aspect of theater.

While studying theater as a junior and senior in Woodside's magnet program, and specifically the backstage aspects, Clinkenbeard pursued elective courses in Telecommunications. He spends two hours each morning taking classes and completing projects in the program's facility, with some evenings and weekends working events in its production truck.

"I've always found this type of camera editing, recording, all of this type of stuff interesting," Clinkenbeard said. "I thought it sounded really interesting. I picked it up; got into it. I've gotten really involved, really enjoy all the things that we do, all the productions, opportunities."

He and the team televised many football games at Todd Stadium last fall, two basketball games this season, monthly School Board meetings and filmed the Virginia School Boards Association Annual Convention in November in Williamsburg.

Clinkenbeard does numerous backstage technical duties in editing, filming and all aspects of theatre at Woodside both during and outside of school.

"I'm really involved with all of that and all of the productions we do as well," he said. "I normally focus on lighting and sound."

As many students who have trained in the Telecommunications program through the years have done, Clinkenbeard wants a career in the industry. He plans to attend Virginia Peninsula Community College and transfer to Virginia Commonwealth University to study digital film and photography, and technical theater.

"With lights and sound, I like being able to stay busy and constantly have things to do and follow," Clinkenbeard said. "It's what I love doing and there's always going to be something."

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Visit <a href=>Student Spotlights</a> on the Newport News Public Schools website.
Visit Student Spotlights on the Newport News Public Schools website.