Keeping up with HHS and The Devil’s Advocate
The Hammonton High School (HHS) has their own media outlet called The Devil’s Advocate, which is a website where articles, news and even videos are posted. The Devil’s Advocate is run by teacher Stacy Gerst, who is an English teacher at the school. The website features pieces written and filmed by students at Hammonton High School, where their work can be found easily. By going to the staff section on the website, viewers and readers can find the reporter they are looking for. By clicking on the desired reporter, the viewers and readers are sent to a page where all of the articles or videos the reporter wrote or filmed are posted to the website.
One of the students, Will Bauers, recently wrote about Tom Brady’s retirement announcement from the NFL. With Brady’s sudden return to the NFL, Bauers was tasked with writing an article on his return. Bauers also has written other articles about sports, like writing an analysis of the Super Bowl, writing about the Antonio Brown situation and even college football. He has also written articles such as “If I Were Principal … 1 on 1 with HHS Senior Joe Corma,” as well as “The Supply Chain Crisis Explained,” which were not sports related, but involved an interview and real world events.
“Definitely writing sports is my favorite,” Bauers said.
Bauers would like to pursue a career in writing, but also has ambitions of becoming a lawyer. He says that maybe one day in college he would pick up writing again, as he enjoys his work for The Devil’s Advocate.
Another student working for The Devil’s Advocate, Roman Castro, has worked on a few feature stories, including “District Solar Panel Project Near Completion.” In this article, Castro discusses why HHS has moved towards solar panels and how it has affected the school. Castro said that maybe one day he could pursue a career in writing, however as of right now he would like to focus on his writing for The Devil’s Advocate.
The Devil’s Advocate also features other forms of media like podcasts, or even live shows that are recorded onto the website. The podcasts on the website range from topics of prom, sports and even 20 questions. Video news, or video essays, are also posted to the website, with videos such as “Olympic Gold” by AJ Ryker and Luciano Nistico, and “Rehearsals begin for ‘Shrek The Musical’” by Stephen Mertis. These videos feature interviews from students in the school, which helps to give the staff writers for The Devil’s Advocate some experience with real journalism.
Gerst took on the role of leading The Devil’s Advocate, while also finishing her own studies in the field. With her own advancements in the field, Gerst will be able to better help her students and help The Devil’s Advocate as well by earning her master’s degree in journalism education.
“Teacher certification determines what it [the class] counts for,” Gerst said.
Gerst’s goal was to convert the class into a journalism credit, rather than an English elective. As of right now, the class is a college prep class, however, with Gerst’s master’s degree, the class could become an honors class. Gerst is working towards a goal of trying to make the class more available to students, and more desirable to get more students into the classroom.
Gerst touched on some of the positives for taking the class, as people have reached out to her regarding articles her students have written. One parent contacted Gerst about an article one of her students had written, saying thank you for touching on the subject and writing about it. Getting feedback from articles makes the students really happy, Gerst said, and shows the students how much writing can affect another individual.