Monday, May 31, 2010

Greetings from Northern California.  My name is Brent Manuel, I am a teacher at Pleasant Valley High School in Chico, Calif.  which is about a 100 miles north of Sacramento.  The town although rural boasts a few big items California State University, Chico and Sierra Nevada Brewery.  Yes I know this screams PARTY....

I am relatively new to teaching, just ended my fourth year. I was approached my second year about running the newspaper and was ecstatic. Prior to becoming a teacher I worked in the broadcast and advertising industry.  Being able to bring this experience to the paper has proven extremely helpful. We recently finished our 45th year of publication.  We are the only remaining high school student publication in Chico, the other one closed its doors after 100 years!

What I am hoping most from the institute are the following three items:
  1. Design - At JEA they discussed chunking and would like to find a new creative way to advance our newspaper.  I feel that we have a decent grasp but wonder what I can do to allow the staff to be sucessful and grow.   
  2. Style - There are issues that we deal with in trying to get staff members to understand AP Style and ignore MLA or other rules that apply.  The largest challenge is teaching them how to use the AP Stylebook effectively..
  3. Team Building - This year was tough, I had to let go of an EIC at semester, and needed to manage the fallout from team members that wanted to sabotage the team for the good of their own agenda.
  4. Personal Growth  - I have been told that I am not hard enough on discipline, but feel that ruling with an iron fist will not garner the results that I have so far, although I know that there is a happy medium somewhere.
Well only a few weeks to go, I am really excited especially to meet everyone, especially the folks from Mississippi. I was born in Biloxi and have family in Ocean Springs.  Let the countdown begin!

Brent Manuel
Pleasant Valley High School
Chico, Calif. 


  1. Love the countdown clock, Brent! I live in So Cal and have taken a few courses with Videomaker in Chico. Great town!

  2. This countdown clock is hilarious. And it's kind of freaking me out as I go through my list of things to complete in the next nine days, two hours, 22 minutes and 11, 10, 9 seconds.

    Steve Elliott
    Arizona State University