As local Democrats and Republicans met at Centerville High School to select their supported Presidential candidates, students lurked with cameras and questions.

The effort is part of another project with the Student Reporting Labs program through the national PBS organization.

On Monday, Howar Middle School students Phoenix Drake, Lukas Lassabe and Gauge Arbogast interviewed caucus-goers and observers on their thoughts about the process, what they were expecting against what they encountered, and more.

Mecka Wallace-Spurgin, who originally came to the Centerville Community School District through the Iowa PBIS program but is now a full-time technology integrationist, helped students in Megan Phillips’ Power Hour class Monday at Centerville High School.

Wallace-Spurgin said the raw footage will first be sent into the national PBS desk, where it could be featured on their marquee national programming. Otherwise, students at Howar Middle School will work to edit a local package that will be shown throughout the school and its social media channels.

Students in the program have levitated toward certain strengths, whether it’s editing video, recording video, running sound, or handling the interviewing responsibilities.

As part of the lab, teachers help program leaders develop curriculum to engage young people in news and public affairs, and ensure that the youth voice is active in the conversations about the critical issues facing the nation.

“Passionate educators are the glue that hold this program together,” said program founder Leah Clapman. “Every year we discover new ways to expand and improve SRL, with the most innovative and effective ideas coming straight from the teachers on the front lines.”

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Kyle Ocker can be reached at or by calling the newsroom at 641-856-6336. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker



Kyle Ocker is the editor of the Daily Iowegian. Prior to becoming editor, Ocker was a correspondent, sports editor and associate editor at the Daily Iowegian, and was the managing editor of the Knoxville Journal-Express.

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