Eau Claire Catchup: New Equipment. Higher Class Enrollment.

In the 3 years since the install of their video display, things have been busy at Eau Claire North High School in Wisconsin. Joe Eisenhuth, Assistant Principal and Athletic Director and Jan Bowe, Technical Education Teacher at Eau Claire filled us in on what’s new with their video display and student crew.

Let’s start off with enrollment. Have course numbers changed?   

Jan: We had 13 kids enrolled in class last year and have 21 kids this year, which includes two student aides now. We had to cap the class! We’ve been training them how to set up and utilize the system and problem-solve issues that arise. There is a lot to know and teach.  

Joe: We have a North graduate who previously worked with the system for 2 years. He’s now in college and works game nights for us troubleshooting and communicating with the current Dak student team. 

The students are eager to learn more, so we could see the interest in having an advanced Daktronics class in the future. If this were to happen, it would be double our current class capacity.  

Joe Eisenhuth, Assistant Principal and Athletic Director

Any new equipment they are working with? 

Jan: One of biggest additions is the mobile camera. It streams wirelessly to the receiver which allows the camera to be moved around the gym. It’s worked well and adds the ability to get more interactive camera footage of the fans as well as on the floor angles for instant replays. Each time we add new equipment, that adds a step in the set-up process. The kids must learn how to hook the system up correctly so things go smoothly. They are learning, which is what we want them to be doing.  

Are the students embracing the opportunity of producing a live event?

The students know people are watching and they take pride when things go well, and they have a good show. 

Jan Bowe, Technical Education Teacher

Joe: These students worry about their performance, the same as the athletes. It’s a team effort. They often do a recap email the following morning of the game of what happened and what we can troubleshoot and tweak for next time. 

What were some special events you covered in the last year? 

Jan: We covered the North High School graduation ceremony and had a Veteran’s day program, complete with a 21-gun salute which the students filmed outside of the building and used wireless technologies to live stream the tribute into the digital video board in our gym. We also have 4 pep rallies a year where we work with the NHS Student Council members and the advisor in order to make their presentation and show look very professional.  

Joe: The additional things we have covered or improvements we have made are a direct link to Mr. Bowe’s approach to teaching.  His leadership and support of the Daktronics system has been a real strength of what in the end has resulted in great learning opportunities for our students. 

Let’s talk about your sponsors and how you’re keeping them involved. 

Jan: We talk nearly daily about sponsors, what’s going on, etc. It’s a continuous process; one night we have the pep band, another maybe not, or if we have sponsors we need to fit things in around a dance team performance for example. This past year, we made a commercial for one of our sponsors. We have had other businesses approach us about how to get involved, too. (To read more about students creating commercials, click here.) 

Joe: We appreciate the importance of staying in contact with our sponsors.  Through relationships we have developed with these businesses, our students see the connections that help our community thrive. 

Our NHS Partnership Coordinator, Janelle Patenaude, has done a terrific job of keeping communications with our business partners proactive.  We visit their offices, send them our weekly e-newsletter and this year sent a Daktronics team photo on a Christmas card.

We keep sponsors informed on what we’re doing and keeping focus on learning from their generosity. We take them behind the Daktronics equipment table and show them up close what the kids are working on. 

Joe Eisenhuth

You have sponsor nights. What do they entail and how do you prepare for them?  

Joe: Our business partners select dates for sponsor appreciation nights that work for them and we talk through details. For example, Coca-Cola brought different flavors of Coke one night for product sampling for fans while other sponsors have provided t-shirts and coupons for fans.  

We feature PA announcements about the featured business that night and invite them to half court for a round of applause.  

That’s not the only way Eau Claire has done a show and tell. They hosted a local school to come check out their operations and learn the basics before their equipment arrived. To learn more about involving students at your school, read through our library of success stories. 

Learn more about the Daktronics Curriculum
that helps schools connect the dots.

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