Wake-Up Call: How "Good Morning Staples" Revolutionizes the High School Morning

Graphic by Blythe Lewis '13

Looking back just two months, it feels like I came into Staples blind. Or, at least, visually impaired.

I knew what to expect from an academic standpoint. I knew basically what I wanted to do, what grades I was aiming for. But one thing I looked over was the morning television broadcasts.

Coming from the terribly dry and corny humor of Coleytown Television (CTV), all I expected from the high school equivalent was students sleeping on classroom desks and maybe a bigger screen. From the teacher-run confines of CTV, I was left with a closed mind to in-school television.

Fortunately, we have GMS.

GMS stands for Good Morning Staples, the broadcast that runs each and (almost) every Tuesday and Thursday morning during communication time. Initially, I was stunned by the show not being aired live, but soon I began to see what goes so right with Staples television.

First of all, it’s student ideas, student filming, and overall a program very oriented towards the student body. There are no attempts at puns, or jokes about what’s on the menu; it is straight, clean-cut broadcasting, and if there is any comedy, more than likely it is legitimately funny.

The show is well put together, with distinctive segments airing that pertain either to the time they are shown or are relevant to the school at anytime. While the students are hard at work making the material, media teacher Jim Honeycutt is putting all of it together to make it a GMS quality broadcast.

“I can be here anywhere from 3:30 or 4 to 7 in the evening trying to make the show happen for the next day,” Honeycutt said.

Honeycutt and his partner in crime Mike Zito are GMS gurus, with a full library on their computers filled with archived broadcasts. They are both constantly working on finishing pieces and using the program Final Cut to make everything look fit to broadcast, even if it’s just before show time.

Last Thursday, Honeycutt arrived at ten to seven in order to finish up the show and ended up finishing five minutes into first period. It’s a hectic business, but it pays off.

GMS is something students look forward to during communication time no matter what their interest, be it random holidays, snuggie sales, or sports.

“I love soccer, so every time GMS is on I can’t wait for the soccer portion to air,” Robert Giannone ’14 said.

GMS doesn’t have just soccer, but an entire sports segment, theme song and all. CTV had two parts: news, and lunch/weather. GMS has a different variation every time. It’s an incredible feat to put up the show, and Honeycutt has even more in store for the future.

Ideally, Honeycutt wants live broadcasts. Since there are 80 minutes during the GMS periods, his idea is for the students to set up the studio for the first hour, and then have a bell ring 22 minutes from the end of the period to signal that it’s time for GMS. Then students would read from a teleprompter and talk live over the air, but that would be in a perfect world.

Right now, Staples doesn’t have the technology to do that, so we’ll just have to stick with being “24 hours behind.” Until then, Honeycutt continues to focus on the now.

“When I talk to some of these kids it makes the whole process satisfying,” Honeycutt said. “They’re good kids, and I’m glad we can make their hard work count.”