HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - While John Allen III was at Waianae High’s Searider Productions, he learned how to operate a camera, edit footage and create short videos that told stories.
Now, he teaches in the award-winning media program.
"At Searider Productions it's really important that it's all about the learning experience," he said.
In 15 years at his alma mater, Allen’s helped hundreds of students learn the art of video storytelling. Some went on to careers in television news.
“That 1% that comes out of our program that does want to go into this industry are well-prepared. They’ve practiced and they’ve done industry level work for a long time. The other 99%, a lot of them are here because it’s a fun place to be. There’s a challenge involved,” he said.
Allen’s influence goes beyond his title of video adviser.
“One of our mottoes here in Searider Productions is ‘Good to Great’ and John already encourages making mistakes and learning from them. I think that’s the best way that we learn in this class,” student Amee Neves said.
"He wants to be straight up with you. If he doesn't like it and he wants to change something it's because he wants you to make it better," Lexton Butay-Joseph said.
For his dedication, the Student Television Network named Allen its National Teacher of the Year.
Searider Productions has won numerous STN awards. Now it's his turn.
"I know it sounds cliche but I think when you honor a teacher it's a reflection of the people they have surrounded themselves with and the students that have come before them," Allen said.
He set aside a promising career in broadcast news to help high school kids, and he’s glad he did.
"I've been able to create a better experience for the kids I think overall," he said.
Allen will receive his award at STN’s National Convention in March in Washington, D.C.