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MASD newscast has double dose of Tims — one senior, one sixth-grader

By Laura Hayes

laurahayes@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 10/17/18

There’s a lot of laughter between rehearsals of Middletown Area School District’s “Raider Newscast with Tim & Tim.”

During the last period of the day on Sept. 6, senior …

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MASD newscast has double dose of Tims — one senior, one sixth-grader

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There’s a lot of laughter between rehearsals of Middletown Area School District’s “Raider Newscast with Tim & Tim.”

During the last period of the day on Sept. 6, senior Tim Nevil and sixth-grader Tim Moore — the co-anchors of the newscast — ventured into Melanie Hensel’s science classroom at Middletown Area Middle School. The pair planned to film a segment about Hensel, who is this year’s Teacher of the Year, but they often started laughing when Moore tried to tie his tie or one of them flubbed a line.

When asked what he liked about shooting the broadcast, Nevil pointed to his co-star. High-schoolers often don’t want to hang out with middle-schoolers, but Nevil said he’s enjoyed being able to goof around with Moore.

“He has an energy — I wish I could just take your energy, bottle it up and consume it,” Nevil said. “I feel like I’ve learned just as much from him as he has from me.”

Communicating with district families can be a challenge. MASD communications specialist Jody Zorbaugh said that last year, she began brainstorming ways to get district news out to parents more effectively.

“We live in a media-driven society, which is driving out the written word. People will take the time to watch a five-minute video before they will read a 30-second email,” Zorbaugh said.

Why not give out district news via videos? Zorbaugh reasoned.

In the spring, she met with high school students that were interested in working on video announcements for staff. One of the interested students was Nevil, who is also part of the student radio station WMSS.

After that first recording, Zorbaugh said she noticed Nevil’s acting and leadership skills.

“After seeing Tim’s skills, I decided on the newscast idea and wanted to find a younger student to co-anchor with Tim,” she said.

Moore had been featured in one of Zorbaugh’s other videos, and she said that he was a natural and funny. Plus, she liked that they had the same first name.

“I knew he’d be a great duo with Tim,” she said.

“And I don’t mind making a fool of myself, which is another benefit,” Nevil said.

Moore said Nevil is an easy partner to work with.

“He’s one of those people that doesn’t get mad right away if you mess something up. He’s nice about it,” Moore said.

 

They didn’t know each other before they started filming the newscasts, although Moore said he had seen Nevil around and Nevil said he knew Moore’s sister.

“Our first ‘Tim & Tim,’ it didn’t feel comfortable because I didn’t know him at all really. Probably around the third or fourth one, I got more comfortable, seeing what he was like. We’re more alike in ways and not totally different,” Moore said.

Moore admitted that he was nervous when they first started shooting, but he said he’s embraced the humor side of the newscast.

Through filming videos, Nevil and Moore said they’ve learned a lot about the district. There have been nine videos, covering issues such as school bus safety (“You don’t really think about it. It’s such a big issue,” Nevil said) or surprising a family with athletic season passes after they filled out parent portal information.

Zorbaugh said she picked topics based on upcoming events, although some staff members later reached out and asked the Tims to cover their events.

“We’ve been able to add fun to some serious topics,” Nevil said.

For now, Zorbaugh said she plans to continue to shoot the newscast.

“This was only supposed to be a summer gig, but these guys are doing so well, we just don’t know how we’ll put a stop to it,” Zorbaugh said.

To watch the videos, visit www.youtube.com/user/MASDCommunications.