Running the show: students get paid for what they learn in the classroom

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BURLEY, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) You may have seen Nutcracker this holiday season, but if you saw it in Burley chances are that show was put on by students – and they were paid to do it.

Students in the music tech class at Burley High School have the opportunity to take what they learn in class and apply it for work running the King Fine Arts Center.

“We learn how to run all of the lights, all of the rigging, all of the sound system, and it gets to a point where each of us are comfortable running the facility by ourselves,” said Cameron Prewitt, a senior in the class.

The class has done many of the renovations in the theater, including moving the sound board that controls the microphones from the middle of the theater to the back. It gives the students hands-on experience and connections. One student said he was able to get a job over the summer with a general contractor through the construction they did in the class, and now he has three more offers.

Even without the connections, students said they love being able to get paid for something they enjoy.

Emilia Larsen, another senior in the class, said it’s not a luxury many high school students have.

“It's really quite interesting, because you hear about them working in fast food and different grocery stores and stuff like that,” she said, “and it's like I get to help run productions that go on in the King Fine Arts Center.”

Many of the students said they don’t think they will continue this type of work after graduation, but it’s fun to do while they are in school.

“You get the ability to be paid,” Prewitt said. “You get the ability to come in and work and make friends and learn all of these different things that you wouldn't be able to learn or do outside of this class.”

The students credit the teacher for providing this kind of opportunity and growing the department to what it is.

“Mr. Fisher is amazing,” said Michael Velasquez, a senior in the class, “one of the greatest guys I know. And it's awesome to have a guy that's willing to work as hard as he does teaching and directing this class.”

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