by Dr. Sheila Pope
It finally happened. The first episode of my television show, “Conversations with Dr. Pope” finally aired on Houston Media Source Television. I filmed the footage at Worthing High School on August 18, 2018 during their Second Annual Southside Takeover Parade. I was lucky enough to work on creating and helping to organize the very first parade with Peoples United Summit.
I was also a former English teacher at Worthing High School. I put in so much time at Worthing High School those three years, I would shut the building down. Literally, I left when the janitors left. I got to know the community well because I attended games and everything else they had at the school. I was immersed. I was determined to have my students show improvement on the English II exam. They did! We had the highest growth rate out of all of the areas tested on STAAR that year. However, that was not enough to move the school from the Improvement Required list.
Worthing had been on the Improvement Required list for six consecutive years. TEA was threatening to shut them down and the HISD School District down due to low performance on STAAR. However, in August of 2018, Worthing students turned it around. They performed well enough to move from the IR list to Met Standards.
I wanted to celebrate their success and talk to the people who serve Worthing High School. I was so blessed to have 10 people share their time with me on that extremely hot day. Some of the people who stopped and had a conversation with me were local officials: Commissioner Rodney Ellis, Wanda Adams, HISD Board of Trustee, Judson Robinson II, President & CEO of Houston Area Urban League, and State Representative Shawn Thierry. Mr. Allen Provost, Treasurer of Peoples United Summit and administrator at Worthing and Bryan Tigner, Math Instructor and Kappa League Sponsor at Worthing also took time out from their duties to have a conversation with me. I honored to interview three of my former students too.
Making the transition from educator to community leader was awesome. Making the transition to television producer was scary. Yet it felt so natural. I am glad my first production was created at Worthing High School! I love the students and the staff. I felt at home. It was familiar. I could make mistakes and laugh at myself and my guests were nice to me. I was so busy, I forgot to get photos with my guests. Luckily David Janise took a picture of me interviewing State Representative Shawn Thierry. It is the only photo I have of me filming! My hair was not camera ready, but I did not let it stop me. I wore my hat my mother gave me and move forward with my plan. The parade would not wait for me and it only happens once a year. As a producer, I realized I had to seize the moment.
Filming took two hours, checking out equipment two hours (drive and planning), and editing took days. I worked on editing in my home office, at McDonald’s, and other places. My video had too much light throughout the video. I had to work some magic during the editing process. Then, uploading all of the data took time. I had to add tags, titles, and purchase license for music. I made sure I had my guest sign media release consents. I worked so hard to make sure my work reflected me and made my guests look their best.
After all of the effort, I was able to have my first show air on Houston Media Source. It was great to see my show’s name on the schedule. It was awesome to watch it on television. I was fantastic to read my program schedule. I am so glad I became a producer. Thanks to Houston Media Source, Mayor Sandra Massie Hines and Allen Provost my dreams are now a reality. I will continue to get better and grow!
After all of my hard work in August 2018, my showed premiered on September 11, 2018! The dream was real. I waited until the show aired two times before I uploaded it to YouTube. I swear it two days to upload it to YouTube. Here it is Link to watch it!