Druid Hills High School Teacher Wins Teach on Project Grant

By Carla Parker

Druid Hills High School will have a brand new student-led morning show thanks to a $7,500 grant.

Druid Hills teacher Mr. Matthew Ruben was the recipient of the Teach on Project’s $7,500 grant award. Teach On Project provides resources, grant funding and support for Metro Atlanta public school teachers and leaders. The grant competition was designed to identify educators who demonstrate increases in student achievement, enhancement of student self-esteem and collaboration with community stakeholders.

Ruben, who teaches mathematics and video production, is the club sponsor of Red Devil TV. He said he is extremely excited to win the grant because it will be the main funding for the school’s new video production morning class.

“That’s the reason why I applied for the grant in the first place. I wanted to start a morning show class that would share with students all of the cool things that happens at Druid Hills,” Ruben said. “We have a football game, but nobody knows about it. We have a homecoming dance, but nobody knows about it. We have a lot of cool clubs on campus that kids would really benefit from joining and nobody knows about them. So, that’s what I was most excited for.”

Ruben said the grant money would allow him to buy cameras, green screens, microphones, lighting and other television production equipment for Red Devil TV.

There are 33 students in the video production morning class this semester. Ruben said he planned to have students cover high school football game and club meetings, but due to the pandemic, the class has been virtual.

“We’ve really had to adapt, at least for these few months, but hopefully we’ll be doing normal stuff soon,” he said.

Students cover the Zoom meetings of school clubs by recording the meetings and interviewing club sponsors and members. The students then put together a video about the club and post on social media. Ruben said this grant helps legitimize Red Devil TV.

“It takes us from students walking around with their iPhones filming things, to us filming with real equipment,” he said. “It shows that people care about the vision, which is to make Druid Hills a more engaging [school] to go to, to showcase that there are cool things at high school. It doesn’t have to be something that you just go to, sit in class and then go home. There is a social spot for everyone at Druid Hills, no matter who you are. There is a place for everyone, if they just know about it. That’s what we’re trying to do—showcase that there are all kinds of good things.

“I’m really thankful, very excited and love what this means for Druid Hills and what it will allow us to do,” Ruben added.