Not long after I started writing about the ways our community can support Dallas ISD teachers and programs, a reader reached out to me to tell me about Lincoln High School.
“You should definitely look into Lincoln,” the reader insisted. “They do amazing things there.”
Lincoln High is also home to a humanities and communications magnet school, and a collegiate prep academy that offers career pathways in hospitality management and logistics, partnering with Omni Hotels, FedEx, El Centro College and the University of North Texas-Dallas.
Maybe a week after that reader reached out, someone else passed along a Facebook post about its film and TV program, and not long after that, I found myself trading emails with instructor Tony Boone, who shepherds students through the aspects of film and television production at the Dallas ISD school.
And if Boone sounds proud, it’s with good reason. His students’ work wins awards. They get invited to participate in film festivals. It’s a program that routinely takes nascent talent and hones it into craft — and it’s sitting just south of downtown Dallas.
“The Radio/TV Program offers high-tech, hands-on experience in radio and television production,” Boone told me. “Students develop an idea from conception to final production including recording, editing, and producing.”
This isn’t some rickety video camera on an old tripod, either. We’re talking a legitimate workspace for students to learn how to be broadcast and film professionals.
“Student training/learning labs include a state-of-the-art television news studio, radio studio, master control room, and non-linear editing suites,” Boone said. “Our staff are working professionals, ensuring that information and hands-on training is transmitted in the classroom.”
“Emphasis is placed on developing students’ skills in critical thinking, reading, writing, and speaking,” he continued. “Lincoln Magnet promotes the studies of all major types of filmmaking: dramatic narrative, documentary, character-based animation, and broadcast journalism.”
Boone is proud of his students, and rightly so. “One thing that would surprise people about Lincoln is the level of success our students acquire,” he said, adding that the program’s students go on to attend some of the top film schools in the country.
“A few years ago, our students produced a documentary for Steve Harvey titled, The Road Not Taken,” he said. “Five years ago, we had a student to produce/submit a promo reel for Hilari Younger to HGTV in Los Angeles. Hilari’s promo reel was accepted, and she appeared on two seasons of HGTV Design Star and HGTV Design Star All Stars.”
Boone says a recent graduate is now working behind the scenes for the FOX drama Empire. “Several former students are employed at various media outlets in Dallas, as well as working in the communications department for the city of Dallas,” he added.
In addition, Lincoln’s student work has won or placed in film festivals like the Dallas International Film Festival, the Asian Film Festival, the Los Angeles Film Festival, the Josiah Film Festival and the NTARUPT Film Festival.
“Each year our students win hundreds or thousands of dollars in prize money for their short films,” Boone said.
It’s a lot to be proud of, but Boone says he and his fellow instructors say the real reward is watching students learn and grow.
“We’re proud when we see growth in our students,” he said. “It’s a joy to watch them mature and become responsible hard working adults.”
That pride resonates throughout the school now, Boone said.
“The Tiger pride — there’s nothing like it,” he said. “It resonates throughout the community and the city of Dallas. In addition, there are many success stories that come out of Lincoln High School.”
“For example, Lincoln is the home of NBA All-Star Chris Bosh,” Boone bragged, “and our current principal, Ms. Johnna Weaver, returned to Lincoln as an administrator after serving in the capacity as a teacher for many years.”
Former WNBA point guard Andrea Riley and jazz singer and flutist Bobbi Humphrey are also Lincoln grads.
How can the community support Lincoln’s film and TV program? By raiding your storage units, for one.
Boone says the program needs to replace aging props like end tables, sofas, chairs, and paintings. They could also use new broadcast studio chairs, lighting kits for film work, and a boom mic kit.
Lincoln’s film and TV students — and the dedicated professionals that are guiding them — are doing remarkable things. Let’s help them out with that.
Bethany Erickson is the education, consumer affairs, and public policy columnist for CandysDirt.com. Contact her at email@example.com. Want to help support Dallas ISD teachers and programs? We are curating a list of ways you can help here.