Supreme SAM

Student+editing+a+recorded+interview

Student editing a recorded interview

Ryan Ledoux and Tyler Hughes

Southborough Access Media (SAM) is a studio that records many government meetings and broadcasts them on local television channels. Now, it also provides a very interesting elective for eighth-grade students at Trottier Middle School. Students in the elective interview teachers and may eventually get up to the government meeting level. The elective is taught by Terry Underwood, Assistant Executive Director of SAM, and Audrey Alenson, Trottier’s librarian.

Student filming an interview

Students interviewing Mr. Lavoie, principal of Trottier Middle School

The studio was originally in Fayville in a brick building across from Fayville Park.  It was originally run by one person who would cover only one meeting a year. Terry Underwood joined SAM in 2014.  The space was run-down and outdated, so SAM then had to go hunting for a new home. It thought a school would be a great place to land because they wanted to get students involved.  SAM had a choice between St. Marks, Fay, and Trottier. The team thought that Trottier was just a perfect fit and moved in 2016. 

The hardest part was getting the studio built and squared away. All of the woodshop materials were cleared and sent to Algonquin Regional High School.  Then the space was completely transformed to include modern rooms and state-of-the-art video equipment. Currently, there are three main members: Trevor Dillman, Technical Producer, Terry Underwood, Assistant Executive Director, and Katelyn Willis, Executive Director. 

When the studio first opened, it was very quiet and was really only for government meetings at Trottier. Then Mr. Lavoie had the idea to have SAM as an elective. The studio has interviewed many interesting people, including a worker from the statehouse that talked about scams and veterans, who always have the most interesting stories. 

SAM hopes to see changes in the future, including the elective becoming an actual class, being seen as a life skill, being more widely known by the surrounding towns, and having stronger relationships with other schools to do more collaborations. Kids watch so much television, so it is interesting to use some of the same equipment that big shot channels use.