John Trudeau’s morning announcements started to gain cultural traction long before he had access to an intercom or YouTube channel. “When I was in high school in the 90s, we would have a camcorder the size of a suitcase. We would set it up, have a little script, ad lib. Try to rip off Saturday Night Live as good as we can,” he jokes. “Then I had this idea. I did that in the 90s. Why can’t we do this now?”
Morning Wake Up Call
The Trudeau Morning Announcement News Team started at Momence as a one-man operation. “It started with just a camera with a digital video recorder,” John says. “That escalated to an iPad. Then we got the green screen.” The morning announcements at Momence are now entirely written, shot, and edited by John and his group of students who volunteer to be a part of the news team. “We show them how to edit, how to post it [to YouTube], how to create content,” he says, speaking on the practical experience the morning announcements team provides for students. “Let’s say a kid is filming and he’s like, ‘I want to read the script.’ He has a chance to change jobs on the news team 1/3 of the way through the trimester.
I like making people laugh and putting a smile on their face.
By Nate Fisher
When asked why he goes above and beyond the typical overthe-intercom drone of morning announcements, John says, “I like making people laugh and putting a smile on their face.”
That’s been his mission in one role or another for 16 years in the district. When he started his career, he was a behavior disorder classroom teacher in special education. “It was a residential day school. Kids that had been kicked out of their home district were sent there,” he says. “It was wild. Metal detectors. Takedowns. Timeout rooms. Unfortunately, I read about students that I’ve had that have been arrested for some heinous acts.” He later worked in a cross-categorical classroom at the junior high, assisting students with IEP accommodations for cognitive disabilities, autism, and nonverbal behaviors. “I’m glad I went that avenue because now I’m a resource teacher,” John says. “To me, I started with one of the most stressful jobs in the special ed field. Eventually, as I spent time, it became a little easier and a little easier.”
John learned to go the extra mile for his students, whether through a morning announcement or in the classroom, from his fourth-grade teacher, Mr. Danish. A drummer and lover of music to this day, John was captivated by Mr. Danish’s approach to classroom engagement: “I love music. We had to write a script for a play, right? He built the stage and all that stuff in his classroom,” he says, “and we had groups that we worked in. We did the American Music Awards. This is like in the mid-80s.”
“He was always doing something different,” he explains. “It wasn’t just him standing in front of the students talking. You’re doing something.”
If he had the opportunity to use a magic wand, John says he’d try to create a personal spotlight for each and every student. “I would probably make sure that all children have an opportunity to have what everyone else has, because I’m sure there’s a lot of kids that get overlooked because of how much money their parents make or what they look like,” he says. “Maybe they’re just a little odd in a little way, but they don’t fit into the puzzle. But that’s okay. That’s what makes the world go ‘round. So I would make sure everyone has an opportunity to show what they’re capable of…Just a way to better themselves. Because everyone should have that.”