Archived Story

Windsor High seniors go behind scenes at Disney program

Published 10:49am Saturday, April 13, 2013

BY STEPHEN H. COWLES/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Playback58@gmail.com

Windsor High School seniors went to Walt Disney World in Florida to to learn about animation and storyboarding, as well as enjoy the rides. Picture in front, from left, are Holly Watson, Racquel Doherty, McKenzie Patrick, Rachel Callis; middle, Robbie Stevens, Ryan Boals, Mary Alice Blythe, Cody Reese,Taylor Ferguson, Leah Dreps, Ella Rose Callow; back, Kayla Eanes, TaQuesha Harris, Tabitha Butler, Mason Cobby, Kendal Rapp, Davis Earnhardt and Charles Watson. -- SUBMITTED
Windsor High School seniors went to Walt Disney World in Florida to to learn about animation and storyboarding, as well as enjoy the rides. Picture in front, from left, are Holly Watson, Racquel Doherty, McKenzie Patrick, Rachel Callis; middle, Robbie Stevens, Ryan Boals, Mary Alice Blythe, Cody Reese,Taylor Ferguson, Leah Dreps, Ella Rose Callow; back, Kayla Eanes, TaQuesha Harris, Tabitha Butler, Mason Cobby, Kendal Rapp, Davis Earnhardt and Charles Watson. — SUBMITTED

WINDSOR—In early March, many seniors at Windsor High School were able to say yes to one of several Disney’s Youth Education Series programs offered at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. The focus of the study was “Exploring Disney Animation History.”

The course was one of many sessions offered in and behind the scenes at the resort.

“We started at Hollywood Studios and took a class in the art of Disney animation,” said Luann Scott, head sponsor of the senior class and a teacher of AP literature and language.

“We had a workshop with an animator. He showed the students how to draw and how to plan, which lasted four hours long,” Scott said. “There was a seminar on how to set goals and accomplish them.”

“I thought it would be a good experience, and I wanted to go to Disney World. I hadn’t been since I was little,” said Racquel Doherty, 17. “It was really interesting. We got to see the different steps in animation production, and see old forms of animation and devices/equipment used.”

“We got to make our own animation. I got to draw Mickey Mouse,” the senior class president said.

To keep the trip affordable, which usually costs about $500 per person, a number of students such as herself held fundraisers. About $8,000 to $9,000 was generated through sales of cases of Pepsi, candles and raffles.

“Other senior sponsors were really wonderful about giving help,” Scott said, adding that several faculty members donated funds she refers to as “scholarship money.” All this brought the price down to about $310 for each participant.

“I was really excited about the animation class,” said Ryan Boals, 17. “It was a great opportunity to spend time outside of school. We all became a big senior family.”

He and Doherty both mentioned they learned about storyboards and how they are used to establish goals in creating a movie.

Evolution of a character was also discussed. For example, Pocahontas originally has a turkey as a pet, but that got changed to a raccoon, he said.

“We had to create a script using Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. They went on a date and Mickey ditched her,” Boals said, adding that the story became a funny one.

“I’m a terrible artist, but everyone’s came out well in drawing class, and that was really cool,” the class treasurer said.

This wasn’t Scott’s first time at the amusement park.

“We had a student 10 or 12 years ago who asked school board and lobbied for permission to go, and we did so for a number of years,” she said, adding that the most recent trip was the seventh for her and the school.

The group of 50 students and five chaperones, she included, traveled all night to reach their destination.

“It was a haul. I’m 59 and it tells on you,” Scott said with a laugh.

“So many who went have never been before. There’s something kind of wonderful about sharing that life experience,” she said.

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