Student Spotlight: John Fitzhenry

Photo by: Panther News

Photo by: Panther News

Johanna Whitney, Writer

Hey, aren’t you the news guy?! John Fitzhenry, a junior at Franklin High School, is that guy. You may recognize his voice on the announcements every morning in advisory or look forward to watching John anchor Panther News every Friday morning. 

FHS’s former Panther News anchor, Andrew Falanga ’22, was always a big inspiration for John. After Andrew graduated, John and Grace Tucceri stepped up to the plate as news anchors.

I kinda got to just jump into the seat and grow as I got there. If you go back and watch older videos of me on the news, hopefully, you’ll see a lot of improvement.

— John Fitzhenry

In John’s sophomore year he would write the script, help with editing and anchor the show. Panther News produces a 5 to 10-minute video every week that requires an impressive process! 

John explains: “There’s a lot of positions to fill. There’s audio and video… the studio takes a few people, and you have the teleprompter, you have the anchors, and…directors. There’s a job for everyone.” 

To prepare for an episode they start with about 30 minutes of research, “Research is probably the biggest part so the more people you have, the more stories. So, if we have seven people they can each go out and write a story of their choosing.” 

The students research through Twitter, the FHS newsletter, and the announcement request form you can find at the top of Pantherbook. Next, they put together the graphics on Google Slides and Photoshop. Then they put together the script. John would like to give a shoutout to Grace Tucceri who writes scripts for a lot of the shows right now. The prep takes about an hour. The next step is to start filming! 

John says, “We can normally film in about 30 minutes because we don’t always get it right on the first take.”

Outside of Panther News, John is a strong member of the Franklin School of Performing Arts (FSPA) and Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC), where he enjoys taking singing, dancing, and acting classes and performing lead roles in musicals. In the summers you can find John touring Europe with his performing ensemble, Electric Youth. 

You can spend every day in the best room in the school!

— John Fitzhenry

Looking ahead, John is interested in Emerson College’s opportunities in film with their, “similar equipment to what [he] uses in the studio here at Franklin and it’s definitely an interest of [his] to continue,”

You can join Panther News by signing up to take the TV Production class next year. John highly recommends joining because “having more people just means we can have more content and we can create a higher quality show” and you can “spend every day in the best room in the school!”