Fame, friendship and fun with WMS weather series

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Fame, friendship and fun with WMS weather series
Hayden PalmerThere’s something delightfully quirky about Hayden Palmer, a seventh grader at Washington Middle School. His friendly nature, charm and dry sense of humor make him a popular kid with both his peers and teachers.

This school year, Hayden began appearing in a weekly weather series on the “Bulldog News” school video production. His feature, called “Where in the World is Hayden P?” or “Witwhip” for short, is both witty and educational.

Hayden, who is currently completing school remotely, films the show by himself at home with a phone set up on a tripod in front of a green screen. Media Arts Teacher Marc Coyner helps him find a background image and writes a basic script for him. Hayden gives an overview of the weather for the week, and also challenges students to guess where the image behind him was taken. Inspiration comes from the old television series “Where in the World is Carmen San Diego.”

“You’ll see that Hayden throws in his own whimsy with graphics and videos,” Coyner said. “They are silly, but fun.”

Hayden, who is autistic, is the first student in the Developmental Learning Classroom (DLC) at Washington to have their own recurring feature in the “Bulldog News.”

“Hayden has consistently reached beyond a host of expectations while dealing with the difficulty and stress of school schedule changes, remote learning, and more during the last year plus,” said DLC teacher Lucas Claussen. “His tenacity, individual motivation, commitment and creativity in putting together his weather segment for WMS and the “Bulldog News” never ceases to impress his classmates and staff here at Washington. It is hilarious as well!"

Coyner, who had Hayden in his class last year, noticed Hayden’s continued interest and skill in filmmaking and asked him to take on the weather series. “For me, Hayden is technically very proficient and takes pride in his work,” Coyner said. “He feels a real sense of ownership and doesn't want to let his community down.”

“It’s been a lot of work, but very rewarding”, Hayden said. He’s always trying to come up with new and creative ideas and he enjoys the appreciation of his classmates. “It was pretty good for me to handle. I never gave up,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to be more fun.”

Hayden’s future plans include hopefully moving to Hollywood one day to pursue acting. “My big dream was to star in a film.”

Watch all of the “Where in the World is Hayden P?” video installments on the Bulldog Productions YouTube Playlist.