Howdie Mr. Terrando!

Mr. Terrando tells us about his career as a teacher and his interest for broadcast journalism!


Keely Telford

Mr. Terrando sitting in his studio in front of his green screen that his students use to create the student news.

By Keely Telford, Staff Photographer

The Wrangler: Where did you go to college?
Terrando: I earned an Associate of Arts (AA) degree from Illinois Valley Community College in 1975. In 1977 I earned a B.S. Degree in Journalism (Minor in Speech Communications-Broadcast) from Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Illinois; I earned my Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD) from South Texas College of Law in Houston in 1984 and was licensed to practice law on November 2, 1984.

The Wrangler: Why did you want to become a teacher?
Terrando: It was one of those weird things: In late 2003 my wife and I were walking through Dickinson Elementary School after dropping off our son, Noah for school. I turned to her and said, “I feel like I should be working here”. It took me nearly two years to wind down my practice and get certified as a teacher. I started my first teaching job at Bonham Elementary School (HISD) in August 2005. Also, my dad was a journalist, broadcaster, and ultimately a high school journalism teacher and yearbook adviser at my high school. My oldest brother, Steve was a Latin teacher at my high school before becoming an attorney; and my sister, Jane was a nurse then a curriculum writer for health classes in HISD and ultimately was the Assistant Principal at Bonham ES where I ultimately got my first teaching job.

The Wrangler: When did you originally start teaching?

Terrando: As I said above, I started teaching second grade at Bonham ES in August 2005 and proceeded to teach second grade, third grade, and fifth grade during my 14 years there. My first two years I taught a self-contained second grade classroom, then proceeded to teach Science, Social Studies, and Writing thereafter.

The Wrangler: What made you want to become a Broadcast Journalism teacher here at George Ranch?
Terrando: I’ve worked at a newspaper as a reporter and a sports editor and have taken photographs for the paper. I’ve worked at a commercial radio station. While I was teaching elementary school, we produced three yearbooks for the schoo, and I’ve done PA work and private recording work over the years, so I thought it would be fun to combine all of those things that I’ve done in the “real world” and become a broadcast journalism/journalism teacher here at The Ranch.

The Wrangler: What is your favorite thing about George Ranch and why?
Terrando: I’ve wanted to work at GRHS since it opened in 2010. Back in 2010 I started coming out to Reading JHS and doing the PA for the seventh grade football team (my son Noah was playing then) and continued doing it for his eighth-grade season and then doing the PA for the JV games here at GRHS from 2012 through 2015. Over the years from 2010 until I landed the job here in 2019, I was trying to get into one of the schools in this Maroon track. It wasn’t until late summer of 2019 that I received a call from Mr. Forshee that the Broadcast Journalism/Yearbook job was open.

The Wrangler: What made you start GRHS I-Radio and who inspired you to start broadcasting?
Terrando: I’ve always loved radio broadcasting (my dad was in it and I learned so much from him) and I have worked in it on and off since I was a senior in high school, so it seemed natural to me to open a radio station so that students interested in broadcasting could learn “on the job” and get practical experience doing live and taped broadcasts. Back in the summer of 2014 I approached then-principal Mrs. Haack and she loved the idea. GRHS I-Radio actually started as a club here at GRHS, but that didn’t take off as I thought it would so students broadcasters began broadcasting Longhorns athletic events when basketball started in the Winter of 2014. The following year and each year thereafter, we have called live, home and away football games, girls and boys basketball and baseball games through the playoffs. One of our best broadcasts was calling the 2015 5A Championship game from NRG Stadium, which was won by George Ranch 56-0 over Lake Ridge HS.

The Wrangler: What is your favorite part of broadcasting sports and why?
Terrando: I love broadcasting live high school sports because each game is different and each game will feature someone stepping up and making a key play! It’s also very rewarding to be able to call games featuring our George Ranch student-athletes on the field or court. I also like the opportunity it provides for our students interested in a career in broadcasting to come out and be part of a live broadcast. Students learn how to think on their feet, how to describe a live event for listeners and how to manage the technical part of a radio broadcast; i.e. finding the live stream, getting on the air, managing commercials and just the overall timing of the live event. For me, I’m the most comfortable calling a baseball game since I was a player myself through junior college, so baseball is the sport I know best of all, and describing it comes more naturally to me than the other major sports. Since GRHS I-Radio is an internet radio station, anyone with a computer anywhere in the world can listen to our broadcasts. Our student-broadcasters have received notes from GRHS fans listening to their sons, daughters, grandchildren, etc. from as far away as Brazil and from oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and beyond the tip of Africa; and we’ve had relatives from around the country listen as well. The red tape in starting a conventional terrestrial radio station was overwhelming so we looked into starting an internet station instead; I’m so glad we settled on this methods. We can reach anybody in the world!!

The Wrangler: What is your favorite thing about creating the student news and why?
Terrando: The GRHS Student News is a completely different broadcasting event for obvious reasons. We have to be aware of how things look, what type of video we want to use to supplement our stories; we have to be aware of the lighting, the sound, the cameras, etc. for every shot. I am so grateful that GRHS has such a fantastic facility for my Broadcast Journalism students to use. Our TV studio has up-to-date cameras, lights, teleprompters, boom mics, and the like to help teach our kids the best way to produce a news segment and ultimately a news show. GRHS has been producing the GRHS Student News for many, many years and I feel fortunate to take over the program and guide our students through this medium.

The Wrangler: You created your first live show recently, how would you have described it for you and your students?
Terrando: My two F2F broadcast J students—Keely and Keenan—produced the show and we got it on the air live on YouTube. It was so much fun organizing the show, blocking out our shots and counting down to our live show! We expect to do one more live show before the year is out and I can’t wait!

The Wrangler: What is your favorite memory from teaching here at the Ranch?
Terrando: My favorite memory of teaching at George Ranch? My answer is yesterday is my favorite memory! I really enjoy what I’m doing here at The Ranch—teaching Broadcast Journalism and the Student News, yearbook adviser, station manager of GRHS I-Radio—that I seem to have a fond memory each day that I’m here, so my favorite memory is YESTERDAY!