Technology grant awarded


Senior Michael Janis, Technology director Benjamin Schnapp, Ms. Brandice Heckert, and junior William Ahn smiling for the camera just after Schnapp received the grant.

By Bryan Fletcher, Production Manager

Throwing together a full high school musical is no small task, and no one can vouch for this more than Media Services Technician and Technical Director Benjamin Schnapp and the WCHS tech crew, responsible for creating the sets seen in our theater performances.

Fortunately, in an effort to obtain more money for additional props and set piece materials, Schnapp, with the assistance of several students, was able to make a successful grant request to MCPS and the WCHS Educational Foundation. This extra money will be quite helpful in acquiring materials for future WCHS drama productions.

“I applied for the grant specifically to get microphone money,” said Schnapp.

The WCHS Educational Foundation, an MCPS independent organization, focuses on helping students and teachers within the WCHS cluster. Their goal is to improve the community’s educational experience by harnessing the intellectual and financial resources of individuals, corporations and foundations.

“Schnapp requested a grant from the WCHS Educational Foundation to fund for new sound equipment for Churchill,” junior William Ahn said. “The foundation supplied all the money necessary to buy the sound equipment.”

The grant also highlights a major issue that needed to be addressed: the amount of resources and supplies available to the tech crew, or lack thereof. This is most evident with the microphones, which were in dire need of replacement.

“We often have to change mics between actors during the performance, which jostles them and can lead to more opportunities for malfunction,” senior Katie Brown said. “The mics will not work one day and then work another, so it’s difficult to plan out who gets which.”

The grant from the foundation has not only proved to be helpful in funding for new resources and showing what can be accomplished by a group in need, but also for raising the spirits of those involved in the theater tech crew, who will soon be utilizing these resources. While the sound equipment supplies will not arrive until early 2019, Schnapp and the tech crew are thrilled to have succeeded in the grant request.

“Schnapp was surprised and excited about the fact that the WCHS Educational Foundation was able to fulfill his request,” Ahn said. “This will really help the arts department within Churchill.”

With the successful request of the grant for the tech crew’s sound equipment, the WCHS Educational Foundation is on the lookout for new school plans and projects to fund. For more information, please visit