Superintendent’s Spotlight: Theodore Fernandez


Superintendent’s Spotlight: Theodore Fernandez

October 28, 2022

Warwick Wildcats fans have seen (or at least heard) Theo Fernandez!

The WVHS senior is President of Operations for Warwick Valley Television, which means he does everything from color commentary and man on the street segments, to running the camera and sitting behind the anchor desk. He recruits crew members, schedules shoots, and actively promotes and recruits for the High School’s CTE Video Production program.

Theo’s interest in sports broadcasting started when he was very young. He attended a number of Play-by-Play Sports Broadcasting Camps and, last summer, attended his first professional workshop in Philadelphia.

“All these people my age, from all over the country, who were all just as into broadcasting as I was,” said Theo. “It was great to meet and bounce ideas off each other. There’s a real community there; we help each other out.”

Theo played multiple sports as a child until, sadly, a medical diagnosis sidelined him.

“Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy, which is an autoimmune disorder,” he explained. “Basically, my nerves don’t really respond at the level a normal person’s nerves do. It’s pretty rare.”

Theo found a way to stay involved with sports.

“Talk about resilient individuals,” said WVHS Principal Marguerite Fusco. “Theo is a wonderful example. He wasn’t going to let anything take him away from what he was most passionate about, so rather than playing in games, he started filming and broadcasting them.”

Theo “knew nothing” about the technical aspects – the inside baseball if you will – of film production and broadcast media before he signed up for the district’s CTE Video Production class last year. He quickly picked up camera work, audio technology, lighting, script writing and editing, communication, and teamwork, taking himself from novice to project manager with impressive expediency.

“I knew I wanted to broadcast games, so I got into it and right away learned, ‘Oh, okay, there’s this whole other behind-the-scenes world to filming, being an anchor, writing up shows, writing up scripts, reading on air,’” he said. “I came in with no frame of reference and fell in love with the whole idea of  using the camera and my editing skills that I’ve accumulated to tell their stories.”

Last year, Theo produced a series of baseball previews, filmed the summer basketball camp, covered road games and cut highlight reels. This year, having built a resume of school and community production credits, he jumped at the chance to be a producer on Overtime, the Warwick sports show.

Theo is currently enrolled in AP language and government, but is most excited about having cleared the way for a year of studio immersion.

”We get four or five cameras, a whole production crew, and it’s all student run,” said Theo.

The team has covered two football broadcasts, volleyball, and the repeat champion Wildcats boys’ soccer team. Theo, whose sports announcing hero is Jim Nance (The GOAT, he says.), will be announcing home basketball games beginning on December 1. Right now, he’s busy producing an NFL prediction show featuring Warwick students and faculty.

“So far we’ve done two NFL Pick shows this year,” he said. I’m also doing an NHL preview, and we’re going to get more into the NFL, NBA, and NHL throughout the rest of the year.”

Theo likes to reflect back on his first paid gig as a cameraman, which came as the result of a chance encounter and a kind deed.

“I was filming a high school lacrosse tournament, and as we’re packing up this guy is struggling with his bags, so we help him with carrying stuff and start talking. Turns out he was with the Hudson Valley Renegades,” said Theo. “He asked if I’d be interested in a job running cameras for a professional baseball team. That was just an incredible experience.”

Theo also has an outstanding academic record.

“Throughout his high school career, Theo’s schedules have included Advanced Placement and college- level courses in mathematics, ELA, science, history,” said Principal Fusco “And he has managed to carry a 95% overall average while doing it.”

“I’m not really into math and science, but I took a lot of challenging classes last year,” Theo said, explaining that he wanted to take care of some requirements. “I took physics, I took college trig. This year I decided because I’ve got all my college prerequisites out of the way, I’d go heavy on production.”

Last year’s hard work means Theo enjoys a three-period video production class and an Independent Study in Studio Production this year. As he builds his production and broadcast skills, he loves opportunities to use them to build community.

His work has certainly helped build Wildcats pride.

“When I talk to the players before a game, they’re always really excited at the idea of being covered. And the students are watching! Views aren’t quite as high as I want to get them, but a lot of students are definitely tuning in,” said Theo.

Theo is now in negotiations with a regional radio station to produce a weekly show that would focus on Warwick sports. His vision is to expand coverage into the greater Warwick community, and showcase Wildcats athletics alongside other news and scores from local recreational and travel teams.

“Sports is something that brings people together,” Theo added. “And I think that’s the best part about sports in general.”



If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Comments are closed.