RAWLINS — A 1996 Rawlins High School Alumna is set to FaceTime Rawlins Middle School Broadcast students later today.
New Mexico KRQE News 13 evening anchor Jessica Garate and RMS Stem Lab teacher Tammy Partlow have been planning a time for Garate to speak with students individually and as a group, since she sent the broadcast team a video message earlier this week.
“I was able to see some of the announcements you have been doing at your school and I was super impressed,” Garate said in her video. “You guys have great delivery. I love the energy from your announcers and I also loved your set.”
Garate received information about the broadcast team that started posting videos Jan. 2, from RMS registrar Susan Ward, and knew she wanted to reach out to the team.
“This is our future, and I would love to see other Rawlins students excel in their careers,” she said. “If I can help them I would be more than happy to.”
Eighth grader Finn Willis, who joined the group as something to do, said he appreciates the time Garate has given them.
“That was really important to me to see that someone that had gotten that far still believed in people that were still at this level and doing news broadcasting,” Willis said.
He said he hopes to find out how anchors of Garate’s skill level make the news so appealing.
“It is almost like a field trip, talking to someone so far away who has done all of this,” he said.
Prior to graduating from the University of Wyoming with a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism in 1999, Garate spent time announcing the daily news to the RHS student body during high school and wrote for the high school yearbook.
“They have come a long way since I did announcements,” she said. “I was really impressed that they actually broadcast out to their school.”
Garate said she would go to the main RHS office and use the intercom to give the announcements.
Since her own pubic school experience, Garate has worked as a reporter, weather anchor, morning anchor, weekend anchor and evening anchor in places including KTWO in Casper, Wyoming Public Radio, and KWES TV in Midland, Texas.
Garate, who has worked in Albuquerque since 2004 and is one of the head anchors for her station, said all her success circled back to her mentors: former English teachers Russell Otto and Fred Smith, who saw her potential.
“They would tell us, ‘Hey you know, you have a voice for radio. That may be something you want to do,’” Garate said. “That is how I started.”
Garate said Wyoming Public Radio News Director Bob Beck has also been her continued mentor and is still an asset to her even now.
“I call him all the time and he has given me a lot of career advice throughout the years,” she said. “I really feel (like) he gave me my first break.”
Garate plans to help mentor the students by Facebook or FaceTime moving forward, but hopes to learn from the students as well as to how they keep up with the daily news.
Partlow said she is excited to have such a professional giving the students insight and believes she will also learn a little herself.
“With her being on the professional side of this doing this everyday as a living, she will be able to maybe guide them into stuff I have not even thought about,” Partlow said.