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L-M Grads Share the News and Weather

Linn-Mar is proud to have two graduates keeping eastern Iowans apprised of local events and rapidly changing weather conditions. Becky Phelps and Garrett Heyd are now seen at the anchor desk each weekend on KCRG, and Iowa’s News Now respectively. Both developed an interest in their current careers through their work on LMTV, Linn-Mar Television.

“I got involved in LMTV at the beginning of my freshman year at Linn Mar. From the start, the program gave me a unique opportunity to learn skills both in front of and behind the camera. Operating cameras, running the teleprompter, and doing interviews with school clubs. It quickly not only became worth the early mornings, but my favorite part of the day.” said Phelps.

LMTV is recorded at 7:50 each morning and made available to the high school community for the start of classes at 9:00 AM.

Ms. Phelps finished high school as the station manager at LMTV, which led her to attend the University of Kansas, double majoring in Broadcast Journalism and Theatre Performance. There, she continued developing her reporting and on-air skills at the campus station, KUJH-TV, where she worked as the executive producer during her senior year.

“Now, I’m working as the weekend evening news anchor at KCRG-TV9 in Cedar Rapids, as well as producing and reporting during the week. My time at LMTV gave me a chance to explore the world of broadcast, and I will forever be grateful for that opportunity. In the four years I spent there, I not only developed important skills and lifelong friendships, but it opened the doors for me to develop a passion for telling stories and gave me the leadership tools and drive to pursue journalism as a career.” said Phelps. 

Garrett Heyd is one of three meteorologists at Iowa’s News Now. “If it wasn’t for LMTV I don’t think I would have ever considered broadcast meteorology as a career. As a kid, I wanted to work with the National Weather Service and be an operational forecaster. LMTV gave me my first exposure to the idea of broadcasting and moved me to explore it more in college. While the schooling to get my degree is the exact same as those in the NWS, I joined our AMS (American Meteorological Society) Student Chapters Club’s weather broadcasting group on the side. It was called Cy’s Eyes On the Skies and was a great experience that solidified my choice to go into broadcasting.” said Heyd.

“Even in Mrs.(Ann) Fry’s speech class, I grew pretty confident talking in front of others and learned I could effectively communicate topics I understood well. So naturally, when speaking to others about a topic I am incredibly passionate about it’s quite easy to talk about it all day! So easy in fact that myself and other TV meteorologists don’t use teleprompters, every time we go live we’re winging it as we go. My favorite memory was doing the LMTV weathercast with then Meteorologist Justin Gehrts from KCRG, I remember being so nervous to do the weather with him.”, Heyd added.

LMTV has been a part of the daily schedule at Linn-Mar High School since 2003 under the direction of Linn-Mar Communications Coordinator, Kevin Fry. Fry came to Linn-Mar from KGAN-TV where he served as an award-winning newscast and special projects producer and newsroom assignment manager. “It is so exciting to see these former students maintaining the integrity of journalism as a career,” Fry said. 

Other Linn-Mar/LMTV graduates serve “behind-the-scenes” at stations across the midwest as production assistants, radio broadcasters, and newscast producers.

Each LMTV ‘newscast’ keeps students and staff informed of student and team successes, career planning opportunities, activities, and special events on campus. LMTV was expanded in 2016 to each of the district’s two middle schools. It is open to all students who wish to get involved.