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FREELANCE CAMERAMAN JOHN Chiappardi works with 12-year-old 7th grader Shannen Cookingham during filming of a classroom segment at the Narrowsburg campus of Sullivan West.

Locals to Be
On NickNews

By Ted Waddell
NARROWSBURG — October 1, 2002 – Lights, camera, action.
That was the story last week at the Narrowsburg campus of Sullivan West, as a crew from Lucky Duck Productions filmed a segment on adolescent girls’ aggression for Nickelodeon Television.
The program is tentatively scheduled to air on Sunday, November 3 at 8:30 p.m.
In the wake of Rosalind Wiseman’s groundbreaking book “Queen Bees and Wannabees,” which explores the “girl world” of teasing, gossip and reputations; beauty and fashion; alcohol and drugs; sex; and how cliques play a role in every situation, Nickelodeon hired the NYC-based production company to create a film for an upcoming NickNews show about how young girls survive the realities of adolescence.
Following an interview with the author in Washington, D.C., the film crew traveled to rural Narrowsburg, where they interviewed and filmed several interactive scenarios involving 4th-8th grade students at the Narrowsburg campus.
During the shoot, building principal Rod McLaughlin supervised every stage of the day-long operation.
“It was about the development of a social pecking order in adolescent girls,” said McLaughlin. “How they interact socially, and why one girl is elevated to royal status and another shunned.”
Renee Lerner produced the film for Lucky Duck Productions. Freelancers John Chiappardi and Scott Lavare handled the filming and sound recording.
Some of the questions asked during the interviews included: “How are girls raised to behave?” “What do girls fight about?” “Do other girls judge you?” and “Do you think there are differences between the way guys are mean to each other and the way girls are mean to each other?”
Meet the student stars: 4th graders Amber Cookingham, Samantha Knecht and Sherrie Kraft; 5th graders Angela DiSanto, Alessandra Imbesi and Kristin Wingert; 6th graders Sabrina Campfield, Bridget O’Brien, Julianne Reggero and Alexandra Yacino; 7th graders Michelle Birney, Kayla Bodine, Shannen Cookingham, Rebecca Cutler, Lauren Del Mauro, Amanda Fuller, Victoria Harman, Megan Hughes, Kristen Kelly, Sarah Lander and Megan Young; 8th graders Ginger Pierce and Nicole Skursky.
“The film is about the hidden ways girls show their aggression to each other,” said Lerner. “Things like covert actions, backstabbing and secrets.”
Shannen Cookingham, a 12-year-old 7th grader at the Narrowsburg school, said it was “fun and exciting” to be on a future Nickelodeon show.
Seventh grade classmate Michelle Birney said, “It was a great experience because I’ve never been on TV, and I think it’s really cool that our school got a chance to do this.”
Sarah Lander, another 7th grader involved in the filming, cut to the quick as she talked about the experience.
“You’d never think Narrowsburg would be on Nickelodeon,” she said with a hometown sense of pride.

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