D211 Post: Chicago Journalist and Schaumburg Alum Talks Career Path

WCIU The Jam host Amy Rutledge speaks to students at Schaumburg High School about her career in broadcast journalism.


           Students enrolled in Schaumburg High School’s broadcast course, as well as those interested in the journalism career pathway, had a unique opportunity to hear from The Jam morning show host, and SHS alum, Amy Rutledge about her career and experiences. 

            Students involved with the school’s broadcast media outlet “The Burg,” reached out to Rutledge through social media.  Schaumburg High School art department chair Jessica Aulisio said it was part of a project which had students looking for graduates working in the career field.

            “I’m so grateful Amy responded and was able to take time out of her busy schedule to talk with our students,” said Aulisio.  “This created a moment where the students were able to connect many things they see in the classroom to its use in the field of journalism and broadcasting.”

            Over the course of nearly an hour, Rutledge recounted her career from working in places such as Marion, Illinois, to Las Vegas and ultimately returning to Chicago.  She discussed the many aspects of working in journalism from being a producer to different assignments as a reporter and anchor.    She explained that the industry can be difficult to work in but can be very rewarding.

          “It’s a busy lifestyle.  There are a lot of sacrifices you make in this industry.” she told the students.  “But if you get it and stick with it, it is very amazing.  I have interviewed all of the last five Presidents, been to pretty much every state in the country, and covered most of the recent major events you may know of.”

          Rutledge then showed the students two previous stories she worked on and explained the process in putting both together.  She then answered student questions about the various aspects of the journalism career pathway.

          Junior Melissa Schneider, one of the student anchors for “The Burg,” said she was excited to have the opportunity to speak with a professional in the career she herself hopes to pursue.

         “It was really cool to learn more in depth details about the career,” she said.  “It was exciting to see and talk with a professional.  The fact that she was once a student here is crazy.  It’s really inspiring.”

        Rutledge hopes she was able to build excitement in the industry.

        “Journalism is in a tough time right now where what we do is being questioned so much, but it is so important,” she said.  “I want people to be excited to go out and tell stories.  It’s great to see that there are students who are excited about this job.  I need to know that we are leaving this job to young, capable hands.”

        On being back at her old high school, Rutledge said that it was a bit surreal.

       “It’s a bit weird.  I haven’t been back since graduation,” she said.  “The second floor still seems familiar but the first floor has changed.  It’s a beautiful school.”

Upcoming PHS Senior Recognition Band Concert

For many Palatine High School senior band members, the final concert is not only an exciting event, but also a bittersweet reminder that their time as high school students is coming to an end. This year’s concert, which takes place on May 9 – 7:30 p.m. in the Altergott Auditorium at PHS, is titled “To Heal a Nation¬—Senior Recognition Band Concert,” and features narrator Orion Samuelson, long-time WGN-Radio host.

The Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Percussion Ensembles will perform at the concert. During the evening, 38 PHS senior band musicians who have devoted four years of their time and talent to PHS will be honored.

PHS Band Concert“It’s like a mini graduation ceremony along with the concert,” said Raeleen Horn, director of Bands and Music Department chair. “It can be very emotional and nostalgic.”

Horn said audiences can expect a concert that is patriotic in nature as a kick-off to their tour to Southern California, where the Symphonic Band will perform an hour long concert at the Symphonic Band Southern California Tour Memorial Day Performance at The Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace in the Magnificent East Room on May 28 at 11:00 a.m., with special guest Edward Nixon as the narrator.

That Memorial Day event will be narrated by Nixon’s brother Edward, as he recites The Gettysburg Address as it is woven into a symphonic setting of music. This is the same piece that Samuelson will narrate with the band on the May 9 concert.

“Orion worked with me back in 2007,” Horn said. “He has a great voice and will be perfect for this number, which is called ‘To Heal a Nation.’ It’s quite an honor for us.”

Horn said this concert is always an exciting event to attend for many reasons. In addition to honoring graduating seniors, new drum majors will be announced, as well as special awards such as Outstanding Band Senior of the Year Award, Sempre Fidelis Marine Award, and the Behind the Scenes Award.

“It will be a great night,” Horn said.

Concert Admission is $2, and free for PHS staff and retirees. The concert performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the school’s Altergott Auditorium (1111 N. Rohlwing Road in Palatine).  To see more information on the event, please visit the events calendar here.