Reporting With Grace

Ms. Elizabeth Perez brings real-world broadcasting skills to OLLATV program


Amanda Rubio

Ms. Elizabeth Perez and former NBC6 News Anchor Pam Giganti discuss the OLLATV Program at the school for the Give Miami Day Campaign which raised $25,000 for the Broadcast Journalism Program.

We watch OLLA TV every other day, but not often do we question the work behind it. Not often do we take into consideration the classroom of bee-like workers scurrying to meet deadlines and produce the content we watch nearly every day. Much less do we give the recognition to the director behind the scenes of one of the school’s most successful programs.

Mrs. Perez was often on assignment when she was a reporter for channel 7. (Courtesy of Mrs. Perez)

Before arriving and becoming one of the most notable characters of the school’s community, Ms. Elizabeth Perez, broadcast journalism teacher and former journalist, led a fascinating life of reporting, conversing with stars like Angelina Jolie, Ryan Reynolds, Jennifer Aniston, Chris Hemsworth and several other big-time celebrities. Even though her routine of film festivals and red carpet premieres eventually came to an end, her passion for journalism did not.

Ms. Perez uses her past work experience as a Channel 7 producer of 10 years, to share her valuable knowledge. She started the OLLA TV broadcasting program in 2014 and now aims to create an environment similar to the exciting world of reporting that she herself has lived.

“I treat my students like they were my little interns when I worked at Deco Drive,” Ms. Perez said.

Sophomore and broadcast student Micaela Perez has enjoyed the class.

“She’s clearly passionate and takes pride in her students. But I think she’s unique from other teachers because she treats us like employees in a newsroom,” Micaela Perez said.

“I want them to fall in love with the career, if that is what they want to study I want to make sure they’re trained and see what the field of journalism is really like.”

— Ms. Perez

Even though Ms. Perez continues to pursue this goal, she’s already accomplished it several times. The rich environment she’s created has navigated several alumnae into successful journalism and reporting careers, all while discovering their passion in her classroom.

Mrs. Perez interviewed celebrities when she was a Producer for Deco Drive. (Courtesy Mrs. Perez)

From campus news reporters at FSU and UF to alums working for Good Morning America she’s made an evident impact on her students. However, her teaching stretches far beyond the classroom as she implants important life skills into her students every day.

“I want them to learn everything (every skill), that’s how I was, I could write, report, edit. I tell them to be unique, to stand out, to always be nice to everybody; to report with grace and confidence,” Ms. Perez said.

She sends out her advice to all future journalists to “never give up. This field can be challenging and you have to have thick skin but at the end of the day it’s worth it. You’ll meet so many fun people, tell so many cool stories, help the community,  so keep going and do it with a smile.”