The Classroom Close-up crew is a group of media professionals who are dedicated to sharing the great stories from New Jersey public schools. While reading about their qualifications, place your mouse over the photos for a pleasant surprise.
WANDA SWANSON has been the Executive Producer of Classroom Close-up, NJ since the day the show began in 1994. A former television and newspaper reporter from Wyoming and New Mexico, she moved to New Jersey to work for the New Jersey Education Association as an associate director of communications. When approached about starting a television show about the great things happening in the New Jersey public schools, she jumped at the chance to make a difference in the public opinion toward those who work in the school system – from the support staff to the teachers. She is a graduate of the University of Wyoming with a journalism degree. As Executive Producer, the show has earned 15 Mid-Atlantic and New York Emmys, in addition to Tellys, Aurora and dozens of NEA PRC awards. This year she was named the NEA PR Person of the Year and she serves as secretary on the Mid Atlantic NATAS Board of Governors.
RICH RENNER is a media producer and co-owner of 3R Media. He began his career in 1985 as an editor (unless you count his stint as Captain of the Audio-Visual Team in sixth grade). For nearly thirty years, he has produced programming for broadcast television, corporate communications, live events, and the web. In 1998, he was managing an in-house video production department at a financial corporation in Philadelphia when he was hired by NJN Public Television to produce Classroom Close-up, NJ. Today, Rich continues in the series producer role. An avid supporter of arts and literacy projects, he is a founding member of the annual Collingswood Book Festival, for which he manages a website and social media pages. He is a graduate of Glassboro State College (now Rowan University), where he was the Photo Editor of Venue, the campus satirical magazine. Awards include Mid-Atlantic and New York Emmys, Tellys, Aurora and Communicator Awards.
KEVIN RONAN is a television producer/director and co-owner of Ronan & Ronan Productions and 3R Media. Since 2003, he’s been a Segment Producer for Classroom Close-up, NJ, a weekly magazine series broadcast on PBS-NJTV. In the mid-1980’s, Kevin began his career as a videographer and editor. As a producer/director since 1988, Kevin has produced hundreds of segments for broadcast, programs for Fortune 500 companies and video projects for many non-profit organizations. Kevin graduated from the University of Hartford and attended The New School, NYC for journalism. Award Highlights; (2) Mid-Atlantic Emmy’s, (1) New York Emmy, 2007 PRSA-NJ Pyramid Award & Best In Show Award, 2003 Cine Golden Eagle Award (National – Best In Class), 2005 Freddie Award, NY Festivals World Bronze, Silver Intermediate-Globe, Hamburg, Germany, (3) ITVA Awards, (8) Telly Awards, (3) Aurora Awards, The 2005 Davey Award & The 2005 Communicator Award.
ADAM BAUSER’S career was prophesized by his tenth grade psychology teacher, who after viewing Adam’s VHS video essay that featured crash edits, poorly performed stunts, and Troma-quality special effects declared, “You’re going to do this for a living someday.” Adam went on to fulfill the prophecy by getting a degree in communications from Bowling Green State University and embarking on a career that has included a lot of time on location and in front of an Avid. After spending the turn of the century doing a lot of internet stuff for money, he joined the Classroom Close-up, NJ crew as a Segment Producer for the start of the 2006-07 season. When he’s not putting together stories for the show, he’s making videos for other people through his own company, Bauser Media Group.
EDWARD WATERS is a Producer, Director of Photography and the owner of Waterworks Productions. Established in 1992, Waterworks Productions provides both personnel and High Definition equipment to clients in Education, Broadcast Television, and Corporate Communications. Ed has been working on Classroom Close-up NJ since its inception in 1994 and considers it a privilege to have visualized the work of a generation of teachers, educational support professionals, and students. Ed has also produced, directed, filmed and edited the feature film “Circus Smirkus-In the Business of Dreams”, which premiered on Vermont Public Television and “Journeys and Transformations- The Monarch Butterfly Story”, which details the entire lifecycle of the monarch and its migration to Mexico. This project is used internationally to support the curriculum for the Monarch Teacher Network in schools around the world. Ed is a graduate of Temple University and recipient of several Mid Atlantic Emmys.
ELIZABETH DEBARR began working at New Jersey Education Association in 2004 and joined Classroom Close-up, NJ as a production assistant in 2008. She is responsible for coordinating the logistics of tapings all over New Jersey. Working in education has always been a passion for Elizabeth. She previously worked as a paraprofessional at North Hanover Public School District. She enjoys being able to help bring glimpses into the classroom to the public weekly. Elizabeth holds an associate’s degree in Elementary Education from Burlington County College where she graduated with high honors and was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Rutgers University where she graduated with honors and was inducted into the Atheneum Honor Society.
DEBBIE RONAN Is a television producer/director and co-owner of Ronan & Ronan Productions. Debbie began her television career in 1987, upon graduating from Western Carolina University with a BA in Radio/Television Broadcasting. Her career began at New Jersey Bell Corporate Television, which is where she met her husband, Kevin. While she was at NJBTV she produced and directed many shows as well as assistant directed live broadcasts. Debbie and Kevin left the corporate world in 1991 and formed their own company, Ronan & Ronan Productions. In 2013 Debbie joined the Classroom Close-up, NJ team as a segment producer. She says, “It’s a dream come true. I have the best of both worlds. I love being around kids and I love my career. Being a segment producer for Classroom Close-up, NJ allows me to do both”.
DAVID NELSON is an audio engineer who has been with the show since 2014. Dave is multi-talented, balancing work in New York City at NBC with traveling around New Jersey for our show, he is also a musician, carpenter and pyrotechnic expert.