CNN Student News Anchor Visits North Atlanta High School

CarlAzuz2 Large

Since 2008, Carl Azuz has been the anchor of CNN’s Student News. The news program is a CNN news staple that is geared toward school-based audiences and used by teachers around the globe to keep students abreast on national and global current events.

As anchor, Azuz is seen by anywhere between two to 10 million viewers at any given time, at sites as distant as Anchorage, Alaska, or Tokyo, Japan. But on December 10, the popular anchor was exclusively seen and heard in person in Room 4119 of North Atlanta High School. Azuz spoke to Journalism 1 students in the classroom of Ms. Deborah Anderson, a journalism teacher. Azuz came to the school for the second consecutive year at the invitation of journalism teacher Jack Stenger. Stenger is a former journalist and in 2007 he was the lead newswriter for CNN’s Student News where he and Azuz were colleagues.

The enthusiastic cheers of “Carl! Carl! Carl!” met the anchor as he entered Anderson’s classroom. Azuz was accompanied by students from Stenger’s Journalism 3/4 class, who acted as event coordinators for “Carl Azuz Day” at North Atlanta.

Students in Anderson’s class were starstruck when the anchor arrived. A familiar face normally only seen on a Promethean board screen was with them in person. The classroom was even more crowded than normal with student correspondents from the school’s broadcast journalism program who taped the event. During his hour-long stay during 2A period Carl answered questions about how his show is produced and about the rigors of being a news anchor.

Student News is the longest-running show on CNN and has been on the air for 24 years. Each day the show grabs the attention of millions of viewers from around the country and world, delivering interesting and sometimes humorous news to students.

A career in broadcast journalism was not always something Azuz had in mind. “When I was in high school I didn’t think about it,” Azuz said. “But I’m a performer at heart so I knew I wanted to do something that involved being in front of people.”

While at the University of Georgia, Azuz first made steps toward a career in journalism. After graduating from UGA with a telecommunications arts degree, he started in a lower-rung position at CNN. From there, he quickly moved up the ranks and became a newswriter for CNN International. While working as a writer, it dawned on him that his real desire was getting in front of the camera and joining the news anchor ranks. He said the job suits him perfectly. “If it was 10 years ago, and you had told me I would be doing this, this news would have made me happy because I really enjoy my job,” he said.

Anderson had glowing reviews about the visit from the well-known anchor. “It was terrific. We had a wonderful time, and Carl was an awesome speaker and motivator,” she said.

The popular CNN Student News anchor has come a long way, from working behind a desk writing the news, to delivering news to millions of people. And on December 12 – on “Carl Azuz Day” – he went a long way from the CNN Center, to deliver the news in a unique and personal way to some Journalism 1 students at North Atlanta High School.