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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Another Goshen Kid On Ellen Thursday

Of all places, Ellen Degeneres has quite a nice relationship with Spaulding Elementary School in Goshen.

The fifth Spaulding student in three years appears on the "Ellen Degeneres Show" Thursday (10 a.m., Channel 9; 4 p.m., Channel 7) when Sami Stephens, 9, shows off her "sock pizza." (She sewed together two circles of mesh fabric with Velco-sealed wedged-shaped pockets so you can wash and dry socks in pairs.) Sami made the device for Spaulding's annual "Invention Convention" in February.

Third grade teacher Beth Powell says "Ellen" producers have been so impressed with the creative kids at Spaulding that they've asked her to instruct parents of her best young inventors to send videos of their kids inventions every year to the show office in Burbank, Calif.

"They told us that any child we choose, we could have them send a tape to the show. So we send a letter to parents with the instructions on how to send in a video. It's really something," says Powell, a teacher for 11 years.

Diane Stephens says they made a video, mailed it in March and then forgot about it – until the "Ellen" show called in late April. Two weeks later, on May 6, she was in Burbank with her daughter.

Now Stephens wants to take the relationship one step further. Stephens gave producers a letter for Degeneres (she didn't meet the comedian) inviting her to the Invention Convention next Feb. 25, 2009. "She keeps using Goshen children, so she needs to come to the Goshen school," she says.

Whether she comes or not, it's still a cool thing for Spaulding school and Goshen. There must be much bigger schools in bigger towns that would love the national TV attention.


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