Tyrone Eagle Eye News

From Behind the Camera to the Front of the Classroom

Tyrone English teacher David Rutter once worked as a television producer at WPSU Public Television

Mr. Rutter in the WPSX-TV control room in 2000.

Photo courtesy of David Rutter

Mr. Rutter in the WPSX-TV control room in 2000.

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Students at Tyrone High School usually associate beloved tenth-grade English teacher David Rutter with his love of teaching, coffee, and the Pittsburgh Penguins, in that order.

But what many don’t know is that teaching was not Rutter’s first career choice.

I worked on many terrific shows that were fast paced and very exciting at times.”

— David Rutter

For ten years before entering the classroom, Rutter worked as a director, camera operator, graphics designer, and lighting director at WPSX TV, a public broadcasting television station in Clearfield, which is now known as WPSU.

Rutter said that it was his lifelong love of film and television led him to seek a career in television production.

His favorite part about working in television could be summed up into two simple words, “the rush.”

The “rush” is that feeling you get when working in a faced paced and high pressure environment like live television.

“When directing, you are in control of many of the technical aspects as well as some of the creative elements as well,” said Rutter, “I worked on many terrific shows that were fast paced and very exciting at times. Now, I never directed a sporting event, but I worked as a camera operator and font producer. All of these were exciting because you have to be in the moment.”

Students who know Mr. Rutter’s love for pop culture and 1980s action movies will fully appreciate one of his most memorable television experiences.

In 2000, David Morrell, the Canadian-American novelist best known for his 1972 novel First Blood, which Sylvester Stallone turned into the Rambo film franchise, was a guest on the talk show Take Note which Rutter helped to produce. Morrell, a Penn State alum, had returned to campus as a speaker at a distinguished alumni banquet.

Over lunch, Rutter was able to have an extended conversation with Morrell about his writing and films.

“I had read several of his book and, of course, I was huge Rambo fan,” said Rutter, “I made sure I was scheduled to direct his interview and I brought some of my Rambo memorabilia such as a DVD copy of the film and book, hoping he would sign it.”

“I’m not one to seek out autographs but his work was really influential to me and the character of Rambo was a staple of my childhood,” said Rutter. “Of course he signed my DVD which I still have locked in a vault. I’ll pass it on to my daughters,” said Rutter.

If you are truly committed to the idea of working in television, my first recommendation is to actually visit a television station”

— David Rutter

While the pay can be good, the hours are often long.  Rutter recommends a career in television or film to those who have the interest, love to travel, and seek new experiences.

“If you are truly committed to the idea of working in television, my first recommendation is to actually visit a television station,” said Rutter.

Although he sometimes misses working in television, Rutter said he wouldn’t go back at this point in his life. He enjoys spending time with his family and teaching allows him to do this. If he was still in television his time with them would be greatly diminished.

“Besides, having two daughters is like living in a reality television show anyway,” said Rutter.

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About the Writer
Reagan Wood, Staff Writer

What's cookin good lookin? I’m Reagan Wood, and I am currently a junior at Tyrone Area High School. This my first year as a member of Eagle Eye, however,...

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