Teacher lands position as field producer for CNN series


English teacher, Mark Eleveld, recently broke into the television industry on CNN.

Jenny Glasscock, Features Editor

Joliet West’s own Mark Eleveld, English teacher, recently got his feet wet in the television industry through his role as field producer on CNN’s Chicagoland. The series is an eight part documentary that revolves around the urban conflict that is currently happening in Chicago, including gang problems and education, and it also takes a look at Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his actions. The series is the first non-news related program that’s appeared on CNN. Eleveld first got his position as the field producer when he met with producers of the show, with whom he gave names of and introduced them to people he believed deserved to be featured. Eleveld’s role in the production centered around how there is more to Chicago besides just the urban conflicts shown on the news. He insisted that The Windy City is also a hub for sports and the arts, namely the poetry slam.

Quite a lot of the show has to deal with education, especially involving the fact that last year 50 public schools were shut down at once due to underutilization in the biggest mass school closing in the nation’s history.

“It’s interesting to see people outside of education looking in at public school life,” Eleveld stated about one of his favorite aspects about the show.

Chicagoland is currently airing, and Eleveld is already looking at his options to further be involved with more television about the city. He was given a 3 ½ hour shoot to gather B-roll of Chicago, and he is also going to pitch an idea to Robert Redford, one of the producers of Chicagoland, about making a new TV show focusing solely on the culture surrounding the Green Mill Jazz Lounge. The Green Mill Jazz Lounge is where the poetry slam first began, and Eleveld, surprised that a show hasn’t been made about the Lounge yet, hopes to represent the talent that is found there.