Cup of Joe highlighting campus fun, developing traditions, since 2018

Zoe Essex, Editor, Arts

Cup of Joe is DePaul College Prep’s news and entertainment program for students. It was started when school was still held at the Gordon Tech campus, and has been gaining popularity ever since. Over the years, Cup of Joe has gained many new members, topics, segments, and viewers. 

Mr. Moeller, a film teacher and the STEAM Department Chair at DePaul Prep, took over the role as moderator in 2018.

Back then, Cup of Joe was more “school news” focused and was run by a group of five or six friends. They started the club because they wanted DePaul Prep to have a news show like other schools did – it was completely their show: they scripted, filmed, and produced it themselves.

When Mr. Moeller took over as moderator, he says that the show, “was very much a news program,” but eventually became more fun and involved with other people at DePaul Prep. Mr. Moeller’s main goal was for them to have the opportunity to use filming equipment and have the necessary room to make the show the best – and most fun – that it could be. 

Cup of Joe episodes are made in about two weeks. Members spend this time planning, scripting, filming, and editing the episode.

Sophomore Zoe Pileggi explained the extensive efforts required. “Prepping for a shoot involves a lot of work – we spend one to two meetings planning out our ideas and setting up a filming schedule with any teachers involved. We then spend about 25 minutes setting up the studio for filming; we put up the background screen, set up the desk, and get the mics and lights up.”

The Cup of Joe crew uses a lot of professional-grade filming equipment — a great opportunity for all members, but especially those interested in that field of work. 

In recent years, Cup of Joe started to publicize their work more and began hosting teachers and students in different episodes – whether it be for interviews, playing games, or competing against each other. They also started to gain many new members from all grades.

They’ve also started many new traditions for the show. They have annual episodes for holidays, and often feature major sporting events at DePaul Prep in their episodes. School pep rallies, big events, and even co-curriculars are often covered in their segments.

Cup of Joe members come up with new segments all the time, some recent examples being a “Ramily Feud,” where teachers competed against students, or gift-wrapping competitions between staff and students. 

Mr. Moeller has said that the best part of Cup of Joe is, “really hard to nail down. I think it’s really – you can see it in the room – the students that are doing it are having so much fun making the show. It’s cool watching them all interact with each other and become friends while producing the show.”

Cup of Joe has been called a “window into DePaul Prep,” representing the student body and community. It’s also an important marketing tool. Prospective students can see what going to school here is like, which can positively impact their admissions decision process. 

Cup of Joe has become a much bigger part of the school than it was when it started. The community has grown, as well as the viewership.

For Lilly McCarthy – in her third year of Cup of Joe – the club is “…an inner community within DePaul where people support each other in everything – in life.”