At 11:30 a.m. Friday, televisions clicked on in classrooms throughout Quince Orchard High School, and peering solemnly from behind a makeshift anchor desk, two people unfamiliar to most Washington-area viewers began their midday newscast.

This was "News Till Noon," a production of the Montgomery County public schools.

The anchors were Brian Porter, the school system's new director of public information, and Thelma Monk, principal of Poolesville Elementary. The broadcast, prerecorded in one of the Montgomery school's television studios, was produced by Joseph S. Villani, an associate superintendent. And the audience was the school system's entire 450-member administrative staff, who had attended a morning-long conference on changes in families.

The newscast was meant as a bridge between the serious tone of the conference and an afternoon picnic at Smokey Glen Farm. But it seemed to draw more groans than giggles.

It featured a food review. "What's for lunch at Smokey Glen?" Porter asked co-anchor Monk. "I don't know, and I'm not sure I want to know," she replied.

And it featured a sportscast. "The sports world is riveted, I mean riveted, on MCPS," said Bill Kyle, a physical education coordinator, who gave a preview of the picnic games. "We have horseshoes . . . . We have ballgames. We even have a TV set up so you can watch some old board meetings.

"Here's one {Superintendent} Harry Pitt taught me," Kyle said, as he tried to juggle but quickly dropped the balls.

There was even a weatherman, Darlene Merry, who began her forecast by wriggling out of a red plastic raincoat and matching hat. "It is going to be light today and dark tonight," said the forecaster, who, in another life, is assistant principal at Montgomery Village Intermediate School.

The show ended with a bit of anchor-to-anchor banter.

Monk: "Well, Brian, will I see you at Smokey Glen?"

Porter: "Are they taking attendance?"

Monk: "Brian, you must be new to MCPS."