S E C T I O N
Community S TO R I E S A B O U T P E O P L E A N D E V E N T S I N T H E C O M M U N I T Y
On the air How students created a radio station at Sacred Heart Prep
By Emma Marsano
this point, other than Tim and I and, like, my mother, no one was really pushing to get (the s a high school freshman station) started.” with a passing interest Undaunted, Alex and Tim in radio, Alex Mitchell used their budget to purchase couldn’t have known that, by recording equipment and build his senior year, he would be the a booth on campus during the founder and president of KSHS first semester of their junior year. Radio, a student-run radio sta- In January 2013, they held open tion at Sacred Heart auditions and selected Preparatory in Atherhosts and writers for ton. the station. It’s the only fully stuHaving assemdent-run high school bled a staff, Alex and radio station on the Tim thought about the Peninsula, he says, and best way to encourage is the product of four their peers to tune in years of hard work to KSHS broadcasts. by Alex and his colFirst, Alex says, leagues. to make the station Tim Lewis Though Alex knew seems like an integral nothing about radio part of life on cambroadcasting as a freshman, pus, KSHS staff handed out free he and KSHS co-founder Tim pizza and KSHS sweatshirts. Lewis thought creating a station The free shirts seem to have might be fun and approached worked in that students unaffiliSHP’s dean of students with ated with the station still wear the idea. They weren’t met with them around school today. opposition, but they found there After attracting their peers’ was no protocol in place for attention, the students behind securing funding and faculty KSHS had to work to keep it. support. Accessibility was a main conDetermined to move for- cern. “We found that, if anyone ward, Alex and Tim hired radio has to take more than five secengineer Harry Hall (a host on onds and two steps (to listen), KCSM 91.1-FM) to help them they won’t,” Alex says. For establish a budget proposal increased ease of access, KSHS and outline a plan. By the end made their broadcasts available of the co-founders’ sophomore to stream on the SHP website, as year, SHP’s Senior Activities well as on FM radio. Committee had approved the But for the KSHS staff, the station’s budget. most important task was pro“Things were kind of mov- ducing fresh and engaging coning along,” Alex recalls, “but at tent every week. “You’re not
Special to the Almanac
Photo by Dan Brady
Founder Alex Mitchell in the KSHS radio booth on the Sacred Heart Prep campus.
going to get listeners if you’re not talking about things your audience wants to hear,” Alex points out. “You can shape the conversation and add to the dialogue, but you can’t try to run against the current.” Today, SHP’s administration gives KSHS staff a lot of freedom, provided that their content is tasteful and respectful. The station broadcasts six regular programs every week. These include “Girl Talk,” a show on which two female hosts discuss beauty tips, dating advice, and social events on campus; a debate show that takes calls from listeners; and a variety show, which combines comedic segments and interviews with local business people and politicians.
Fashioning a fabulous framitz By Marie Wagner Krenz
inety-five years ago Grandfather bought the Woodside property that has brought joy to five generations of our family. When on a winter’s night in 1934 the original frame house burned, my uncles quickly found an architect to rebuild the ruined structure. We were delighted with the modern touches of tiled windowsills, beamed ceilings, and keyless rustic locks. Recently we
had occasion to be anything but thrilled with one of those locks. Not long ago a guest took an afternoon nap on our old sleeping porch and locked the door for privacy. This is no ordinary lock. The exterior part has a kind of thumb pedal that lifts a bar on the inside to open and close the door. A small curved piece of metal flips back and forth to lock or unlock as needed. That afternoon as he left the sleeping porch, our visitor flipped the metal piece, but alas, it did not travel all the way back
but teetered in between. When the door closed it moved forward to relock itself. This would have presented no problem on a keyed door, but ours was different. There was no way to enter the room. We could not get in from the outside without destroying the continuous screening and at least two or three of the hinged paned windows, and perhaps breaking an arm or a leg in the process. Drilling a hole in the door was an unpleasant possibility. Because the house doors were two or
KSHS also airs occasional live broadcasts of high-profile school sporting events, along with special panels every few weeks to allow teachers, students, and outside experts to discuss controversial topics, such as teen drug and alcohol use. Currently, there are 27 students involved with the station, and the online broadcasts have had 1,500 unique IP address hits in the past month. “It’s nice to see that the station’s made a culture around it,” Alex says. “Now there are people who really spend their time on the show. They’ve been able to make (KSHS) a part of who they are.” Every high school class at SHP is represented among KSHS’s on-air hosts, and younger stu-