SERIOUS AIR

English teacher Deborah Hansen and student Marion Huteau (foreground) broadcast KHNS’ “Flashbacks and Fresh Tracks” music show from the Skagway studio. - LS

School radio show shakes things up
Fun and camaraderie make this class unique

By LUCIE STRAUB

The day started out with a heated debate about Marion’s Huteau nickname written on the board. They didn’t have to go to the radio station that day and argued intensely for about five minutes on this topic. English teacher Deborah Hansen grabbed the reins then and sat the class down to do a journal. The journal is a written record of personal problems that possibly could become news articles for the radio, like the difficulties of just being in school.
Then the class of three – Arlen McCluskey, Brandie Schneider, and Marion Huteau – all seniors, divided into different tasks.
Each week a different student is assigned to do the KHNS radio show “Flashbacks and Fresh Tracks.” This week it was McCluskey’s turn. He sat before Hansen’s computer and arranged the 30 songs he had chosen for his show. Schneider and Huteau then worked on news articles for a news stint they’re hoping to start up.
The class started as an idea of Hansen’s. Last year she had to fill in a class for the period and was debating on either literature translated to film or a radio broadcasting show.
“I was signed for a show anyways, and thought maybe I could have the kids do my work,” she jokes.
She took a vote in the school and it came back for the broadcasting class. McCluskey was the only student to actually sign up, then Schneider and Huteau joined in.
Schneider says she chose this class because, “I was a reporter for Gervais High School, my old school, so I was use to it. It sounded like a neat class and I was excited that I could play the music I liked on the radio.” She was also happy that she could goof around between songs on air.
Although Huteau, a foreign exchange student from France, didn’t choose to be in the radio class, she’s happy that she is there. She says it isn’t always easy for her since she is learning English, but likes the class a lot.
McCluskey was focused intensely on his work but finally manage to answer why he chose the radio class, “I mainly did it so I could be exposed to different music genres and so I could enhance my DJ skills.”
While McCluskey worked on his show, Schneider and Huteau discussed the week’s events and goals, such as questions for the school board, and different news articles. Hansen could have dictated the radio show, but she let the students figure out what they liked on their own.
“It’s their show,” she asserted with a smile.
Very intense yet fun, there’s still a lot of bantering within the class among everybody.
Who knows what will happen next with the radio show – stay tuned.