Writer / Lynda Hedberg Thies
Photographer / Brian Brosmer
Cathedral High School is preparing future broadcasting talent with its newly launched elective class: “Introduction to Broadcasting: Radio and Television I”. The class was announced last spring just as students were signing up for their 2017-2018 class schedules. Approximately 25 students spend time during class learning how to broadcast a sporting event and on the weekends in the media booth and on the field getting hands-on experience actually applying what they learn.
The idea to utilize students to broadcast games, performances and events is not new to high schools and has been a goal of Cathedral for quite some time. Leading the charge is legendary and newly retired Cathedral volleyball coach, Jean Kesterson. Kesterson’s legacy of achieving excellence made her the perfect candidate to establish a highly successful broadcasting program.
“After 40 years being a coach, I can tell you that I most definitely miss being on the court,” Kesterson says. “But I was ready for a new challenge, and this is a tremendous opportunity for Cathedral High School and for the students. This could be a career path for some of these kids, and I am excited to be part of a program that can give our students hands-on experience that will help them should they decide to study broadcasting at the college level.”
At the first home football game of the season, the first round of students volunteered to put their knowledge and enthusiasm to use at the University of Indianapolis, where the Irish played their 56th Street rival, the Chatard Trojans. The downside of not having a home field is actually an advantage for the football team as well as the broadcast team because they will have the opportunity to learn to adapt in many different environments, which will serve the students well.
The students had that opportunity to adapt at the first game when they realized their video was not working. This technical error right out of the gate helped them realize that things don’t always go as planned. Rolly Landeros, Cathedral IT Director, is assisting the class in learning the technology.
“Because of the way the program is set up, the error caused the audio to play but not the video,” Landeros says. “If we stopped the program to fix the error, the link we posted would not work. Eventually we did send out a new link. That helped us to teach the students to be ready for any challenge.”
The class is comprised of every grade level. At the first game, there were three students that volunteered to put their knowledge to practice. Rylin Harvey, Cathedral junior, was one of three students that volunteered to work in the booth and explained what it felt like to put the classroom knowledge to use.
“Being in the class and now being in the media booth feels amazing,” Harvey says. “Working with the computer and the Wirecast is amazing. I can totally see myself doing this for a living.”
“It was so fascinating to see how broadcasting works in the classroom, but to see the action in the booth was incredible,” says Magnus Major, another Cathedral junior.
The lone sophomore in the booth, Andrew George, was perhaps the most wide-eyed about the experience. “You know it has been great being in this atmosphere, sitting here with all these talented professional broadcasters, the fans and seeing how it all works has been really exciting. I’m looking forward to being back in the booth again.”
Whether the future Bob Costas, Erin Andrews, Sage Steele or Jim Nantz is sitting in this class right now, the opportunity and preparation are there to open doors to help these students create success for themselves. Back to you at the studio.