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by Robin Gee
Fans of the weekly Highlands High School radio show, "Eckerle@8," will recognize that "wet your beaks" is the tagline for the popular program that airs weekly on the high school’s very own radio station, WFTS. The DJ for the show is art teacher and school bowling coach Andy Eckerle who helps people of all ages wet their musical (and Bluebird) beaks with an eclectic mix of tunes from all genres and eras.
To mark the end of a very challenging year for all, Eckerle and his student broadcasting crew will broadcast the show live on Friday, May 21, in front of the high school. A celebration of the end of the school year will start at 7 p.m. and end at 10 p.m., with the broadcast starting at 8 p.m.
The event also highlights the work of the students in the school’s Film and Broadcast Department who run the radio station and produce all its programming.
"This year was a difficult one for everyone," said broadcasting teacher Bill Poff. "With masks and social distancing, to limited capacities at events, it was a challenge to continue the Highlands tradition of always having strong community involvement. I am so proud of our broadcasting team for stepping up their game and streaming all these events so that the community could still be a part of these events."
The radio station is part of a broader program that includes audio and video broadcasting entirely run by students in the program. The program offers the students opportunities to build real-world skills. The live broadcast will be a new experience for the students.
"My hope, with all my classes, is to create an environment in which students do the actual jobs that exist within our industry. This is just an extension of that. It will also take them out of the comfort zone of the audio studio. Which is always a great thing," Poff said.
|The logo for the Eckerle@8 show on student run Highland High School radio WFTS. The show will broadcast live in front of the high school in a year-end celebration Friday, May 21.|
Student-run and produced broadcasting has provided avenues for connections between the students and the broader community, he said.
"Our community is an essential part of our school thriving. I love that our program can continue to produce content that helps to bring that community into the process a little more, specifically with live events," Poff added.
The station can be heard throughout the day via the app Live365, available through Apple’s app store. Search for "WFTS."
RELATED: In Other Words: Wet Your Beak with Eckerle@8 Radio Show
Eckerle@8 usually airs on Thursdays at 8 p.m., but the live broadcast will be on Friday, May 21, at 8.