The Southfield Jay
Radio class moves to SaturdaysTuesday, November 29, 2011 By Seneca Peters
Future radio personalities and music lovers, fear not. Radio is back. Radio broadcasting is now a Saturday School class offered to interested air heads. The class will teach students how to operate the school radio station, WSHJ 88.3-FM, and review disk jockey techniques. Students will also perform technical duties regarding radio equipment and broadcast transmission. Radio class is free and is open to all high school students within Southfield Public Schools. Radio was an elective offered during the regular school day up until last year. Then Radio teacher Julea Ward adopted a child and has discontinued teaching the course. The new Saturday instructor is Donald Walker, a radio teacher in Detroit Public Schools. Walker is a Southfield High alumnus with more than 20 years in radio experience. The Saturday school class is a continuation of the previous radio program, said senior Marquez Hicks, general manager of WSHJ. "It’s exactly the same but we just have new members, and I think they’re going to be surprised by how student-run it is," says Hicks. "The students teach (and) Mr. Walker is a great addition because he allows us to do that." The loss of the class from weekly school hours, however, has upset radio hopefuls. "What I know is that the school went through some budget cuts," says counselor Tom Holliday. "I hate to see the radio room unused, but you have to balance your books." The Saturday School program at least lets the station operate for a few hours a week, Holliday said. Senior Ronald Driskill took the class last year and said he intended to take it again this year, but not as a Saturday morning class. "It was cool while it lasted," Driskill says. Another senior, Ceaira Dowdell, says, "I think it’s a shame because the people who were on radio actually liked it. It gave us an opportunity to show our creative side and show our talents." Dowdell also took the class last year and intends to study broadcast journalism, but she says the Saturday option does not appeal to her. Fellow senior Alfonzo Rushin says he might consider the new Saturday radio program. He took radio for three years in high school and says, "We were supposed to do something big this year." A once-a-week class wasn’t what he had in mind, but "It would be something to exercise my abilities," says Rushin." Radio isn’t the only class offered on the weekends. Other classes available to high school students are Fundamentals of Animation, Video Game Development and Strategic Reading. For more information on Saturday School classes, including when registration for the second semester will begin, refer to the Southfield Public Schools web site (www.southfield.k12.mi.us), or see your counselor.