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Delaware Public Media partners with McKean High School

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media
Delaware Public Media News Director Tom Byrne and McKean radio and television teacher Greg Boulden prepare to "flip the switch" at WMHS to NPR content

Delaware Public Media launched its second partnership with a New Castle County high school Friday.

Delaware Public Media is teaming up with McKean High School in the Red Clay School District and its radio station 88.1 WMHS starting this school year.

The collaboration allows the First State’s only NPR member station to expand its broadcast footprint in New Castle County with morning and afternoon drive programs airing on WMHS.

And Delaware Public Media staff will spend time at McKean working with high schoolers to hone their radio and journalism skills.

McKean principal Brian Mattix says many of his students are affected by poverty and violence. To him, the most important function of McKean’s radio program is to help them tell their stories.

“If they feel like they have a voice then they’re going to get more involved and more engaged,” he said.

Delaware Public Media’s weekly show, The Green, will broadcast select student content statewide.

“This new partnership what it does is it opens up horizons and opportunities for them way beyond the range of our three-mile radius that we can put out.”

Bill Everett coordinates the McKean High School’s ten career pathways, including the radio program. He says contact with working professionals can help high school students shape their goals.

“To meet professionals in the field talk about pay, benefits, experience— what they’ll need to get right into the industry,” he said. “They’ll be able to look at, this is what I’m doing in school, but this is the skills I need that they’ve talked to me about.”

Everett also hopes to expand internship and co-op opportunities for the students.

Delaware Public Media has had a similar partnership in place at Mt. Pleasant High School's WMPH since 2014.


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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