Radio And Robotics Raves

There are 12 categories in the John Drury High School Radio Awards.

Staples’ WWPT-FM was nominated in 7 of them — sometimes more than once.

Yesterday — at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois — they won 1st place in every category they were nominated for. The teenagers (and advisor Geno Heiter) snagged a total of 12 awards, in news, sports and public affairs.

Including the big one: Best High School Station in the Country.

The winners! WWPT-FM faculty advisor Geno Heiter is in shades and a beard, at right.

Congratulations to these Staples students — the next generation of radio stars:

1st Place
Best Newscast:
Cooper Boardman, Channing Smith (“WWPT News Update”)
Best Public Affairs Program: Jackson Valente, Jarod Ferguson (“A Better Chance ‘Social Justice’)
Best Radio Drama Adaptation: Staples Players and Audio Production classes, with support from WWPT (“Dracula”)
Best Sports Play-by-Play:  Cooper Boardman, Jack Caldwell (Football — Staples vs. Darien)
Best Sportscast: Buster Scher (“Knicks — Past 2 Seasons”)
Best Sportstalk Program:  Cooper Boardman and Jack Caldwell (Staples Field Hockey State Championship Show)
Best High School Station: WWPT-FM

2nd Place
Best Sports Play-by-Play:  Cooper Boardman (Basketball — Staples vs. Danbury)
Best Sportstalk Program:  Jack Caldwell (Interview with NHL announcer Chuck Kaiton)
Best Sportscast:  Luck McManus, Hunter Duffy (NASCAR championship interview)

3rd Place
Best Newscast: Zachary Halperin, Nieve Mahoney, Jack Moses (Politics — Election Reflection)
Best Sportscast:  George Goldstein, Sam Zaritsky (Fulmer Trade)

WWPT-FM faculty advisor Geno Heiter (left) and student broadcasters jump for joy after earning 12 John Drury Awards.

Also yesterday, Staples sophomores Nick Durkin, John McNab and Daniel Westphal, and freshman Nathan Wang won 5 awards — including 1st Place Overall — in the Marine Advanced Technology Education Center’s New England competition, in Sandwich, Massachusetts.

The quartet — competing as Team Curriodyssea, which is not affiliated with the high school — designed, built and programmed underwater remotely operated vehicles.

Team Curiodyssea members (from left) Daniel Westphal, Nathan Wang, John McNab and Nick Durkin.

Team Curriodyssea also won golds for Engineering Evaluation, Highest Score on the Underwater Challenges, Technical Report and Poster Display.

They advance to the international competition next month in Long Beach, California, where they’ll face 27 other teams from North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Sounds like a great story for WWPT!

5 responses to “Radio And Robotics Raves

  1. Wow! Congrats to all of these amazing young people and a special shout out to the three I know well–John McNab, Daniel Westphal and Nick Durkin. Way to go guys! So exciting for all!

  2. James Honeycutt

    Congratulations to WWPT 90.3 FM, the best high school radio station in the United States! I am so happy for so many of the students who I have known for the last few years at Staples. Jack, Cooper and all the rest, great job guys! There is so much talent to be found in this group of students. The sky is the limit for these kids. Mr. Zito and I are so proud of you all! And… I am thrilled for Mr. Geno Heiter who is in his first year at Staples as a new member of the faculty…and who has more than picked up the torch and been part of this year’s remarkable high school radio station’s success. Great job, Geno. I hope your time as Staples is as wonderful as it was for myself and Mr. Mike Zito. Good luck to you all!

  3. Jill Greenberg

    Can anyone explain why no girls are participating in either of these activities?
    Any chance it is something about the culture, unnoticed by those participating, but obvious to the girls who might be interested? I think faculty mentors should order this noticeable absence….

  4. Courtney Caldwell

    Along with my son Jack, my daughter Reilly and her friends are very involved in WWPT. The girls, including those who won awards, were unable to make the trip to Chicago due to prior commitments. We are so proud of all the Staples students in both clubs, and thank Mr. Geno Heiter for being such a great mentor to my son and daughter.

  5. That is so fantastic. Congrats to all!

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