Payson High fea­tured on na­tional ra­dio show

Serve Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By Lana Hiskey

The na­tional ra­dio show “This Amer­i­can Life” came to Payson High School re­cently to spot­light some amaz­ing “Grand Ges­tures” go­ing on at one of Nebo’s high schools.

Miki Meek, the pro­ducer and re­porter for “This Amer­i­can Life” who also grad­u­ated from Payson High School in 1997, said the Payson High School spot was sched­uled to kick off the “Grand Ges­tures” show on Feb. 18.

Pro­ducer Meeks said, “I se­lected Payson High School and this par­tic­u­lar story about kids go­ing all out when ask­ing dates to dances be­cause it seemed like the per­fect way to kick off what’s ba­si­cally a Valen­tine’s Day show. Also, it’s a tra­di­tion that a lot of my co-work­ers had never heard about, so we wanted to shine a spot­light on it.”

The show’s host and ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Ira Glass flew out from New York to per­son­ally in­ter­view Payson stu­dents. Glass col­lected sto­ries from Payson stu­dents in two dif­fer­ent ways. First, Glass set up a stu­dio in Clint Peery’s room and in­ter­viewed stu­dents who Meek had pre­vi­ously in­ter­viewed and knew the stu­dents had in­ter­est­ing sto­ries. Af­ter the in­ter­views at school and with the help of stu­dents like Ivan Web­ber, Kylee Whar­ton, Ezri Sta­heli and Max Ben­nion, Glass walked through the hall­ways at lunch time and talked to some ran­dom stu­dents to see if they had any in­ter­est­ing sto­ries about ask­ing oth­ers to dances as well.

Not only did Glass get to hear about all the in­ter­est­ing danc­ing sto­ries, he ex­pe­ri­enced first-hand how to an­swer a girl for a dance at PHS! Glass ac­tu­ally rode along in the car with Web­ber as he an­swered his date to the Sweet­hearts Dance and ex­pe­ri­enced a funny story of his own.

Web­ber was go­ing to an­swer Makadie Rich­man by bury­ing a treasure chest in the snow with his an­swer in­side. Glass, Whar­ton and Sta­heli were to stay in the car and wit­ness the an­swer process. Web­ber at­tached a mi­cro­phone so he could com­mu­ni­cate back to those in the car. When Ivan was bury­ing the chest in the snow out­side Rich­man’s house, Kylee ac­ci­den­tally leaned on the horn of the car creat­ing a loud, long honk. Rich­man came run­ning out­side while Web­ber was still an­swer­ing pre­par­ing the treasure chest an­swer. Quickly, Web­ber fin­ished and sprinted back to the car as the group sped away.

The show will start air­ing on ra­dio sta­tions on Feb. 18. The times are listed here: www.thisamer­i­can­ lis­ten/ sta­tions/ ut. It will also be avail­able on pod­cast. To lis­ten, go on­line at www.thisamer­i­can­ or pod­cast: https://itunes.ap­­cast/this- amer­i­can- life/id201671138?mt=2&uo=4&at=11l6oU.

PHS As­sis­tant Prin­ci­pal Jesse Soren­son said, “To have a na­tional ra­dio pro­gram that is broad­cast to over 500 NPR sta­tions na­tion­wide and mil­lions of weekly lis­ten­ers around the coun­try is a re­ally big deal. Ira Glass is a Na­tional Pub­lic Ra­dio icon,

so to have him here work­ing with our stu­dents is an op­por­tu­nity that few as­pir­ing jour­nal­ists will ever have. Ira has men­tioned how im­pressed he has been with our stu­dents sev­eral times to­day. Our broad­cast jour­nal­ist stu­dents Ivan Web­ber, Ezri Sta­heli and Max Ben­nion have set the whole thing up. In the early stages, they worked with Miki Meek, the show’s pro­ducer and Payson High School grad­u­ate, to have ev­ery­thing ready. Our stu­dents sought out po­ten­tial stu­dents for in­ter­views, set up in­ter­views and even held a few Skype meet­ings to get to know what Ira and Miki would be look­ing for when they got here. Ivan, Ezri and Max have worked very hard on this project. It’s been amaz­ing to see the skills Clint Peery, their teacher, has taught them. I hope this ex­pe­ri­ence will show our stu­dents that the skills they have learned at Payson High can be a spring­board into other learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and amaz­ing pro­fes­sions that lives.” could po­ten­tially im­pact mil­lions of Payson High is known for its in­cred­i­ble broad­cast jour­nal­ism class taught by Clint Peery. The stu­dents were thrilled to get to meet and work with the fa­mous Ira Glass. Ira and Miki spent the en­tire day with the stu­dents. Mr. Peery said, “The rea­son that I teach is to pro­vide stu­dents with op­por­tu­ni­ties to chase their pas­sions, as well as learn­ing and de­vel­op­ing skills that will make them suc­cess­ful no mat­ter what field they chose to go into later in life.” Some awards Mr. Peery’s broad­cast jour­nal­ism class have won in­clude the fol­low­ing: Best Daily Show, Di­rec­tors Choice Award, Best Sports Broad­cast, Best An­chor (one fe­male, one male), Best News Story, Best News In­tro, Best Com­mer­cial, Film Fes­ti­val, Best Doc­u­men­tary, Best Avant Garde (3X), Best Com­edy and Teacher of the Year, Peery is quick to point out that some of the awards were also sub­mit­ted through Nebo School Dis­trict’s Ad­vanced Learn­ing Cen­ter.

Ira Glass, host and ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer of the na­tional ra­dio show “This Amer­i­can Life,” vis­ited Payson High School re­cently to in­ter­view stu­dents about their tra­di­tion of “go­ing all out” when ask­ing dates to dances.

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