Shaner hopes students find their voice with podcast equipment


Stevi Simonelli

Shaner also is hoping to have a YouTube channel for the podcasts to stream on.

Ava Bell and Stevi Simonelli

Last year, Covid forced gifted coordinator Daniel Shaner to scale back a vigil for victims of violence he had been planning. While a group of students still would get to read the names of the victims over a 24-hour period, the plan to bring in outside speakers and presentations had to be set aside.

With the grant money that would have covered the costs of those presentations now available, Shaner used it to buy podcast equipment, thinking it could be used during future vigils. But now he has bigger plans for it.

“Podcasting is not going away,” Shaner said. “Semi-professional journalism is the future.” 

His plan for how the school could use the podcast equipment evolved.

“Well, my original thought was, `Mr. Shaner uses this,’ and now my thought is `Mr. Shaner stays away from it and the students use it,’ because I’m not the future — you people are,” Shaner said. 

Now he wants people to use this new equipment to participate in sharing their voices. Shaner also is hoping to have a YouTube channel for the podcasts to stream on. 

Starting out small to start, he is hoping for the podcasts to reach a bigger audience.

“My goal is the community. It’s not just the students — it’s the parents, it’s the people who live in Baldwin,” Shaner said. “Neighbors, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and then from there when we have something worth saying, the whole world.” 

Within the past year, podcasting has skyrocketed in popularity. According to Insider Intelligence, “In 2021 the number of monthly U.S. podcast listeners will increase by 10.1 percent  year-over-year to 117.8 million.”

A few students have already had the opportunity to express their interest in podcasting to Shaner.

Sophomore Kevin Hutchinson is intrigued by the equipment and the possibility of starting his own podcast. 

“I was just hooked right away,” Hutchinson said. “I always enjoyed just being able to put myself out there in that way like from speaking and discussions.”

He has already thought of ideas to include other students by interviewing them about their hobbies and extracurricular activities.

“We can do it year after year, and future generations of students can use the equipment and make their own podcasts,” Hutchinson said. 

Interested students can contact Shaner about starting a podcast.