Student voices heard on radio


Mikaela Thorne

Sports Editor

KDKA Radio talk show host Mike Pintek came to Baldwin to broadcast his show for three hours on Feb. 25, and his discussions with students ranged from the presidential election to school lunches.

The variety of topics allowed many students who held different perspectives to speak on issues they felt were important.

“The students today did outstandingly well,” Pintek said in an interview after the broadcast. “We talk to schools and some of them mostly talk about school programs and clubs, and others talk about current events. I really enjoy the conversations like today when they’re geared more towards politics.”

The presidential election fueled the conversation for a majority of the afternoon.
Senior Zachary Roach was asked why he supported Donald Trump.

“I really think that the economy needs to get back to where it has been in the past and Trump is the guy to do that,” Roach said.

Trump’s abrasive nature had been cited earlier in the broadcast as being his main weakness. But Roach disagreed.

“You have to be abrasive and not afraid to turn people away. I think Trump is a great guy,” Roach said.

Senior Stephen Tsambarlis, however, argued in favor of Bernie Sanders.

“I support him because of his college plan,” Tsambarlis said.
Though some held strong opinions about the presidential race, others admitted they did not.

“I don’t really care about politics,” junior Samantha Piso said. “It causes too many problems. I have my opinions and others have theirs. I’d rather not get into an argument.”
Some students, though, were surprised by what they considered to be Pintek’s conservative opinions.

“I feel like Pintek was kind of biased. He was very opinionated and it seemed like he wasn’t really open to others’ opinions,” senior Mackenzie Voelker said.
Perhaps predictably, the one thing students did agree on was the quality of school lunches.

“I don’t really like them, but I eat two of them a day because I’m hungry,” Voelker said.
Principal Dr. Walter Graves participated in the entire broadcast with Pintek, introducing some topics of conversation and applauding the school’s extracurricular and sports programs.

Student participants included freshmen from honors civics classes, senior seminar students, broadcast journalism students, and Purbalite staff members. The jazz band performed before and after commercial breaks.

Baldwin alum and former Purbalite editor Julian Routh was a featured guest via phone call. Routh talked about his upcoming internship in Washington, D.C., with the Wall Street Journal.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the political system,” Routh said. “It is such a weird election. My interest in politics is expanding.”

The goal of Pintek’s school broadcasts is to show his radio audience that the younger generations, though they may hold different opinions, are still well informed and think about the world, Pintek said.

“You guys are so well-spoken and articulate,” he said in the interview after the broadcast.
Not only was Pintek impressed, but an alumna from Thomas Jefferson High School called in during the show to express her admiration for the Baldwin students who were interviewed.

“I just want to commend the principal on what a great bunch of students he has,” the woman said. “I hope students at Thomas Jefferson are as well-rounded as you.”