PLSD’s “PodClass” Covers Local News

The PodClass team record a recent episode, Chance Reed, Christian Hamilton and Evy Aggains. Photo provided by the Pickerington Area Chamber of Commerce

April 24, 2023
By Hope Schmidt,

Pickerington Online Intern

Technology is always evolving and that has led to changes in how local news is distributed. With that in mind, three Pickerington high school students are producing a podcast where they talk all things Pickerington.

Pickerington PodClass is an online podcast where students, staff and guest speakers discuss important events and issues that impact our community. With microphones in hand and headphones on ears, Pickerington High School North seniors Christian Hamilton and Evy Aggains as well as Pickerington High School Central sophomore Chance Reed have tackled topics including community businesses, local crime, mental health advocacy, entertainment and programs in Pickerington Schools.

The project was created by Pickerington Schools Assistant Superintendent Alesia Gillison and is led by Jeff Comer, director of marketing and membership at the Pickerington Area Chamber of Commerce.

Article continues below.

“Assistant Superintendent Gillison brought to my attention that she wanted to create a podcast run by the students of Pickerington Local School District,” Comer said. “With her and I both being former on-air radio personalities, it started my wheels turning and I came up with Pickerington PodClass – For Community by Students.”

To create an episode, the students and Comer discuss topics or trends that impact the Pickerington community.

“Once we have our show topics locked in, the students produce the show by booking guests, prepping the questions and organizing the podcast structure.” Comer said.

Previous guests have included Pickerington City Manager Greg Butcher, volunteers with the Parents on Positivity Patrol and Preston Moore from the Columbus Springs addiction and mental health treatment center.

Article continues below.

“I think the value of the PodClass comes from bringing the community together and providing a unique experience for students like myself to get more involved in the Pickerington community,” said Central sophomore Chance Reed. “The PodClass is a passion project at its core, and the team couldn’t be more thankful for the community’s support that allows us to continue making episodes.”

The experience has required Reed to be more outgoing, for which he is grateful.

“I haven’t done much in the realm of multimedia, and I tend to stay away from doing recordings, but being a part of the PodClass has pushed me outside of my comfort zone and been a really fun experience,” Reed said.

Pickerington North senior Evy Aggains said that PodClass has been a really great way to learn about local issues and opportunities, while also providing a platform for students to have their voices heard.

“The best part about being involved in the PodClass is getting insight from different community members that I wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity to speak to before in a unique way,” Aggains said.

Pickerington Schools provided PodClass with a MixCast4 Podcast recording console to ensure that listeners can engage with every story in high definition.

Once an episode is recorded, Jeff Comer edits the program to air on Spotify. Comer plans to expand the podcast to other platforms soon.

Speaking of plans, PodClass has massive ones! The focus for 2023 is to “Engage, Educate and Entertain” Comer said.

“Anyone can create a podcast today, so we are competing with not only other podcasts but all other forms of entertainment and media and also people’s attention,” Comer said. “So, if we can get our community to listen for 10 minutes and they are informed and have fun while listening then that’s a win.”

If you are interested in this great local news source, you can find the show on Spotify or you can also catch the podcast on the Pickerington Schools website.