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There’s a new sound emanating from the Media Arts and Communications Academy, and it can be heard anywhere in the world.

KHGN Radio officially launched on Tuesday, Oct. 16. Funded by the Harlingen Area Educational Foundation, the student-produced radio station airs 24 hours a day and features a wide variety of music as well as the latest in HCISD news, sports, and programming.

“We want our students to be college, career, and community ready,” said Superintendent Dr. Art Cavazos. “The Media Arts and Communications Academy was a dream, an idea, that we could create a district classroom for our students to come and do junior and senior level programs and receive authentic learning experiences. Here we are, a year and a half out, and it continues to grow and gain momentum. I want to thank the members of the Harlingen Area Educational Foundation who provided the funding for the radio station and made it a reality.”

Students in the Digital Audio Technology class, led by their teacher Mary Ann Garcia, have been developing content for the station by conducting interviews with members of the HCISD community.

“We’ve been working on a couple of podcasts and a radio show that we are beginning to produce,” said junior Makai Montemayor. “We just completed a couple of interviews with district staff. It is so interesting to learn about all the things going on behind the scenes at HCISD.”

Michael Fitzgerald, a junior, stumbled upon the program while on a visit to his counselor at Harlingen High School South.

“The thing that surprised me about this program is that I didn’t think it would be this much fun. I just kind of chose this elective at random, and I ended up enjoying it more than any other class that I’ve had so far,” said Fitzgerald. “I want to major in media arts and do a minor in music composition. I aspire to create and produce music, and hopefully, teach students one day.”

Students in the Digital Audio Technology class learn the many aspects of audio production as they work on enhancing their communication skills and talents. Students will also have the opportunity to earn their certification as a Society of Broadcast Engineers Certified Radio Operator, which will be useful when seeking employment or advancement.

Garcia hopes to take the program beyond just radio by incorporating the many facets of the industry.

“Radio is forever changing. I was in the business for 23 years, and I hope to give students a taste of every aspect of it here,” she said. “We are just getting started, but as we progress, we want to be able to take on more of the marketing aspect, and work with everyone across the district. I also want to bring in those younger kids to show them what is possible and what they could learn.”

To tune into KHGN Radio Station, visit www.hcisd.org/khgnradio.

In 2017, HCISD launched the Apprenticeship, Firefighters, Health Science, Media Arts and Communications, Teacher, and Transportation, Distribution and Logistics academies. Grounded in the 4 C’s – critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity – HCISD Academies go beyond the realm of traditional, secondary education to ensure students achieve post-graduation success.

For more information about HCISD Academies, visit www.hcisd.org/academies.

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