Saint Andrew’s senior is sports broadcaster in the making

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Saint Andrew’s School in Boca Raton is making a difference for students to gain valuable experience with a robust broadcasting curriculum and the live streaming of sports broadcasts on campus.

Boynton Beach resident and senior high school student Harrison Calder has participated in the sports broadcasting program since his freshman year. He handles play-by-play for various events, including football, volleyball and basketball. He also has learned additional skills, including camera operator, editing and production. He has received hands-on experience working with equipment and in the control room.

“When I first started and joined the class, I instantly loved it,” Calder said. “I have stuck with it and want to continue to do it. I definitely want to do something in the broadcasting field. It’s a dream. It’s been absolutely incredible.”

Calder is a lead broadcaster and has been in the spotlight for notable games, including the football homecoming pregame shows and broadcasts and during the Saint Andrew’s boys’ basketball state championship title run. He is involved with the coverage at the school on National Signing Day. He also has received exposure on Scots Talk while interviewing Saint Andrew’s Head of School Ethan Shapiro, which is conducted twice each year.

Calder, who has played for the baseball team since his freshman year, has developed a passion for sports broadcasting. He enjoys the details and preparation involved before the event. He arrives early to games and matches to finalize notes while also interviewing coaches. He also is a lending hand and assists setting up cameras and monitors and checking microphones.

The Saint Andrew’s Media Arts program has recently produced students who currently attend the prestigious Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Calder previously worked with Bradley Hoppenstein and Benjamin Schiller on sports broadcasts.

“I learned a lot being able to work with them and they were helpful to me,” Calder said. “I am now able to look out for everyone else. I love just being able to help everywhere I can. Mr. Nash has been the greatest teacher. I have made great friends from these classes.”

Tom Nash serves as the media arts faculty instructor and oversees the live streaming broadcasts of sports and campus events. Nash, who has been at the school since 2018, has an extensive background as a stage and film actor. He has experience on sets in Broadway and theater and as a production professional in commercials, television and film.

“I want it to be completely student driven and that is my whole purpose,” Nash said. “That is my goal and the students can really take charge. It’s all about the process and not about the product. It’s a learning environment that we are in.”

Nash started on stage in front of the camera in Boston and New York before transitioning to the production side in Los Angeles as well as grip and electric work. He has also worked on editing film trailers. Nash said he has enjoyed the opportunity to work with students and share his experiences.

“I fell in love with it and I have never turned back since,” he said. “I love seeing the kids going through it and their experiences and the curiosity they have.”

Nash noted the advancements in technology since he arrived with students utilizing video over IP after previously working with fiber optic cables. They have four TriCasters (a TV studio in a computer) at their facility, including a portable for games.

The Dr. Kessler Digital Media Arts Institute has expanded with more opportunities for students. The media arts curriculum also includes sports broadcasting, honors sports broadcasting and honors broadcasting and internet media, with a concentration on how to take content and send out over the internet. Nash said the students learn how to create links on Vimeo and how to embed codes. They also receive feedback from the viewers and do a deep dive into analytics with a breakdown of how many people are watching when they click on and off the broadcasts.

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Nash also dedicates time in his classes to social media and video content as well as effective marketing strategies. He emphasizes problem-solving and solution-finding tactics during classes to prepare for live production and live streaming events. He said the ability to teach hands-on and for the students to adapt and learn on sets is beneficial. They receive experience building sets, changing lights, working with century stands and additional equipment. They also have a wraparound green screen that allows the students to engage in virtual sets.

The live streaming of sporting events includes up to 10 select games each semester and includes swimming, tennis and lacrosse. The group includes up to eight students on crew and up to three commentators for broadcasts. The group is also interactive with the ability to provide a QR code to mobile devices to engage with spectators for them to view broadcasts and shows.

The Saint Andrew’s School media arts program has also allowed students to learn from professionals in the field. The class had a session last year with longtime CBS Sports director and Sports Broadcasting Hall of Famer Bob Fishman. They also held a conference previously with Saint Andrew’s School alumni in the field, including producers and directors.

Nash added Hoppenstein’s feedback was encouraging since he utilized the same equipment at Saint Andrew’s School that is also present at his college studio while anchoring newscasts. Nash said the educational process of students learning all aspects behind the camera allows them to be confident when entering the field in the future.

“Harrison has been up for anything all the time and he has been willing to learn,” Nash said. “It’s really fun and nice to see them from when they first started up until the time of graduation. I enjoy getting to know the students. I love to make sure they have everything needed so they can do their best.”

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