ARLINGTON, Texas - For the second time in as many years, National Public Radio (NPR) has recognized a student at The Oakridge School in its Student Podcast Challenge. Junior Kristina Miller earned an Honorable Mention for her entry, “Athletes vs. Artists.”
According to the NPR website, there were more than 2,400 entrants (grades 5-12), from 45 states and the District of Columbia. Of that number, only 64 high school students received the Honorable Mention distinction. “The creativity, innovation, and emotion students were able to pack into eight minutes impressed us,” NPR’s Eda Uzunlar wrote.
Kristina’s podcast presents both sides of a timeless high school dilemma, which asks whether an individual should try to pursue both arts and athletics or focus one’s efforts on one pursuit over the other. Kristina included expert opinions from an educator and professional instrumentalist with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and Dexter Coakley, an Oakridge Coach and three-time Pro Bowler (1991, 2001, and 2003) with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. She also incorporated personal anecdotes and statistics from the Center for American Progress. Her conclusion? SPOILER ALERT: You can have your cake and eat it, too!
“A diverse skillset allows you to connect with people from different backgrounds,” said Kristina, a varsity cheerleader, volleyball player, and choir member whose role as the Fairy Godmother in Oakridge’s spring production of Cinderella earned her a Betty Lynn Buckley Award for Best Female Supporting Actor in a Musical. “It [diverse skillset] also creates a diverse resume, and broadens your horizons, as well as job opportunities. That’s why it’s one of the most significant things colleges look for, say experts.” Fun fact: Kristina’s friend, fellow artist and athlete, and Oakridge junior Zahn Coakley composed the music for the podcast. Upper School History Teacher, Mr. Michael Millians, served as an advisor on the project. Listen to Athletes vs. Artists here.
Eshan Singhal earned a 2020 Honorable Mention from NPR as a freshman after exploring the world of reusable rockets. For the podcast, he interviewed an Oakridge physics teacher and classmates. He also composed and performed the accompanying background music. Listen to Eshan’s podcast here.
Students in college and those in grades 5-12 were eligible to participate in the 2022 challenge. View the full list of those who received an Honorable Mention here. Listen to NPR’s Dallas-Fort Worth station, KERA, online at kera.org or at 90.1 FM.
About The Oakridge School
Established in 1979, The Oakridge School is an independent, co-educational, college preparatory, day school for students age 3 through grade 12. The school draws a diverse student body from 22 area cities and 8 countries to a dynamic learning environment on a 100-acre campus in Arlington. The Oakridge School mission is to inspire students to seek their full potential in academics, the arts, and athletics in a challenging and nurturing environment that cultivates social responsibility, mutual respect, and personal integrity. To learn more about The Oakridge School, visit www.theoakridgeschool.org.