When he heard a good mate was doing a radio show, Tommi Joyce thought "this is me".
Three years later the year 12 student from Tauhara College, Taupō has roped in three other students to set up a student radio station that runs through interval and is broadcast over the internet. All over school, students are connecting via their phone and in classrooms teachers are playing the Tommi and Megan for Tutor Show and the India and Katherine for Interval Show.
In an office area in the heart of the school, co-host year 10 student Megan Harris, 15, and Tommi, 16, run a 15-minute show, five days a week. There is banter, the weather, a few jokes and interviews with other students. Then year 13 student India Wiltsher, 18, and year 12 student Katherine Davy, 17, take over with the music show.
It all started in 2018 when Tommi had just started at Tauhara College, and his friend Jack Girling was making regular appearances on a local radio show.
"I thought this is actually a cool thing. So I rang the radio station and got on the air," said Tommi.
Fast forward to March 2020 and Tommi had just started a 10-week slot with a local radio host Andrew Leiataua's breakfast show when Covid-19 lockdown began.
"I thought, 'let's do a school radio show. I spoke to the three STEM teachers (science, technology, engineering and maths) and they said 'yeah man, we are happy to support you along the way'".
With the help of teachers Dan Piper, James Lamb and Kris Watson, Tommi sourced all the equipment required from different departments all around the school. A six-channel mini console was found in the drama department from when drama students ran a school radio station in 2017.
Tommi owns his own console at home and so knew how to operate the school console, and he says he is happy to share the knowledge with Megan, India and Katherine.
"If I had any problems, I would just call Jack."
Megan says she hopes to get some experience and try some new things,
"You find out about yourself and get a lot more confidence as you go along," said Megan.
With only a few months of school left to go before she starts at Waikato University studying a bachelor of arts degree majoring in theatre studies and screen and media, India says the whole experience has made her more confident about talking on the radio.
Students can look forward to another term and a year of Tommi on air, as he has plans to go to broadcasting school in Christchurch in 2022. He says he would like to thank former principal Keith Buntting and acting principal Phil McCreery for giving the sign-off for the student radio station to go ahead.