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OCTV offers new show with ‘Schooling Around’

by Trevor Keiser

June 11, 2014

John OetJens records another episode of OCTV’s new show ‘Schooling Around.’ Photo by Trevor Keiser.
Oxford Community Television (OCTV) is giving viewers a deeper look into the programs of Oxford Schools with their new show "Schooling Around."

"The whole thing started when we started doing school news the way we do it now. Where I go out and actually talk to teachers about programs and talk to administrators about what they're doing and actually putting clips of them in the news, telling their story. Soon, one thing led to another and that little four minute newscast just wasn't enough anymore." said the show's host John Oetjens. "Schooling Around, go more in-depth on the issue, it's a 30 minute show."

From doing the show Oetjens has found that the more he talked with different people in the district, the more they wanted to talk to him about what they were doing. Being an out-of-towner, he believes Oxford has a lot of "tremendously interesting" programs, such as the Oxford Virtual Academy.

"Unless you have a kid in it, you don't know anything about it. The first thing a lot of people think about when you say virtual academy is some kid who having a rough time with his studies, taking a summer school class at the computer," he added. "Some of these kids are professional athletes traveling the world and professional dancers and ice skaters and this is how they get their high school graduation. Some of these kids might have an illness of some kind that prevents them from going to a regular classroom and this is another way for them to accomplish that same goal."

Another program Oetjens found interesting was Oxford Bridges High School.

"It's just fascinating to talk to Principal Aletha VanLoothen over there and her staff about some of the stuff they're doing for those kids," he said. "Our goal is to reveal these programs to the community, so they know what we have and what's available to them if they need it."

Oetjens describes himself as a "Wetback from Davisburg," where he lives with his wife of 47 years, Diana. They have four kids and 12 grandkids. Oetjens earned a degree in Mass Communications from Wayne State University.

"I got (that) back from the caveman era when we were chiseling our newscast," he said with a laugh.

Oetjens did work in professional radio for awhile after college, but realized if he really wanted to pursue his dream that he'd probably have to move all over the country, which wasn't something he was willing to do because he was so close to his family.

"I've had a couple of businesses and been in the insurance business," he noted. "I've retired so twice so far."

Oetjens got his start at OCTV last summer after his wife saw an ad in the paper for a cameraman.

"She said 'why don't you talk to these guys,' so I did and we got together and the rest is history," he said. "I'm tickled to death to be working for a community television station that's trying to do local stories like this in an educational, positive way."

"I'm having so much fun at it, that it really keeps me going from day-to-day. I just love the job that I do and I think the people I work with do as well," Oetjens continued. "We've got some young editors here, camera people here, who's soul desire is to do a really good job and they are. I'm proud of them."

"Schooling Around" can be see at 11 a.m. Monday through Friday on Charter Channel 191 and AT&T Channel 99. Upcoming shows will include an interview with Superintendent Dr. William Skilling as well as interviews with Oxford High School's Robotics Team TORC 2137.

OCTV currently has 16 employees and offers a wide variety of shows. For a complete listing visit www.occtv.org or for more information call (248) 628-9658 or check them out on Facebook and YouTube.