The Voices Behind Bronx Science


Sophie Malki

Seasoned announcer Sam Shapiro ’17 enjoys researching possible contenders for the Joke of the Day.

You hear them nearly every day at the start of third period, but do you really know the people behind the voices on the loudspeakers?

Many Bronx Science students depend on the daily announcements for up-to-date information, but few people think twice about what it takes to be an announcer.

Samuel Shapiro ’17 is a veteran in his third year as an announcer. He was inspired to apply to lead the announcements during his sophomore year, when he heard his brothers’ friends, Elizabeth Speed ’14 and Benjamin Boyd ’14, leading them. About 25-30 students apply each year in Ms. Cooper’s office with a practice announcement and a joke.

Eliana Chiovetta ’17 noted that her favorite part of updating students is saying the joke of the day because, “Even though they are often corny, they make me smile.”

August Padua ’18 agreed, noting that “It is the only unscripted part of the announcements.” Shapiro added that his favorite joke of the day is “What’s the best part of Switzerland? Well, the flag is a big plus!”

The morning announcements have also helped these students to develop their extemporaneous speaking skills.

Ise Sharp ’17, an announcer and a member of the Bronx Science Speech and Debate Team, acknowledged, “We always have to improvise and correct ourselves while speaking, because we usually do not have time to read the full submissions from teams and clubs beforehand.”

Shapiro admitted that even after three years, he still makes the occasional mistake. However, he also believes that this experience has helped him learn to think on his feet.

“Nervousness is part of the fun of it all. I enjoy the butterflies in my stomach before the announcements start,” Padua added.

Although, like Chiovetta and Sharp, it is Padua’s first year as an announcer, he has already had experience with speaking and performing in front of an audience as a cast member of multiple Bronx Science plays and musicals.

Photo by Sophie Malki
Announcer Eliana Chiovetta ’17 cherishes her time spent speaking over the loudspeaker.

Chiovetta learned the importance of quick thinking her first day on the job, when she accidentally said the wrong time for the Speech and Debate interest meeting.

She recounted, “Ms. Cooper made wild hand motions and mouthed the right time. On the air, I said ‘CORRECTION – the meeting will be held at 3:00, not 3:45!’ I was embarrassed, but it gave me a rush of adrenaline!”

These skills will also prepare seniors Sharp, Shapiro, and Chiovetta to pursue majors in college involving international relations and communication.

Sharp is passionate about environmental law and policy. She draws inspiration from her Jamaican heritage and the environmental problems that face the country. When she visits the capital, Kingston, it is always under a layer of smog and has a prominent stench of burnt trash, pushing her to work towards permanent environmental solutions.

Similarly, Shapiro’s dream job is to work as a criminal prosecutor for the International Justice System.

Chiovetta plans to major in international relations and political science. There is also a common love of the arts among three of the announcers.

“My dream job would be professional acting,” Padua expressed, citing his love of performing. Chiovetta is also a member of the cast of S!NG at Bronx Science and enjoys working with children at the Guggenheim and Jewish museums in her spare time.

“Going to Bronx Science made me realize that I am not really a STEM person,” Chiovetta admitted.

In addition to environmental law, Sharp is also interested in pursuing art history. “My mother is an artist, so I’ve grown up going to museums and exhibits a few times a month,” she explained. “I really love the stories behind the artwork.”

While someday you may find these announcers ruling on the Supreme Court, passing historic laws in Congress, cleaning up the environment, acting in movies, or creating award-winning artwork;,for now, you can hear them every day for the first three minutes of third period.