James Lewis Mead, Ed.D
Instituted WOAK radio station at Dondero High School
Professor, Central Michigan University
Author, Guide to School Radio
Harrison High School Valedictorian, 1933
James L. Mead grew up in Harrison, Michigan. He was valedictorian at his high school in 1933 and went on to Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan to earn a bachelor's degree. He later received a doctorate in education from Wayne State.
While teaching English and speech at Royal Oak/Dondero High School he directed dramatics, debate and forensics. In 1958, James Mead became the Director of Radio Broadcasting for the Royal Oak Schools. He was a pioneer in the development of low-power radio broadcasting. The concept had been developed in the late 1940's, but most stations were located primarily on a college campus. Some believe that WOAK in Royal Oak may have been the very first 10 watt FM station in the country to broadcast from a high school. The entirely student-run station provided unique learning experiences for Dondero and Kimball students.
Dr. Mead published his doctoral thesis on low-power radio, and it led to the publication of his book, Guide to School Radio which served as a handbook for many stations to follow. He also served many organizations as their parliamentarian at formal meetings and conventions.
Dr. James L. Mead left Dondero to assume a position on the faculty at Central Michigan University. He was inducted into the Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame in 2006.