USNOW and into the Future

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As students and faculty are consumed by exams at the semester’s end, production of stories for USNOW has dropped precipitously to this reflection on the first four months of its existence.  Here are some highlights:

 

  • The idea for the page surfaced during the opening of school faculty meetings in late August as a way to streamline information for parents and to convey a sense of life in the Upper School.
  • My activity, formerly the Do Stuff Club, transformed into the Document Stuff Club, and took on the task of producing stories from the student perspective.
  • Over the course of the semester, the page hosted 36 stories in written and video form created by students and faculty.  In addition, it has hosted several photo galleries and a steady stream of important information for parents.
  • We solicited readership feedback, first live from the class parent group and later through a survey of readers that elicited 100 responses.  The responses were overwhelmingly positive and rich in useful feedback.
  • At the end of the semester, a member of the DSC, junior Sam Fredrick, proposed a redesign of the page to members of the group and Kathy Dion, our Communications Director, Page Lennig, our Technology Director, and Cathie Connors, who has been in effect the production manager of USNOW.  Sam’s page design, which promises to be much more dynamic, visually engaging, and interactive than the current version, was enthusiastically embraced.  Look for its implementation soon after we return from break.

While the efforts of many have been responsible for the success of USNOW, the effort of one stands out: Cathie Connors, who had more than a full job before I came to her in late August to share this great idea I had for “us” to produce an Upper School webpage. Then I went away on Outdoor Experience, and when I returned, the page was ready to go.  Since then Cathie has spent untold hours brainstorming story ideas, proofing every story before she posts it, teaching herself how to manage the page, and channeling material for publication in the Weekly, for which I am deeply grateful.  In fact, Cathie has been so busy producing USNOW that she hasn’t had the time to write the story I have asked her to tell, which is about the secret of her prodigious coaching success.  Her story is one of a thousand extraordinary tales of Upper School life waiting to be told and published on USNOW.  Stay tuned.