Adviser Update Summer 2016 - Page 42

time, but it would be great if we could distribute it before Super Tuesday.” I quickly reviewed the calendar in my head: that would only give us two or three weeks to bring the staff on board, plan, write, design, layout, publish and distribute. And that did not even include all the other deadlines that the staff was currently working to meet. Knowing that the journalism room is always a busy place—as the incubator of our newspaper, news website, yearbook and literary magazine—she was almost apologetic with her suggestion and knew that we would need to do a lot of work in a very short amount of time. they will own the publication. For a student publication to succeed, ownership is an essential ingredient, if not the most important one. Our news website, hockadayfourcast.org, started in a similar manner approximately seven years ago. I always knew building a website was an important and necessary step to “I think that is a great idea,” I told her. I did not know how we would make it happen, but somehow I knew we would make it happen. I am certain she was surprised at how little work it took to convince me. This energy is precisely what keeps me going: enthusiastic students who think creatively and want to go the extra mile – enthusiastic students who crave and enjoy a challenge. In my many years of teaching, I have learned that the more freedom you give a journalism student, in terms of content and creativity, the more ANA ROSENTHAL Ana Rosenthal is the mass communications department chair of The Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas. She advises the school’s newspaper The Fourcast, the news website hockadayfourcast.org, the yearbook Cornerstones, and the literary magazine Vibrato. All four publications have been honored with Crown Awards and/or Pacemaker Awards. She is a 2013 DJNF Special Recognition Adviser. Current she serves as the second vice president for the Columbia Scholastic Advisers Association. take in order to mirror industry and mass communications standards. However, I also knew that starting a website without student interest would be an exercise in futility. To my delight, a student came into my office and suggested starting one. I respected her initiative and immediately agreed. Building our website has been a long process, one riddled with challenges and honest mistakes. The first website was basic and plain, designed using a MacBook and consisting simply of stories and photographs. We did not know about WordPress at the time, so updating the website was a huge job where we had to manipulate every single text box and image in order to make room for new ones. We spent hours updating the website every month. Yes, we updated the website once a month—and we felt so proud of it. Luckily, my students got savvier. They learned how to use WordPress