June 15th, 2012

Social Media in a Christian School


BFA's Facebook Presence

So I’ve been creating, producing, brainstorming all with a focus towards combining high school education, a boarding program and Christian missions into the social media world. There’s been a steep learning curve. Everything from, “I never went to a public high school” to, “I now have management type responsibilities, and a budget.” Both have been strange for me to look back upon, and to see how I’ve failed and succeeded. So, if you will let me, I feel the need to share some of my thoughts from the past year.

Failures, and the One the Got Away

So I’ve been put in charge of the Communications at Black Forest Academy (BFA), which most of you likely already know. 😉 My role involves protecting and pursuing the “brand” of the school. But what I didn’t know this would mean is overseeing people as part of that.

A large part of my daily/weekly job is communicating between Communications and everyone else, as to how best we can encourage that what Communications has created is going to support the work they are doing. One of the greatest hurdles I have is that I’ve only been there at the school for two years, and everyone else I’m interacting with has been there for 5, 10, 20+ years. We are going to think differently, period. I’ve had to learn how to work alongside people in a different way then I ever have before. It’s a real blessing though that these people want to be working at BFA. Our ultimate goals are the same. To educate, bring up, encourage and love on every single student who comes through this school.

I’ve had to learn balance, and I’ve not always done a good job at that. I’ve been too harsh, or at times too critical. I forget to listen to others, and forget that we are working with the same goal in mind. This job has brought my faults to the front and lain them out for all to see. But I like to think that I am constantly refining my faults into something helpful not harmful. Self-assessment can be so self-serving, so that’s hard for me to measure.

Activities, Like Volleyball

So I coached junior varsity Volleyball this last school year. It was awesome. Yep. I got to go to many of the US military bases in the area for tournaments. It was like stepping into America; SUVs, Taco Bell, and all inclusive stores (like a Sears). But the girls I taught were so inspiring. They might not know it, but it’s true; I learned so much from them as well.

I learned that playing an iPad, having an extra blanket when the bus A/C won’t turn off, and bringing food are key to getting along in a bus full of high school girls. And that patience runs thin on the bus ride there, but goes really well on the way home, once everyone is asleep.

What Does This Have To Do With Social Media?

Everything. Internally, the two audiences of a school are staff and students. They must co-exist. Externally, my realm, the audience is parents and staff. Students don’t play a huge role. So I’ve been learning how these two realms of a school can co-exist. Some new questions I’ve been asking myself are:

  • How can I help the school communicate and work alongside parents?
  • How can Communications show the impact staff have on their students?
  • What does Jesus look like in Communications?
  • How can I work alongside staff members and enable them?
  • What is it that people need, not want people want?

So, here is some actualized media. Enjoy.

BFA: At A Glance

Overview Video

Black Forest Academy: At A Glance from Black Forest Academy Videos on Vimeo.

A seven-minute video to be used by our team members and fellow missionaries as they share about what God is doing in the lives of students at Black Forest Academy.

Special Thanks:
• Jonathan Griesse
• Israel Jernigan
• Luke Zvara
• BFA Personnel Office
• All the students who were interviewed

Staff Openings

Staff Openings

A new page for letting people know what positions are available.

Hopefully more to be added in the future. This page used to be just a table of available positions.

Residence Life Question and Answer

ResLife Q&A

A video campaign for recruiting new staff

Watch the videos on the website, or check out the YouTube Channel.


BFA Graduation

A new web format for Graduation media.

This gives parents, staff and students access to pictures and videos created of the ceremony. There’s also two videos on there that are specific to what happens during graduation week: Graduation Preparation and Faces of the Year.

BFA’s Facebook Presence

BFA's Facebook Presence

BFA’s On YouTube

BFA's YouTube Presence

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