How a high school principal uses videos and social media to create huge community engagement

Meet Gregory Pigeon, principal of Amherst Central High School in Amherst, NY since 2007, and educator for 30 years. Under Gregory’s leadership, ACHS was an early adopter in social media and currently has over 1,800 followers on the school’s Facebook page. Over time, he has found that video content is very popular on the school’s social media platforms and has developed an interest in having students and staff gain skills and capacity in the realm of video creation.

Tell us about how you started to include video creation in your school social media campaigns
I am very new to video editing and picked up WeVideo only in late November 2017. We were looking for a simple tool that works well in a Chromebook environment. I must say, it is very easy to use and creates quality video content.  
One example of a video I made was the “Put Your Best Face Forward Project,” a project led by teacher Pamela Fordham and Kristi Scalzo, who were looking for a unique and personal way for our students to observe Black History Month. After the initial launch of the project on our school TV program, to satisfy the many requests to see all of the student project photos, I made a video on the WeVideo phone app (iOS, Android).  

My simple WeVideo phone app creation that I posted on Facebook kind of went viral with nearly 15,000 hits to date; our local network news caught wind of success of the project and put it on air.

See the entire photo collection on the “Put Your Best Face Forward Project” video

Sharing these videos really helps create a connected community with students, staff, and parents. The recognition and tremendously positive feedback we received on the project had a very powerful impact on the teachers and students involved. It is not often that the great things happening in our public schools get this sort of positive and widespread exposure. It was deeply gratifying to see our school and students shine so brightly related to such an important educational goal as Black History Month.   

Posting these videos drives engagement with students, teachers, and parents

Another example is The Phantom of the Opera promotional video that I created to drive traffic to attend our live production.  The photos and video clips were provided to me by students and parent volunteers. I pulled them together and added the sound, headers, text, etc. I was getting 2-3K hits on Facebook every time I posted something, and I have to think WeVideo had a part in the successful attendance for our Operetta this year. Our students and staff work very hard to put on a Broadway-quality musical each year. It is very rewarding to me personally to play a small role in supporting those efforts through the posting of high-quality promotional videos on our social media platforms. WeVideo was the perfect tool to market Phantom to our learning community.
Watch the Amherst Central High School’s Phantom of the Opera promo video

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