Out of the ashes, exciting news ventures have emerged. Scott McNevan, the assistant head of school for Andrews Osborne Academy, knows firsthand how desperate students were for reassurance and stability in the wake of COVID-19, considering he isn’t just an administrator, but also a parent of a sophomore.
“I had a front-row seat to how much [my daughter] was missing her friends and how much she was missing her teachers,” he says. “I could see a huge gap just kind of staring at us.”
Wanting to bridge that gap and uplift his daughter’s spirits, McNevan created the Phoenix News Network with other school faculty. The weekly video series aimed at giving faculty and students a way to stay connected. Modeled after celebrity quarantine web shows, such as John Krasinski’s Some Good News, the Phoenix News Network became a top priority for McNevan and his colleagues as they spearheaded a focus on community engagement and current events.
“We looked at what was happening in the world each week,” he says. “We tried to balance things out between what would be funny and cute for little kids all the way up to high school kids, including parents.”
In an attempt to inform and entertain 350 students from more than 20 different countries, the program covered a wide array of topics.
From a collection of good news from throughout the world to humorous submissions such as a cartwheel contest and trivia, the show picked up so much steam that there are plans to turn it into a student-led monthly video production once the fall semester kicks off.
Ultimately, McNevan hopes his creation can be used as a teachable moment and a vital lesson about the importance of staying positive.
“Moral of the story is that we’re all capable of bringing our ideas into reality if you want to be intentional about it,” says McNevan.