At the Third Annual High School Advisor’s Conference this past summer, Entourage Yearbooks awarded the Nicole Mayhew Grant to Yearbook Advisor Mr. Andrew Parker from Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone, Maine. Nicole Mayhew was an Entourage Yearbook Advisor and a member of the Entourage Yearbooks Advisor’s Council. Her commitment to the program and community showed in the way she ensured all students had access to a yearbook if desired. She made a lasting impact on everyone she met, and she left an incredible legacy that continues to inspire others. The Grant in the amount of $1,500 is awarded each year at the summer conference in her honor and the recipient is one who has shown outstanding commitment to their yearbook program, school and community.
To receive this grant, Advisors are nominated by Administrators who have witnessed the strong impact the Yearbook Leaders have made to advance and improve their yearbook programs. Mr. Parker was nominated by MSSM Dean of faculty, Mrs. Deborah McGann and was selected from over 1,300 other nominees. Mrs. McGann noted, “Mr. Parker assigned students specific titles and roles and developed evaluation forms with a description of major job responsibilities, performance expectations, goals, and benchmarks.”
When Mr. Parker took over the yearbook program 3 years ago, the structure was one in which all students had equal responsibilities across the board and there were no Editorial positions. Mr. Parker wanted to transform the program to set up positions to reflect a “real world situation” and as a result to create a degree of accountability amongst his yearbook staff. There are 11 staff members in total, 5 of which are returning students who are all Editors this year. Detailed performance evaluations are given and students uphold the highest standards when it comes to completing tasks. They work hard, but they also have a lot of fun and take great pride in the creation of their project.
With the Grant money, Mr. Parker plans on adding more pages to the yearbook project this year allowing for more in-depth coverage of events. He has also purchased T-shirts for the class that will be used to inspire pride amongst the staff. They will wear them on school spirit days and to school events where they can serve as a press badge when they are taking photos or conducting interviews.
Some of Mr. Parker’s favorite moments as an advisor have been to witness the growth of specific students who were once reserved, but as a result of the yearbook process, have emerged as true leaders. By restructuring accountability in his class and boosting team morale, Mr. Parker is undoubtedly preparing his staff for a successful future beyond the classroom and is well-deserving of Entourage’s Nicole Mayhew Grant.