One of the worst feelings for a new teacher is the feeling of isolation and abandonment that comes with the job of yearbook or newspaper advisor. When I took on the job of yearbook advisor at Hoggard High School many years ago, I remember how crazy the whole process seemed. I kept thinking, “There have to be rules for this stuff.” My rep tried to help me draw layouts, which made no sense to me, and my English degree wasn’t much more than a starting point. It wasn’t until Kay Phillips reached out and invited me to attend the Institute that I found real support. There were novices like me there, desperate for guidance, and there were veterans who knew how to do everything I didn’t. I found comfort and reassurance when I shared my situation, direction from knowledgeable speakers, and a wealth of ideas and inspiration. Now, after 28 years of advising, I still attend and still bring students to the conferences, because all of us need to know that we are not alone in our passion for storytelling, design, photography, and publication.
— Jan Reid, Cape Fear Christian Academy, Erwin