Rediscovering Your District’s History through Video

This summer, our department received an interesting task from our human resources department. They asked us to create a video to encompass the history of our district for administrators and new employees.

It seemed like a simple assignment, until we started doing research and writing a script for the history of a district that went all of the way back to 1846. After weeks of script writing, filming and pulling photos from our archives, we produced the final video in late July. We were able to encompass nearly 170 years of district history in about 17 minutes! Admittedly, I am a documentary nerd, so I really enjoyed this project.

What we discovered through the process was the positive connection we could make with our employees, students and community through video and social media.

Our first official screening of the video was to our 800 employees during our annual district convocation. Ninety-six percent of our staff gave the video an excellent review in our post-event survey, and the anecdotal comments showed many positive comments from employees. Many said they felt a deeper connection to the district by better understanding its history.

A week later, we shared the video on social media, and within a few days had more than 2,400 views on YouTube. The video reached nearly 10,000 of our Facebook fans, which is an extraordinarily high amount for the Ritenour School District page.

The comments by our fans were even more humbling. “Fills me with Ritenour pride! And brought tears to my eyes,” said one fan. Another commented: “The things we learn about our past here on Facebook amazes me.”

We’ve had numerous requests to show the video at meetings within our community, and the overall positive response has been amazing.

The power of video is unmistakable. Who knew that one project introduced to us by our HR department could leave such a positive impression with so many people in our community?

Just in case you are interested and have about 17 minutes to spare, you can watch the video here:

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This entry was posted in Facebook, Social Media, YouTube by Doug Bray. Bookmark the permalink.

About Doug Bray

I joined the Ritenour School District in July of 2006 after spending the first nine years of my career working in professional and amateur sports. In March of 2013, I was named the Director of Communications and Community Services for Ritenour. Prior to that I was the Communications Manager for the St. Louis Sports Commission from 2003-2006, a non-profit organization that works to attract the top amateur and professional sports to the region. From 1997-2003, I worked in the public/media relations office for the St. Louis Rams football team.

2 thoughts on “Rediscovering Your District’s History through Video

  1. I know this took a great deal of research, but the end result is great historical record for the school district. The information on the social influences that changed the district, facilities referendums (passed and failed) and the payment of bonds give a great report of the district’s place in the community it serves. Thank you for sharing – this definitely seems to be a worthwhile project. Could you share a little on how you researched the records and obtained the photographs?

  2. Hi Julie, Thanks so much! The research was done in a number of ways. We have a retired “district historian” who gave us much of the information. Other info was collected through some historical books about the district published in the 1970’s and through an interview with the director of our local historical society. The photos, for the most part, were in our archives – which have been scanned and are stored digitally on one of our servers. I hope this helps! Thanks again!

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