By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist
Pelham High School’s Literary Magazine, “More than Words” 2018 edition, is titled “Reverence.” Reverence means “to treat with deep respect.” As faculty adviser to the magazine, my job is publisher. Publishing the magazine includes fundraising, staff training on software use and submission selection, along with building a collaborative mindset.
The PHS Lit Mag Staff generates and disseminates excitement, creates and posts signs in the real world and on social media, produces Write Night, and leads the charge on T-shirt sales—all while encouraging and updating Write Night performers and those who submit their writing, art and photography to the magazine. This Lit Mag Staff is amazingly eclectic and collaborative.
“The rarest commodity is leadership without ego.” This quote by entrepreneur Bob Davids hangs by our classroom door. In Davids’ TED Talk, he explains.
“Power comes when the people that you’re leading give you their support. When that support comes to you, I call that power. They offer you the power and then they watch you. If you take that power and you deflect all of it back to them, then they give you more,” Davids says.
In Lit Mag, power goes to the staff. Experienced staffers lead new recruits. Leading without ego becomes the challenge. I step back and the students create a literary arts magazine. Leadership and responsibility emerge.
“The most wonderful moments are helping fellow staff members. Through helping others, I shared my skills, and I discovered my talent and confidence,” said Senior Editor-in-Chief Morgan Harris.
“My most fulfilling moment this year was when we won the ASPA spirit award. Reverence is awe-inspired respect. We could only create this magazine if we trusted each other to exemplify that respect,” said Junior Co-Editor-in-Chief Kathleen Kelley. “We’re doing more than making a magazine; we’re building an artistic community.”
“This magazine represents our lives in this time, and this place—that deserves respect,” said Kelley and Junior Co-Editor-in-Chief Anna Carden in their pitch for this year’s theme.
Respecting students enough to step back is incredibly difficult—and finally, amazingly rewarding—because students learn to persevere and succeed.