School’s social media provides a window to school life

December 8, 2016 — by Frederick Kim and Elaine Sun

School's social media giving a new perspective

During the summer, PTSO board president Ranjana Sivaram was asked to help come up with the school’s motto for the year. So she asked her family.

During a family hike through the hills above Saratoga in late July, the Sivarams exchanged possible phrases. 2011 alumna Uttara Sivaram came up with the phrase “Go falcon power.”

“‘Go falcon power’ was punchy and memorable, and yet it retained the overall theme of unity and pride that we wanted our entire school to feel,” senior Saya Sivaram said.

To spread the word about the motto “go falcon power,” assistant principal Kerry Mohnike and attendance secretary Mandy Armes decided to create an Instagram account in September.

“The Instagram account is another way to spotlight events that are going on not only outside the classroom, but also inside,” Mohnike said. “A lot of times, families don’t have access to what’s happening in the curriculum day to day, so this is a great way to share.”

Mohnike sees the new social media account as a way to “promote the different programs that we have around campus such as sports and field trips in a regular and consistent way.”

According to Mohnike, the Instagram account serves as a way to “share what’s going on in the moment.” After the event, students are able to possibly see their own faces and reflect back.

“Because of the way social media is set up, pictures are posted as the events are happening so the account helps to get the word out for future events,” Mohnike said.

Although most of the pictures are posted by Armes and Mohnike, some faculty members also have access to the Instagram account, enabling any one of them to post and share pictures.

The main purpose of the account is to showcase aspects of the school and student body that individuals may be unaware of. For example, during the MAP trip to New York for the film festival a few months ago, Mohnike and MAP teacher Tony Palma followed the group around the city and posted pictures of the city, the students and what went on during their filming sessions.

Many students and faculty view the Instagram account as a positive addition to the school’s social media presence. With 88 followers and counting,  the account has been depicting activities around school such as Homecoming, Move-Ember, Winter Formal and more.

“I think the Instagram is cute, especially because they take pictures of the events that are going around the school,” senior Rachel Won said.

Since the creation of the page, the account has featured collages of science teacher Jenny Garcia’s physics classroom, pictures of the girls’ volleyball’s CCS tournament, and videos of the school’s Marching Band at the Bands of America Regional Finals. Because many on-campus events occur at similar times throughout the day, the account helps students keep up with activities that their peers are participating in.  

“I like how the school shares all our moments on a platform that many students use, and it makes our school seem cool,” junior Nathon Chin said, “It makes it seem like we’re all proud of our school because our school has a hashtag.”

Other students like junior Hannah Fan find the school’s social media presence helpful and are hopeful for its future.

“Since the account shows everything such as sports and music and is regularly updated, it is really helpful,” Fan said. “I think having a social media account can be good as long as they keep it professional, objective and showcase every part of the school.”

Given that Saratoga is a competitive and academic-driven school, Won believes that the social media account provides a window into the reality of what goes on here.

“People are starting to follow the Instagram and using the hashtag ‘gofalconpower’ in many different ways,” Won said. “It’s really nice because people can see all the different ways our school is reaching out and doing other things besides just academics.”

5 views this week