DESE Commissioner Jeffrey Riley, and Nashoba Tech students Shenoah Kendall (Townsend), Alyssa Mayer (Pepperell), Breanna Gutheil (Littleton), Jillian Grady (Chelmsford), Nathaniel Psilopoulos (Chelmsford) and Adam Kubasti (Chelmsford). COURTESY PHOTO
WESTFORD -- An upcoming marketing campaign run by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will have a distinctly Nashoba Valley Technical High School flair to it.
Students in the school's Design & Visual Communications program have been working on the campaign with state education officials for about four months, and in December, six students went to DESE headquarters in Malden to present their input to state Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley and other officials.
The students are seniors Adam Kubasti and Nathaniel Psilopoulos, both of Chelmsford, and juniors Jillian Grady of Chelmsford, Breanna Gutheil of Littleton, Shenoah Kendall of Townsend and Alyssa Mayer of Pepperell.
"The students prepared a great presentation, and they really knew the material because they'd been working on it since the beginning of the school year," said Nathan Meharg, one of Nashoba Tech's Design & Visual Communications instructors. "Presenting to the commissioner is a really big deal, so they were a little tense at first, but once they got started, they were able to deliver in a very clear and informative manner. Everyone was really impressed by what they'd put together."
The marketing and advertising effort, called "aMAzing Educators," focuses on the ways teachers have a positive impact on the lives of their students and the community, both inside the classroom and out.
DESE has created a website for the campaign,
They have also developed promotional pens and pencils for Commissioner Riley to hand out at numerous school visits planned throughout the state as he advances the "aMAzing Educators" campaign.
The second phase of the campaign will feature another round of billboard advertising, as well as print ads to be placed on buses and trains in the regional transportation systems of Boston, Brockton, Lowell, New Bedford, Springfield/Pioneer Valley and Worcester, and a mobile ad that will run in the Boston metropolitan area. All of the advertisements are running throughout January, with the billboards continuing into February.
Nashoba Tech Superintendent Denise Pigeon attended the meeting last month at DESE headquarters and witnessed the professionalism with which the students presented their work.
"I was most fortunate to have the opportunity to observe Nathaniel, Jillian, Breanna, Alyssa, Shenoah and Adam present their design products for the 'aMAzing Educators' campaign directly to Commissioner Riley in his conference room at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education," Dr. Pigeon said. "This was a highlight for me to observe firsthand the outcomes of the high-quality educational experiences for the students at Nashoba Valley Technical High School -- juniors and seniors completing work products of professional quality."
The students will continue to work with DESE at least through the end of the current school year, and they and the instructors -- Meharg and Derik Rochon -- have been invited to attend a statewide education conference at UMass Amherst in March.
They won't just attend the conference, though. The Nashoba Tech graphic-design team, with input from DESE and an outside advertising firm contracted by the state, will be designing materials for the conference, including name badges, banners, programs and signs.