Cultivating Creativity and Connection

Dona Wood and Her Marketing Interns


by Jane Kendall
Photography by Nic Eve

Dona Wood is the Assistant to the Headmaster at Hilton Head Christian Academy, a small private school that offers intimate schooling opportunities for children grades K-12. With class sizes of about 10 students per teacher, each child has the opportunity to be given direction and support in finding their personal gifts and talents. One year ago, the school developed a marketing internship program to provide information to parents and the community about the school, the teachers, projects and events. Dona oversees this program. The students are chosen by recommendation from teachers, based on their skills in graphic design, photography and creative writing. All of the interns were waiting for me in Dona’s office, each eager to share their experiences in the program. I asked them to summarize how it made them feel more connected to the students, teachers and parents.

Jamie Hubbard and Hannah Rose Harrison, both juniors, are in charge of the “Hello Project,” where they showcase their skills in videography and video editing.

Jamie: Through the “Hello Project” we create connections between the students, parents, and teachers, allowing people to get to know the faculty at the school. The videos introduce and explain what each faculty member’s role is, what their teaching style is like and what they think makes HHCA different.”

Hannah Rose: “Being a marketing intern this year has given me the opportunity to work with the other marketing interns to get families and parents to gain a better understanding of what’s going inside HHCA. Making a video series, sharing things on social media, etc. gives us the opportunity to connect with families so they can have a better view of the school and why it’s so special.”

Halie Cooler is a senior, skilled in the area of social media. “I am the student Facebook publisher and have loved the connecting aspect of being able to get to know the parents and students of the HHCA family better! I am also putting together an HHCA picture portfolio.  As a senior, I realize now how many people here have made a significant impact on my life.”

Maddy Bauer is a senior with expertise in creative writing. “I’ve always looked for ways to use my passion for writing in a way that is tangible and purposeful. Being a marketing intern gave me the ability to not only develop this skill, but also use it to connect with others through my blog.”
Lindy Maxey and Lilly Strickland, both seniors, often work on projects combining their talents and ideas. Their marketing pieces are trademarked as LinLilly.

Lindy: “Over the past two years of being a marketing intern, I’ve been given the opportunity to communicate and connect with people around the school and within the community through various projects and social media. This internship has helped me grow as an individual and introduced me to new fields of study involving learning and education.”

Lilly: “Through the opportunities provided by this internship I have grown as a person, learning more about my hobbies, such as photography and videography, and becoming more confident in my abilities to complete a given task from scratch. I have learned the value of clear communication and ways to be efficient in successfully communicating a message to informed and uninformed individuals. I think I owe it all to this internship for helping me connect my passions with my career and personal goals.”

Dona explained that the marketing intern program is a product of HHCA’s willingness to try new things. This project is not only helping students gain a better understanding of marketing and developing their talents for applications in the school, it is also building marketable skills for the future and exposing students to a world of possibilities. Each student has personally defined and implemented their own objectives in conjunction with the marketing objectives for the school. In this way they get to explore and grow their personal strengths in a nurturing environment, an ideal set up for success. “In my experience, the best connections happen when people open themselves up, try new things and are working toward a common objective.”