I took to website design around 2000, building two rudimentary websites from scratch for my Advanced Placement English and English 11 Honors classes at Voorheesville High School.  These early sites were table-based HTML sites, basic and functional, written at first in FrontPage and then tweaked by hand.  Over the years those sites evolved, I learned CSS, climbed the Dreamweaver learning curve, and, recently, decided to forgo it all for the WordPress CMS.  So I’ve come full circle, really, from building everything from scratch to utilizing the advanced features of a blogging system.

I currently manage five websites, four for work and this site.  Below are screenshots from my other four web projects with a brief description of the site’s history and purpose.


The Cole Summer Writers Institute

The Cole Summer Writers Institute is one of the projects I have undertaken that I am most proud of.  I started this summer workshop in 2005, and, with the exception of 2006 (there was a hiccup in scheduling), have run it every year since.  The Cole experience is one of collaboration, fun, and creativity, as students are exposed to a one week intensive writing workshop, complete with local published writers as guest speakers.  Our speaking list includes: Elizabeth Brundage, Hollis Seamon, and Jack Rightmyer.  The website was one of my first experiences with CSS, and I loved the site’s clean design, but the power of WordPress, with its capability for indexing and storing, won out in the end. I’ve tried to maintain some of the original flare within the confines of WP’s framework. Here’s how the site looks now:


TechTimes

Started in 2009, TechTimes serves as the Technology homepage for the Voorheesville Central School District.  It started as I assumed the role of Academic Technology Specialist for the middle/high school, and grew as I assumed the role of TechMondays Coordinator (our series of technology based professional development courses).  The site has been a nice venue for me to write brief technology articles that pertain to teaching, which was a nice momentary shift away from fiction. Defunct now for many years, this website opened my eyes to the possibility of web based communication.


The Blackbird Review

Really a labor of love, I started The Blackbird Review because I wanted to give students an opportunity to publish their writing (fiction, poetry, nonfiction) and artwork in a place that screamed professionalism and class. Don’t know if I got there or not, but the BBR has progressed over the years from a basic site to one that encompasses some nice CSS flourishes.  The magazine publishes two hard copy issues annually, but the online site allows me to publish student work on  a rolling basis, affording a more instantaneous experience for student writers. Here’s how the new WordPress site looks now:

BBR-screen-shot


The Helderbarker

I took over as adviser to the school’s newspaper in 2010, and quickly converted it into a web-only publication (printing costs are staggering).  This is a WordPress site, so I can’t take any credit for the formatting, but I can use this as another way in which I can marry my love of writing with web design.  I have a pretty motivated, if small, staff, and these kids really work to make sure that Voorheesville is kept up to date with the happenings around school.  The paper folded in 2012 due to budget cuts.