Storytelling at CA

August 31, 2023

One of the best parts of my job is getting a front-row seat (and behind-the-scenes peek) at all things CA.  

Across campus (and well beyond)—in science experiments in labs, in heads bent in collaboration in the Library, in class trips, in laughter over lunch—we are settling into the groove of the 2023-2024 academic year. 

Perhaps one of my favorite things about CA is that there is no singular experience, no “right” way to “do CA.” We pride ourselves on giving students the time, flexibility, and opportunities to exercise remarkable voice and choice in their learning. The diversity of our community offers further enrichment, encompassing various perspectives, personal backgrounds, and experiences. It’s a storyteller’s dream—making for seemingly endless opportunities. And our incredible students and employees never disappoint. 

In keeping with our community-building theme for the year, the Cary Academy Communications team is excited to work with all of you this year. We’re excited to show the world CA through your eyes—through the lens of your own unique CA experiences and perspectives—to ensure that all of our community is authentically represented and celebrated in the stories we tell.  

Since it has been a minute, I thought I’d take the time to introduce my team and share some information on what we do and how we look forward to partnering this year. 

I’m Mandy Dailey, Director of Communications, CA’s head storyteller, if you will. I have the pleasure of working with my two teammates—Jack Swingle, Digital Content Specialist, and Dean Sauls, Brand and Web Designer. Together, we comprise a full-service design and communications agency right here on the second floor of the Admin/Library Building. 

As Director of Comms, I’m part of CA’s Leadership Team, responsible for setting CA’s overarching communication strategies, helming large communication projects, authoring and producing the CA magazine, overseeing the work of my department, and touching nearly everything we produce.  

You’ve undoubtedly seen Jack across campus, wielding a camera or our department’s iPhone (often, both simultaneously). Jack is our resident photographer and social media guru, responsible for the fun and informative content you see on our Facebook and Instagram channels and the beautiful images you’ll see in our digital and print materials.  

Jack has a background in video production and will be working this year to create some vital video content for our website and digital channels. He’s also our CA Weekly editor, responsible for pulling together our community’s weekly newsletter, and is the employee advisor to the Upper School’s Photography Club. 

As our resident brand designer, Dean is our graphic design expert. From creating graphic identities for our events and campaigns to crafting beautiful direct mail pieces to designing the pole banners, the new Charger charter bus, and environmental graphics you see across campus, he is the reason that CA materials have a distinct and recognizable style.  

Dean is also our resident web designer and WordPress expert, responsible for updating our website and designing and running CA’s many ancillary websites—like our new Taste of the Arts page or academic and/or club blog sites. A bonsai master, you can see his skills on full display during his popular X Day classes and as the sponsor of the Upper School’s Bonsai Club. 

The additional members of our team—and hold on because it’s about to get cheesy—are . . .  all of you.  

While we keep our ears to the ground, we are a small team (albeit mighty!), and CA is always jumping—with stories, events, and opportunities just waiting to be shared. That means we rely on you to help surface story ideas and share important news.  

Your club is doing something amazing in the community? Send it our way. That interdisciplinary project has blown your mind? Tell us about it. Your team just did WHAT? Give us the details. You took incredible photos at last night’s social? We want to see! (More on that in a minute.)  

So. Just how can we work together? I’ve put together an FAQ to help get us started. 

How do I stay abreast of all things CA? 

The CA Weekly is the best place to start. Intended as a must-read for our entire community, it offers weekly reminders, community news and spotlights, and a peek at the week ahead. It arrives in your inbox in the early evening every Thursday. 

For a window into campus life and events, follow us on social. We’re active on Facebook and Instagram.  

And look for our print magazine, ?, the Cary Academy Magazine, to land in your mailbox twice a year (August and January).  

How do I get something in the CA Weekly, share a story idea, or ask for design or photo support? 

We’ve launched a single form for all your communication requests this year. We’ve tried to make it as painless as possible. Give us a few details, let us know what you are looking for—CA Weekly, Charger Spotlight, photo/video request, graphic design, etc.—and we will follow up and do the heavy lifting. Please note that items for CA Weekly are due by Tuesday, the week you’d like it to appear.  

You can find the form, linked here, on your Blackbaud resource board, and at the bottom of every CA Weekly.  

How do I see the photos you are taking around campus? 

CA uses a private and secure platform, Pixevety, to organize and share photos of campus life and school events.  

Open only to the CA community, Pixevety leverages facial recognition technology and Blackbaud integration to identify students and employees in images so that photos are easily browsed and searched. All images are available for download.   

If you haven’t already, please create a Pixevety account using the same email you use for your Blackbaud login (doing so will ensure you have access to the platform). You can do so HERE.   

Here is a video on just how to log in and navigate within Pixevety: How to log in and Acquire Images 

Can I share my own photos in Pixevety? 

Absolutely, and we hope you will! The following videos can help. Please note that students are limited to uploading to the “Student Uploads” album, which serves as a temporary moderation queue. Parents can create and upload to any album directly.  
How to Upload Images 

Here’s to an exciting new year of collaboration and partnership. Thanks for helping us tell CA stories; we’re really looking forward to it.  

Written by Mandy Dailey, Director of Communications

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