Adam Parvanta uses technology to turn students into storytellers. The technology integrator at Maine’s Gorham High School (GHS) and an avid videographer, Parvanta captures the essence of the school’s culture with videos celebrating events and accomplishments large and small. Working with teams of eager students behind the camera and in the editing room, Parvanta creates videos to welcome students and staff back at the beginning of the year, highlight athletes’ big wins, and entice the community to fill the auditorium for the annual musical. With his guidance, seniors create “resume” videos to submit as supplements to college applications. Parvanta reconfigured his office to include stations where students can work on their projects and loans them equipment to bring their ideas to life. Students flock to Parvanta and spend many non-class hours learning from him—not because they have to, but because he motivates them to make their work better.
Parvanta shares his visual storytelling skills in the classroom, too. He teaches two technology classes, but much of his time is spent helping GHS teachers incorporate technology into their lessons. Students and teachers now use technology to create content rather than just consume it. As an alternative to writing papers, Parvanta helps students design effective multimedia slide presentations and infographics. He is known as a quiet leader who has already had a profound impact on education in Gorham. Because of Parvanta, students are fulfilling one of the district’s core missions: becoming clear, effective communicators.
Parvanta has a magical capacity to connect with students and colleagues and inspire the community through his videos. When he taught math at Gorham Middle School, students made documentary and horror films for the film festival he oversaw, and a playful “Got Buckets” basketball-themed student video went viral, with almost 100,000 views on YouTube. Parvanta produced a moving video about Gorham’s unified basketball program, in which GHS students play and compete with special needs students, and helped Gorham secure an Adopt-A-Classroom grant from MELMAC (Maine Educational Loan Marketing Corporation) to connect high school and elementary students. For a video celebrating district staff, Parvanta sought out and featured a 98-year-old retired educator.
Parvanta earned a bachelor’s in education in 2003 from the University of Maine, Orono.
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