#VMThrowback: Original faculty member Mark Webber recalls VMT’s begining

Christopher Cantu and Martha Inguanzo

Journalism-Online Media instructor Mark Webber stands in front of a display of Magnet Tribune newspapers.

The Magnet Tribune: Christopher Cantu

Journalism-Online Media instructor Mark Webber stands in front of a display of Magnet Tribune newspapers.

Christopher Cantu, Columnist

Journalism instructor Mark Webber, who has been teaching at VMT since it opened in the fall 1993, talked about the changes VMT has gone through over the years, especially the first year.

“We would have class in the Civic Center ballroom where we would be surrounded by music students each playing a different instrument and a different song,” Webber said as he recalled the first year of VMT.

Other days would be spend downtown at the board room and St. Peter’s Plaza, he explained.

Some of Webber’s fondest memories are the Hispanic festival, at the Halloween costume contest, and at the Medallion Ceremony.

“Seeing the seniors moving on is an emotional time for teachers,” he said.

“I think one memory that all the teachers probably share is the medallion ceremony, It’s always a very emotional time to see the seniors go because you’ve been with them for three or four years, and it’s always kind of a sad time to see them go. But, of course, this is part of evolution, change. People that are there grow up and move on, and you get to see the next group come along,” he said.

After more than two decades of teaching at VMT, Webber explained how the school has gone through a lot of changes.

“Finally getting buildings for that first year was a big change,” Webber said.

As Webber recalled, in the early years of VMT, there were academic courses such as math and science which VMT doesn’t offer anymore.

One dramatic change that Webber had to go through was when the field of technology started coming into play.

Seeing the seniors moving on is an emotional time for teachers.”

— Mark Webber

“We still have photography but it’s evolved from film photography to digital,” Webber said, and added that the journalism also includes audio and video production.

“One thing that we have now that we didn’t have years ago is the aggressive online presence,” Webber said. “It seems like we always had a website for the paper, but I think how we we’re using it now is a lot closer to how professional newspapers use it, updating as you need to update.”

Webber also discussed his thoughts on the new VMT campus. He explained how leaving the downtown area brings up many memories because of all the years he spent here.

“I think it’s something we really do need. Being here for as long as I have, I just hate to go. I love the atmosphere and just being downtown, going outside and there’s trees, fresh air, birds and random people walking around. That’s kind of enjoyable. The students get to walk from one building to another, one block to the next and everybody is able to share the beauty of the area that we’re in. But from a safety standpoint, it’s not the safest,” he said.

“Were here in houses for the most part, and they’re not really built to take the use that were giving them,” he added.

He said that the new VMT campus is something that is needed and he said he is looking forward to having everyone behind a fenced.

Webber said he is honored to have been at the school since its beginning.

“It’s an honor to be on the original faculty. That’s something that very few get to experience.”


Christopher Cantu