Looking back at our ‘home’ of 22 years brings back lots of memories

Mark Webber, Adviser

I’ve had the good fortune to spend 22 years at our school “home.”

Our school’s first year, 1993-1994, saw us spend much time as nomads, first at the school board room and other nearby locations, then the Civic Center, then back to the board room. Eventually we got to move into our remodeled buildings. Our journalism classroom was ready to move in two days before the grand opening!

The journalism rooms in our little building were not always like they are now. Originally the far back room, the one we use as a studio, was a photographic darkroom complete with large sink to accommodate trays of chemicals and a tub to wash photos and negatives. Enlargers, or devices to create photos from negatives, were placed on the counters. Students shot black-and-white film and developed the negatives, then printed photos. It was quite something!

After we went all digital in fall 2009 I had the sink removed, so that’s why tile forms a large rectangle in the studio.

In the main classroom, against the wall where sign-in sheet, laser printer and phone is, was a counter where computers and a laser printer sat. When we moved the computers into the little room where they are now, I had the district remove the counter and patch up a strip of missing plaster so the wall would look attractive. I didn’t take a photo of the counter or of the ugly strip of bare brick left when the counter was taken out; I wish I would have.

We used the now-computer room as a work room until we moved the computers in there, and in order to have Internet access we acquired the black box under the window, called a “switch.” That’s connected to the Internet and the computers are connected to the switch.

And the hundreds (or maybe thousands) of students who have left an enviable legacy of published work! Each person brings his or her own skills, hopes, wishes and goals and working together, have collectively created a unique, award-winning journalism program.

Coming to school every day is almost like coming “home.” Not your personal home where you spend time at the end of the day, but rather the school “home” where I’ve spent more than 8 hours a day for 9 1/2 months of every year for  the past 22 years, plus extra time in the summer.

We’ve had a very nice school “home,” what with the beauty of the downtown neighborhood we’re in, lots of green grass, trees growing outside of our buildings and elsewhere in the neighborhood, and the security of knowing that all is well once inside our little building.

A new chapter for the school begins soon, and I’m so fortunate to be one of the last remaining links between the original opening of our soon-to-be former campus and the soon-to-come opening of our new campus.