Monday, March 31, 2014

Day 121 - Proud to be part of DART

Today's post is from MWHS Media Specialist Anitra Trapp

There hasn’t been a day since I started as the Media Specialist at MWHS ten years ago that I haven’t turned the corner onto Sunnyfield Road and driven past the school sign and thought to myself, “Yep. I’m lucky.” And yes, sometimes I turn back out onto Sunnyfield at the end of the day and pass that same sign and think, “Man. I’m tired!”

The people that surround you can make or break your work experience and in this environment, I’ve made it! The staff are so supportive of one another and spend so many hours giving back to the students and the school. The students at MWHS work hard. They are tolerant. They are kind. And they very rarely give their Media Specialist any grief.

The building itself has always been a source of pride for me. It has distinctive layout not found in many schools. Built in 1971, this building was designed by Hammel Green and Abrahamson and won the AIA Minnesota Merit Award in 1972. It was designed to be a flexible structure that would lend itself to expansion and changing use with an upper level “mall”, moveable partitions, courtyard, and skylights. Many of these design features have served us well, but after 40 years some areas of the school needed rejuvenation.

Over the years, a few of us teachers have thought, “Gee, wouldn’t it be nice if . . . “ and rattled off our ideas of ways to improve areas of the building. In the Spring of 2012, I decided we should try to achieve those ideas and formed DART (Design And Refine Team). DART members brainstormed ways we could showcase the pride we have in MWHS. We spruced up some old display cases to highlight our Student Activities as well as the history of those that came before us. We worked with our facilities to improve the signage in the building, touch up the painting and plan for more painting in the future. A new office display space is taking shape to honor student achievements throughout the year. We added some benches at the entrances so students have a place to sit while waiting for a ride. Our group donated our time and money to complete many of these projects and most have been small or subtle changes.

Could these improvements been done by a small scrappy committee at any other school? Maybe, but I wager that no other committee would have received the acceptance and counsel we did. Keith Randklev and Marty Fischer encouraged us, offered advice, asked for advice, embraced changes, attended meetings, worked with others in the district on our behalf and never stood in the way of our enthusiasm.

Being a part of DART is one way I show the pride I have in MWHS and just another reason for me to say, “Yep. I’m lucky” when I come to school each morning.

Old memorabilia 

New memorabilia -- Mrs. Trapp

Other new changes happening in the building 

If you have a story that you would like to share, please email for more information! We would love to hear from you!

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