By Alex Haglund
If things look a little more colorful in the south hallway at Nashville Community High School (just outside of Assembly Hall), it’s not just the photos or the warm glow of Hornets victories – it’s a giant LED display, one that was built by the NCHS Computer Maintenance and Tech Support Class and programmed by the Web Page Design Class.
Students from both classes, along with their teachers, Paul Welte and Alicia Heggemeier, showed off the display for Dr. Dwain Baldridge, the Director of Career and Technical Education for the Regional Office of Education.
Welte told the NCHS Board that the project began more than a year ago, with a smaller display that the class premiered at a football pep rally.
The eventual goal for the class was to build a display to replace the marquee outside of the school near the highway, and according to Welte, building and using a larger indoors display is a good way to work towards that project.
What began as a construction project got more students involved when Welte asked Heggemeier if her web design class would mind providing some weekly programming for the board, a task they sunk their teeth into with relish.
“They developed a system now where we have word of the week, math fact of the week (provided by NCHS Principal Brian Posero),” Welte said. “We’ve gone beyond just basketball and announcements and it’s gotten kind of educational too.”
The excitement over the project is something that has spread beyond just Heggemeier and Welte, and even just their students, and is now something that the school as a whole is excited by.
“The kids are having fun with this,” Welte said, “and the teachers are having fun too.”
NCHS Board President Shawn Cook echoed that sentiment as well, saying that he particularly liked where they had decided to place the board, in the “Hall of Fame,” where numerous sports, academic and extra curricular groups have mementos of their success displayed.
Seeing the board there, “You get that proud feeling of association to the school,” said Cook.
Baldridge was very impressed by the board, and said as much in a letter to Welte, Heggemeier and
Superintendent Ernie Fowler.
As someone helping to promote vocational and technical education, the board showed Baldridge what excited and motivated students in different two classes can do when they put their minds to it.