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South Whidbey schools seek volunteers to save history

South Whidbey School District administrators and board members are hoping to preserve the cherished class photographs displayed in the hallways at Langley Middle School.

During the monthly school board meeting in March, staff members sought input from the district’s board of directors on how to preserve and digitize the photos.

Staff members at the middle school hoped to begin the project this spring, following an earlier plan to paint the hallways. After examination and further discussion on the condition of the photos, it became a much bigger project than anticipated.

“It’s a big project that keeps on evolving,” said Linda Racicot, board chairwoman.

Principal Eric Nerison described a variety of obstacles needed to restore the photos. Some are yellowing, have edges that are curling or are so worn down the names of the students are unreadable. The types of frames and glass of the photos also contribute to the damage, he said.

The images feature graduating high school classes from 1931 to 1981.

The walls of the hallway were scheduled to be repainted last summer, but it was delayed pending the photos’ restoration. Nerison said he hoped to begin the process soon, and that he wants the community to have better access to the photos, currently high above the lockers, in the future.

The school board suggested help be sought from the community for the project, which includes saving digital copies of each photo, scanning, and possibly reframing and restoring the images.

Director Damian Greene wanted community input. He expressed concern about the placement of the photos in the future and wanted to have the photos returned to the same place as they were.

Director Rocco Gianni agreed, saying that as a former teacher at the middle school he often saw people bring their children and grandchildren to the middle school to look at the photos.

“These are like family pictures,” he said. “I think it’s important how we handle it.”

To volunteer with the restoration and digitizing of the photos, contact Director Damian Greene at dgreene@sw.wednet.edu

 

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