showcases 50 years
JCD students create history
Wanda English Burnett
breath of fresh air, is how Spencer Huffmeyer expressed
his feelings about a video documentary his class (Vincennes University
history students) are making at Jac-Cen-Del. The VU history class
itself is something never thought of 50 years ago where students
now earn college credits while still in high school.
The documentary will run throughout the evening on May 10 when
the public is invited to the high school for a Showcase Open House
beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Principal Johnny Budd invites not only parents of students at
JCD to come, but the general public, to see what is happening
at their school. He explained the Project Based Learning as the
preferred method of teaching there and noted it sets their
school apart from others.
Students work will be showcased beginning at 5:30 that evening.
The evening will end with an art show and band spring concert
which is set to begin at 7:30 p.m.
Principal Budd noted that the change in teaching style is benefitting
the students, and thats what its all about. He said
students are learning by investigating with hands-on projects.
Such is the case with the history students who have been compiling
information for the documentary going back 50 years.
The students were excited and frustrated as they maneuvered hurdles
such as technology, learned people skills, and worked together
as a team to produce a one-of-a kind video that in itself made
history for Jac-Cen-Del.
They interviewed people who were part of the school 50 years ago,
such as Sherman Lemen and Steve Gookins and more. In the process,
they learned about technology, even using Skype to interview former
cross-country coach Don Yentes, who is now at the University of
Libby Hermesch found yearbook pictures interesting from 50 years
ago. She also had the honor of interviewing her grandmother, Pat
Hermesch, who worked in the cafeteria years ago.
The project brought the students closer together as they struggled
with a memorial to the late Don Snedaker, beloved teacher and
principal. Morgan Young described the project as fun, but,
frustrating at times. It taught me patience, she told The
History teacher Ernie Ruble said the students have been fabulous.
He said they are gaining learning skills that will be valuable
The students learned that not only has the physical building changed,
and continues to change, but the technology, learning style, and
so much more has seen drastic changes over the decades. They learned
local history such as how the first class at JCD moved into the
building the second semester, much like the anticipated move of
the sixth graders next year who will be coming to the jr./sr.
high school the second semester.
Jayson Purdy noted, Were honoring people weve
interviewed (by putting them in the documentary).
While junior Spencer Huffmeyer is very excited about the project,
he noted there were numerous problems with even his own computer
crashing last week. The software provided by the school is new,
which is a blessing and a challenge as they work through the project.
The new technology was actually purchased for this project with
school officials knowing after it has been mastered by this group,
it will be another tool other students will use as well. The students
said Ron Back, technology director has been very helpful. Weve
had a lot of cooperation from teachers, noted Brittani Edwards.
Huffmeyer said the hype surrounding the project keeps
him pumped. He has numerous hours dedicated to making the documentary
as do other students involved. They collectively easily
have 1200 hours, Ruble noted.
The project is a challenge but shows what a small school can do.
Huffmeyer has dubbed the project, History in the making.
Principal Budd invites you to come to JCD next week and see the
documentary for yourself. This and many other projects will be
showcased in an effort to allow others to see the unique style
of learning that goes on at this Project Based Learning school.