Site last updated: Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Log In

Reset Password
MENU
Butler County's great daily newspaper

School history documented at Butler Senior High

Dale VanLaningham
Dale VanLaningham, a social studies teacher at Butler Senior High School, points out several features of the school’s “history hall” on Tuesday, Jan. 23. VanLaningham helped students curate the history wall. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle

BUTLER TWP — A walk through the new wing of Butler Senior High School is a walk through the history of the school district, even though construction on the wing concluded just last year.

Students and faculty at the school picked out dozens of photos from past yearbooks starting in August, 2022, and a “history wall” made up of those pictures was installed over the winter break in December and January.

The five panels making up the wall are broken up by topic, which include buildings, athletics, arts, social activities and the yearbook itself, and demonstrates how the school has changed over the years, said a student who helped create the wall.

“It gives the history of the school,” said Amara DiCerbo, a 10th grade student. “There’s pictures to show how the school has evolved and the people within it.”

Dale VanLaningham, a social studies teacher at Butler Senior High School, said students and teachers worked together to create the wall. It only took about six or seven hours one day for the team of about 20 students to go through nearly 130 years of school district history to find the best photos to represent the district.

“I said, basically, ‘Grab a bunch, start looking through it, find something interesting,’” VanLaningham said. “We put Post-it notes on stuff we thought was interesting and they went back and pulled the ones they could get the best picture of.”

VanLaningham said the school district has copies of the Magnet, the school district’s yearbook, for every year going back to the 19th century. The Magnet itself also changed throughout the years — it was more of a magazine or newsletter than a yearbook for a few years in the early- to mid-1900s — but the students pulled photos from as many as possible, according to VanLaningham.

Amara said it was interesting to see school activities depicted in the yearbooks, because extracurricular activities like theater and athletics used different clothing and equipment for much of the 20th century.

“Some of the groups I was involved in and seeing how they differ from now,” Amara said, “with theater, just the different shows they did or how the set was different, or how sports have changed.”

VanLaningham pointed out that uniforms constantly changed throughout the years, seeing that basketball players wore belts while playing and tennis rackets were made of different material. Additionally, the athletics wall has several photos of “donkey basketball,” where players rode donkeys around the paint.

“I love the band pictures because you can see the different uniforms,” VanLaningham said. “And with sports, you can see the transition of the uniforms.”

Amara said the history wall will likely be a fun memento for Butler Senior High School alumni to look at to jog memories of their own pasts.

“It really does show the Butler community together,” Amara said. “Because this is the new wing, it also adds more personality to it.”

As a social studies teacher, the idea of putting together a history display at the high school excited VanLaningham from the beginning, and he said he hopes students get some perspective from seeing photos of the school from throughout the decades.

“It’s like a living time capsule,” VanLaningham said. “It’s just a way to connect the students here now to the past.”

Amara DiCerbo and Dale VanLaningham
Amara DiCerbo, a 10th grade student at Butler Senior, left, and Dale VanLaningham, a social studies teacher, stand by the “history wall” at Butler Senior High School, which they helped curate, on Tuesday, Jan. 23. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Dale VanLaningham
Dale VanLaningham, a social studies teacher at Butler Senior High School, points out several features of the school’s history wall on Tuesday, Jan. 23. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Students at Butler Senior High School created a “history wall”
Students at Butler Senior High School created a “history wall,” made up of pictures from old school yearbooks. Pictured is an image pulled from a 1948 Butler High School yearbook. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Students at Butler Senior High School created a “history wall”
Students at Butler Senior High School put together a “history wall,” made up of pages from old school yearbooks, which now decorate the walls of the school. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Students at Butler Senior High School created a “history wall”
Students at Butler Senior High School created a “history wall,” made up of pages from old school yearbooks. The panels now line a wing at the school. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Students at Butler Senior High School created a “history wall”
Students at Butler Senior High School created a “history wall,” made up of pages from old school yearbooks. Each panel had a theme, which included academics, the arts, social activities and athletics. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Students at Butler Senior High School created a “history wall”
Students at Butler Senior High School created a “history wall,” made up of pages from old school yearbooks. Each panel had a theme, which included academics, the arts, social activities and athletics. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle
Students at Butler Senior High School created a “history wall”
Students at Butler Senior High School created a “history wall,” made up of pages from old school yearbooks. Each panel had a theme, which included academics, the arts, social activities and athletics. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle

More in Local News

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

* indicates required
TODAY'S PHOTOS