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Lifelong Learning

District honors past, moves toward the future with history wall at Horizon

November 20, 2018

With a history spanning more than 140 years, the story of Moorhead Area Public Schools is detailed on a 50-foot-long historical timeline in the lobby of Horizon Middle School’s Performing Arts Center. Representatives of graduating classes from each decade from 1940 to 2030 cut the ribbon to dedicate the history wall on Oct. 30.

The first three decades of the school district’s history are included in a single panel, but beginning in 1910 each decade has its own panel. In addition to the panels, historical items will be displayed.

The inspiration for the project stems from the 2003 School Naming Task Force, which proposed that previous schools be honored in a display. The idea re-emerged with the creation of the 2016 School Naming Task Force by then-superintendent Dr. Lynne Kovash. The task force conducted research into district history as part of its charge to name the new buildings being constructed.

“This is so much more than I ever imagined,” Kovash said during the dedication. “Our district has a rich tradition of honoring our past — from the names of our elementary schools to the displays at the high school.”

Brian Cole, orchestra teacher at Horizon Middle School, led the project, which was a joint venture between Moorhead Area Public Schools and the Moorhead Schools Legacy Foundation with funding provided by Hornbacher’s and Matthew and Janelle Leiseth. Cole thanked those who had a part in making the vision a reality and introduced the graduates and future graduates who represented decades of Spuds.

Matthew Leiseth said that like Hornbacher’s, which started in Moorhead, his family’s story started in Moorhead, and he is proud they are part of the district.

The process of assembling what would be included in the timeline began last winter. Every issue of the Moorhead High student newspaper “The Spud” going back to 1932 was examined as well as the “Cho Kio,” the Moorhead High yearbook, which has been published nearly every year since 1914. Besides the Clay County Archives, information was provided by the Northwest Minnesota Historical Center and the Minnesota History Center.

Photo: Dr. Lynne Kovash, retired superintendent of Moorhead Area Public Schools, directs representatives of graduating classes from the decades of 1940 to 2030 to cut the ribbon to dedicate the district’s historical timeline Oct. 30.

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