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Murals give Boeckman Middle School media center a new look

Several new murals decorate the walls in the Boeckman Middle School media center.

Simply changing a name doesn't always mean a change is complete. Sometimes, change is a work in progress.

Take, for example, Boeckman Middle School. Built as a high school, Boeckman has only been a middle school for two, going on three, years. Though there have been younger students roaming the halls, BMS staff still wanted to make the building feel less like a high school and more like a middle school.

Last school year, media center specialist Barbara Theirl decided the media center needed a facelift. While the building's use had changed, the library looked much the same it had when high school students used it. Theirl wanted to make it brighter, more inviting. To make it a place where middle school students could feel comfortable.

"Barbara wanted to make it kind of the hub of activity for the school," said Barb Duffrin, the district's director of administration and former BMS principal.

Theirl talked to art teacher Kjerstin Tharaldson, and asked if she had any ideas for the room. Tharaldson has experience painting murals, and, working with Theirl, came up with a design for the media center. The team took the idea to the BMS Parent-Teacher Partnership, which approved funding for the project.

Tharaldson did most of the work on the mural, Duffrin said, but she had a couple of students help her out, as well. Then, because she wanted to update a couple of brick corners in the room, Tharaldson enlisted the help of art students to come up with some artwork for those areas.

Most of the work was done during the school year, Duffrin said, and students had an opportunity to see the work in progress. It's next year, though, when students will really be able to benefit from the media center's new atmosphere.

"It was partly done to transform the media center to the hub of the school, but we really did need to make Boeckman, Boeckman, too. We definitely needed to brighten it up a little bit," Duffrin said.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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