Technology and history have united to honor the legacy of Clarinda High School.
Earlier this year, the Clarinda Community School District Board of Directors approved the purchase of an interactive TouchWall system from TouchPros.com to highlight the accomplishments of the school and its students. The system was initially installed at Clarinda High School in March just before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the remainder of the school year in Iowa.
“I love Clarinda and I love Clarinda’s history. It’s hard to know where you’re at and where you’re going if you don’t know about the past,” Clarinda Activities Director Josh Porter said.
Intended to preserve the memories of Clarinda High School and its students since it originally opened in the mid-1800s, the TouchWall allows visitors to the school to search for the accomplishments of students in three categories - academics, activities and athletics. For the past three months, Crystal Parra has been working to load information onto the TouchWall and that process is expected to continue over the next year.
“Crystal Parra has been digging into the history and putting things together. She is kind of the mastermind behind getting things on the system. She has been working like crazy. She has been reaching out to people and groups to get photos, doing research and going to the Nodaway Valley Historical Museum to get information,” Porter said. “We would also like to thank the Nodaway Valley Historical Museum for allowing us to come in and locate many of these cherished memories.”
The TouchWall features a 70-inch flat screen TV equipped with touch technology similar to a smart phone or tablet that allows users access the photos and information loaded onto the system. The TouchWall is mounted in the Clarinda High School commons area on the wall next to the trophy case painted with the Clarinda Cardinal logo.
Along with displaying a daily calendar and announcements for the high school, users may select the category they would like to browse. Users may also select the magnifying glass and utilize a search feature by typing in the last name of the person they would like to locate.
“The trophy case is of awards Clarinda has received in athletics and some activities, but we felt this system would be a good avenue to everything in one area and promote our school. We really wanted to be sure we were honoring lots of the things that have happened in Clarinda,” Porter said. “We have had a lot of programs that have excelled over the years. We’re really proud of the opportunity to recognize them a little more. People may not realize just how successful programs like FFA, FCCLA and band have been.”
Along with the TouchWall at Clarinda High School, the school district has also created a website that will enable users around the world to use and explore the system. The website http://clarinda.touchpros.com/Home2.aspx was posted by the school district on its Facebook page and is also available on the district website under the menu selection for high school athletics/activities.
“The website is accessible from anywhere in the world. It cost a little more, but we wanted this information to be accessible to more than just the people who come to the gym and into our facility,” Porter said.
As a result, the total cost of the system with the website was $16,500. Porter said funding for the purchase of the system was provided by Sports Fundraising Account, the Clarinda School District, the Clarinda Booster Club, the Clarinda Wrestling Club and the Thespians.
Although the system has just become functional, Porter said the initial feedback has been very positive. Still, he reminds users this is a work in progress and information will be updated or corrected as needed.
“I think our alumni will really enjoy it. This will also allow us to touch our alumni base and celebrate Clarinda in a different way than we have in the past,” Porter said.