Pictured are the students who will present “Sweet Memories,” a LaRue County High School alumni photo website, at the Student Leadership Technology Program conference in Lexington in April. From left are: Brandon Hurt, Symone Whalin and Dylan Sullivan.
By RON BENNINGFIELD
Thanks to the hard work of several students in LaRue County High School’s technology classes, the school’s alumni and general public will soon be able to go online to view individual’s pictures from their senior class.
“Our expected launch date is March 15,” said Symone Whalin, an LCHS senior who with fellow senior Brandon Hurt and junior Dylan Sullivan will present the site construction as a competitive project in the Student Technology Leadership Program conference in April at Lexington’s Rupp Arena.
Whalin said the website idea came from Freddie Newby, the district’s chief information officer.
Newby noted that the large framed class pictures were hanging on the high school walls for many years. The last several years, they been stored at the board of education.
“Through the process of cleaning up for additional needed room at the board of education, the question of what to do with the large framed pictures was brought up,” he explained. “I thought they should be preserved and came up with the idea to go digital with them and share them with the community via a webpage.”
Progress, which started last year, has been slow but steady as several steps have been involved.
At first, the students used a handheld scanner to digitize the printed photos. Later, they used a flatbed scanner.
“This year we have decided to take pictures of the pictures to digitize them,” Whalin continued. “Once the pictures were taken, they were saved on the computer; from there someone renamed all the pictures to the persons (first name, last name, graduation year).
“Once they were named, someone put them into Adobe Photoshop and cropped the pictures. After being cropped, the photos were entered into a database with the first name, last name, graduation year, and then marked if the person was a valedictorian or a salutatorian.
“After they were in the database they were uploaded to the website. The website code used the database to pull up the corresponding pictures to the website.”
Paul Clark, a district network technician, assisted the students in learning the code to put the website together.
The site will be an extension of http://history.larue.kyschools.us, but a person will also be able to directly access it at http://history.larue.kyschools.us/yearbook/index.php.
Currently, the students are focusing on the years 1959 - 2002 as they have in their possession printed photos of those classes of students. Each student will be pictured individually within the year corresponding to his senior class year.
The STLP students are working on allowing users to search for individuals by name, but currently the pictures are searchable through a drop down box with all of the completed years.
“As of now it’s just the students, not the faculty and staff, but they may be added if we can find the corresponding yearbooks to get their pictures,” said Whalin.
Other students, who have worked on the project, including those who graduated last year, are Carly Higdon, Andrew Coy, Marissa Kappel and Nicolas Rojas.
“There are more people that are working on it this year, editing the photos and renaming, but these few are the members that have gone above and beyond for the project,” said Whalin.