ISD 181 Viewpoint: Brainerd Public Schools Archives - History Is Alive Here
Brainerd Public Schools has educated the children of central Minnesota for almost 150 years, graduating 20,000 to 30,000 citizens into the world. In 2017, BPS created Brainerd Public Schools Archives to gather, organize and exhibit artifacts repr...
Brainerd Public Schools has educated the children of central Minnesota for almost 150 years, graduating 20,000 to 30,000 citizens into the world. In 2017, BPS created Brainerd Public Schools Archives to gather, organize and exhibit artifacts representative of that history on the large canvas of students, their BPS educators and the worlds they lived in.
BPSA is not a "dead letter" antiquities museum, but instead is an integral part of the vibrant BPS educational environment. As BPSA's mission statement recites, "history, and BPS history, is made every day," and every day BPSA attempts to capture and share that history with the world.
BPSA solicits gifts of documents and objects relating to the people and daily times of BPS itself, not just yesterday. BPS history is alive: a brochure from the opening of the "new" Brainerd High School in 1968 might have been discarded the next day, but if set aside and found in 2018, then it is a treasured artifact "from" 1968, a year of national challenge in which our predecessors built an educational engine, BHS, that still serves us.
Can you help BPSA tell the BPS story? BPSA is anxious to acquire, then preserve, what it is that helps tell your story-our story.
While BPSA preserves things, it also exhibits both the things and the stories they tell so that we all might learn from our past. The BPSA Facebook page, and other pages, like "Class of" pages, the BPS page and the Share History and Stories About the Brainerd Lakes Area, bring stories about BPS and its people to the world. BPSA soon will have a page on the BPS website making accessible to the public oral histories secured by BPSA, like that of the late Jackie MacDonald, Homecoming Queen of the Class of 1941.
BPSA sits at the crossroads of BPS history, sometimes seeing what others are not positioned to see, like the intersecting lives of two Brainerd High School graduates in the World War II invasion of Iwo Jima-a destroyer supporting the invasion, named after a 1905 BHS graduate, and a Marine lieutenant landing in the first wave on Iwo's beach, a 1938 BHS graduate.
BPSA is now exhibiting "Apollo 8 and BHS: Opening Doors for 50 Years," an exhibit at BHS linking BHS robotics, Apollo 8 and BHS 2000 graduate Branelle Cibuzar Rodriguez, an engineer and lead manager for NASA's International Space Station, with challenging times of 1968. Exhibits are another means of BPSA bringing BPS living history into our communities.
Led by a committee of BPS women, BPSA will soon open "Women of BHS," an exhibit heralding the lives and accomplishments of 20 woman graduates of BHS, to occur during National Women's History month. "Women of BHS" will demonstrate to current students what these extraordinary women have accomplished and what current BHS women are capable of.
Winston Churchill once said: "The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see." BPSA is committed to collecting, then examining and demonstrating, our common past in order that we might better see our common future.