By Conrad Dudderar
The front of schools across Yukon are being refreshed with new monument signs.
The large signs with digital displays are being installed during the 2022-23 school year at nine Yukon Public Schools’ sites. The $421,960 project is funded through the district’s 2021 bond issue.
The new signs are replacing old, changeable-letter signs and outdated electronic signs.
“When people drive by our schools, the first thing they notice are these signs,” YPS Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth said. “Some of the signs that we had out there, honestly, were just terrible.
“They were pink (faded from red) and had the stick-on letters that would fly off in a strong wind. You never knew what the message was going to be two days later.”
The upgraded signs give people “pride” in their community and school district, he added.
Besides informing the public about school happenings, these new digital signs allow YPS personnel to easily celebrate student and teacher achievements.
“This allows us to share information at the drop of a hat, whether it’s school closings or parent-teacher conferences,” Simeroth explained. “We can send the same message across the district in the same format, so there’s no confusion.”
Each sign can be programmed by district staff at the school site, administration office and even remotely.
“You don’t have to call another department to change the letters,” YPS communications specialist Peter Agnitsch said. “It takes 10 minutes max to change it.”
Yukon Middle School, 801 S Garth Brooks Blvd., is one of four schools that already have gotten a new sign this fall.
“We’re very, very thankful to the voters for passing the bond issue and also to our administrators for including this as part of it,” Yukon Middle School Principal Clay McDonald said.
“It definitely ‘dresses up’ our school on such a busy street. It looks so modern and we’re able to communicate with our families a lot better.”
This is McDonald’s fourth year at the helm of Yukon Middle School, which has about 1,400 students enrolled in grades seven and eight.
“A lot of our teachers, especially ones who have been here a long time, are so fired up about it,” McDonald said of the new marquee. “The old one had the wrong logo on it and was faded.
“It was time.”
ALL DONE BY CHRISTMAS?
Besides Yukon Middle School, signs are up at running at Myers Elementary School, Parkland Elementary School and Yukon High School.
Still to be installed are signs at Shedeck Elementary School, Surrey Hills Elementary School, Central Elementary School, Skyview Elementary School, and Ranchwood Elementary School.
“The plan is to have them all done by Christmas,” Dr. Simeroth said.
The new YPS monument signs are similar to those previously installed at Independence, Lakeview and Redstone intermediate schools.
Some of the signs have different sizes based on zoning ordinances and locations. The new YHS marquee is especially large due to the size of the campus.
The YPS Board of Education in May approved an agreement Metro Sign install these monument signs at the district’s seven elementary schools and both secondary schools.