Memorial dedication held at Negaunee High School for Mather Miners

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NEGAUNEE – A new memorial will be greeting visitors of Negaunee High School courtesy of some special students.

As part of a school assignment, students helped create a memorial to honor the miners that once worked at the site.

“I think it’s tremendous,” says Andy Skewis, teacher at Negaunee High School. “We talk in school a lot about authentic audiences, about producing work that has meaning outside of a classroom. I think one like this that has substain power, one that the community is interested in. That’s going to be a resource, I think, that the future generations makes it that much more special and the kids did a tremendous job putting it together.”

After looking at various old photos, one particular image was the inspiration for the design. Some students even helped in filming a documentary.

“We found a picture that we thought was symbolic of what mining was and kind of just showed what people were doing in the mines,” said Davis Bagley, student and documentary filmmaker. “We tried to find the most impressive picture of what was going on there and that’s the one we picked.”

“There are times when you’re walking through these long halls and you remember that it was once a mine,” said Keegan McGonigle, student and documentary filmmaker. “It kind of just makes you stop and think and remember the people and what it used to be. It’s really an experience, it’s not like any other school.”

Now, the students will be leaving their own mark on the very same grounds.

“It makes you really proud to see that they’re willing to do that,” said Skewis. “I know that I had to poke and prod at them at times and I think they’re very proud now, too, that they were able to see it through. The quality of work that they did, I think, is the biggest thing that stands out.”

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