Sylvan Park

West End Middle

Glimpse Inside West End (from Beth Kindig)

Three years ago, I remember driving past the beautiful school that graces the corner of West End and Bowling and wondering what this school offered. When I asked around, nobody really seemed to know who the students were or what grades were being taught. I remember thinking how wonderful it would be if this was a neighborhood school where my child could attend. As luck would have it, in September 2001 just as my daughter graduated from 4th grade, West End Middle became a neighborhood school for grades 5-8.

Recently, I've heard people in my community asking the same questions. Therefore, I would like to pass along to others what I have learned. First, a look at the history. It's a big part of what the school is about. In 1937, West End opened its doors as a high school and quickly began living up to its motto, "West Is Best". Academically, artistically and athletically, it rose to excellence. Traces of history can still be found... a collection of sheet music bearing names like Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire and Judy Garland, stories of students reading "The Diary Of Anne Frank" in the attic below the bell tower and trophies from 4 decades that adorn the school's front lobby.

In August of 2001, when West End became a neighborhood school, a flurry of activity began. With Metro's renewed support for schools, renovations began to restore the school to its former glory. Teachers and staff educated parents on the school and successful programs already in place. A PTSO was formed and money was raised for everything from world maps, workbooks and software, art and P. E. equipment to computers and teacher support. A website, list serve and logo were created. An extended care program was started for working parents. West End's long- time Pencil Partner, Ingram Industries generously supported every aspect of the school. West End Alumni were quick to lend their support with a gift of over $10,000 to the library. Eakin Elementary, Neighborhood Associations and area businesses also gave their support.

In 2002, we were fortunate enough to have the highly-respected, Dr. Lora Hall assigned as our principal. She has lived up to her reputation. Challenging honors classes in science, math and English were instituted and the Encore Program was begun. Teachers helped sponsor extracurricular activities like Jr. Honor Society, Student Council, National Geographic Bee, Math Counts Competition, and Invention Convention . The band director received a VH1 grant of $10,000 for new instruments. New sports uniforms were purchased and the Student Council shined up the old trophy cases.
Even after school hours, West End is alive with activity. Because of its historical significance and the fact that it's just a beautiful building, West End has been used as a location for music videos, photo and film shoots. At any given point, West End is host to community meetings, sports activities, performance rehearsals and after-school clubs.

An amazing amount of groundwork was laid in those two years. The progress continues today. So there you have it... a glimpse inside West End. Now, new neighborhood children begin to add their page to this school's long illustrious history.

West End Middle's Website Address

Posted by eckertd on 01/25/2004
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