Montgomery JH Principal Angie Chapman is working hard to create a culture on her campus that recognizes the unique characteristics of each heritage and continues to bring focus to the “Together we can achieve more” campus slogan. The student council at Montgomery JH has continued to impress her with their leadership and their plan for the year to incorporate a different heritage study into each month of the school year.
Since October is Hispanic Heritage Month, the campus Spanish teacher, Mrs. Ladd, was excited to get to help ramp up the heritage studies with the campus’ first wax museum.
“I’ve seen wax museums done on other campuses in the past,” Mrs. Ladd said. “But I’ve never seen it done specific to one culture. When Mrs. Chapman and I discussed the possibility, I was excited to give it a try. I had no idea how excited the students would get and once I mentioned it to them, it was happening.”
The wax museum was cross-curricular in nature, as Mrs. Ladd got the names of famous figures from history and art teachers and many of the costumes came from the theatre department. Ladd’s Spanish II students were able to select from a list of historical Hispanic figures and a few of them even presented their own idea from someone they had learned about in another class.
Each student was behind a window opening in the school’s library and was posed as if they were encased in a museum. Pressing the button in front of each student would share the student’s recording of their character’s life story and visitors could also scan the QR code on the window for more information, completing the museum experience.
This is Mrs. Ladd’s third year in Montgomery ISD and her first year to add the wax museum to the lesson plans for October. Parents of the museum participants were invited to attend and eighth grade students were able to visit the museum during their history class time.
“Any chance that our students can learn from other students is a wonderful learning opportunity,” Mrs. Chapman said. “That’s what I’m trying to do here. Students leading students, sharing about their culture and bringing learning to life.”
Mrs. Ladd wanted to make sure and thank her donors that helped purchase some of the costumes, MJHS theatre director Tamara Lumpkin for sharing the theatre’s costume closet and her mother-in-law for donating the curtains hung around each piece of the exhibit.
“I love teaching in this community,” Ladd said. “It’s a wonderful thing to be a part of a community that works together for the benefit of our students and the support the kids received to make this happen was so important to their success.”