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Mark Lemasters Media Center Dedicated

By Staff | May 11, 2016

Photos by Bruce Crawford The late Mark Lemasters’ sisters stand with Magnolia High School students outside of the Mark Lemasters media center. Pictured from left to right are Bri Ritz, Troy Boughner, Carolyn Gatian, Hunter Brill (kneeling), Sherry Bachman, Zoa Duke, Chase Miller, and Paden McConaughey.

Magnolia High School’s late beloved educator Mark Lemasters was honored on Wednesday April 27 when the school’s media center was officially named “Mark Lemasters Media Center.”

Students, fellow educators, and members of family gathered together to honor the late Lemasters, who died in November 2015 of a short illness.

MHS Principal Kathi Schmalz said it was appropriate that “Mr. L” was honored that afternoon.

Furthermore, it was fitting that Lemasters be memorialized in the media center.

“This was a dream of his,” Schmalz said of the center.

Magnolia High School Principal Kathi Schmalz gives remarks at the April 27 dedication of the Mark Lemasters Media Center.

“He and I had many discussions for planning his vision to make this center a place where students come and research and learn. To him, learning was paramount. He wasn’t finished with his dream and it is our responsibility to carry out the plan to make this media center one that will serve the students of Magnolia for many years to come,” Schmalz explained.

“He was always proud of his school and his students,” she said.

“He ensured that our students and staff had the state of the art technology and the knowledge of how to use it in the classroom,” Schmalz added.

Several of Lemasters’ former students, along with Teacher Stacy Barcus, spoke at the dedication.

“In the days and months since his death, many of us have found ourselves standing outside of his classroom for a morning conversation where many times Mark has become a part of the conversation,” Barcus said.

“We miss his love for learning, his never-ending knowledge, and his laughter that those of us that teach on the second floor would hear when he was tickled by something,” she added.

“He was oftentimes the heart and soul of what was happening at the school, and he will always be missed by every one of us,” Barcus said.

Zoa Duke explained how Lemasters was honored at the West Virginia Technology Student Association state conference with the lifetime achievement award. Furthermore, “in his honor, Magnolia TSA planted a Magnolia tree at Cedar Lakes.”

“Mr. Lemasters was one of the greatest assets to Magnolia,” Bri Ritz stated.

“He was literally the heart of Magnolia. Just like the passion that fills a heart,” Mr. Lemasters had the passion for this school in every single aspect. A heart is also indispensable. If something happens to the heart, the whole body tends to suffer, for the most important functions of the body flow from it.”

Ritz said that Magnolia has suffered from losing Mr. L, “but somehow, we have survived this tragedy.”

Ritz explained how Lemasters contributed to the school in so many different ways. She explained how Lemasters would take photos for the yearbook, chaperone field trips, and work with students and coworkers during his extra time – whether it be for a school project or “just talking.”

“Mr. Lemasters was extremely involved in almost every kind of extracurricular activity,” Ritz explained. “If he was not in his room, the next place a person would look is the band room. He loved to play piano along with the jazz band and choir.”

Ritz said Lemasters was involved in working with the technical side of theater productions, as well as setting up the sound system for Relay for Life.

Troy Boughner described Lemasters’ classes as “the most unique mixture of extremely challenging and wildly entertaining.”

“Mr. Lemasters made students like me want to take his classes. He balanced rigorous course material with his unmatched humor and wit and kept all of his students on the edge of their seats,” Boughner explained.

“he was eager to work with his students, not just as an administrator of his classes. It was his way of teaching that encouraged out-of-the-box thinking like no other class, and this was what made the difference in the long run,” Boughner said.

Boughner said the media center “was not only a product of his commitment to Magnolia, but it was also created for the benefit of the students Mr. Lemasters cared about above all else.”

“He was so involved with Magnolia, and everything that fell under the real of Magnolia seemed to be within Mr. Lemasters’ goal of improving,” Ritz said.