Source: D-Town ProductionsWillis: A Retrospective and Farewell
A documentary about Willis Intermediate School made by a Delaware Hayes High School senior can now be viewed on YouTube after it was screened to staff members last week.
The documentary has a 33-minute run-time and contains information about the history of Willis dating back to the early 20th century, as well as interviews with past and present staff members. Brent Carson, president of the Delaware County Historical Society and a former teacher at Willis, provides narration throughout the documentary.
Molly Schul, a senior in the D-Town video production class at Hayes, started working on the project with her English and video production teacher, Thomas Hering, just before the last school year ended. Schul said she was approached by Willis Intermediate School Principal Heidi Kegley and asked if she could put together a video about Willis and its history.
Schul said she got to work immediately, planning out interviews and locations at which to film.
Schul said she worked on the documentary a couple of hours a day several days a week for four months — until it was finally finished and shown to staff members on Aug. 13. Schul said other D-Town students also assisted in the documentary’s production.
Schul said the reaction to the documentary has been positive.
“After the viewing everyone told me they loved it,” Schul said. “It really means a lot to me that the teachers enjoyed it. It was really touching to see their pasts. Some of them have spent their entire careers there.”
“The documentary was a work of art,” Kegley said. “D-Town truly captured the heart of what Willis has been to so many people through the years. The narration provided by Mr. Carson allowed us a glimpse into the past and stories to show the impact Willis has had in the community and in the lives of many who have walked the halls. I am truly grateful for all of the work of Mr. Carson, Mr. Hering, Molly Schul and the D-Town staff who made this documentary a reality. It will be treasured for years to come.”
Hering said he is proud of the work that Schul put into the project and added that he has received several emails praising the video for the way it captures Willis.
“I’m excited that my students can see that what they do has a real impact on the community,” Hering said. “We are members of the community and we can help them to capture moments and memories so they won’t go away. As high school students, that’s a big deal.”
Schul said she hopes to find another video project for the district soon. Schul previously worked on a kindergarten orientation video along with now-graduated student, Meg Vonada.
Hering said that this documentary marks a new beginning for D-Town, which has previously focused on comedic videos.
“It’s a new era for us,” Hering said. “We have the self-awareness to know what we do is important and other people appreciate it.”
The video can be found on YouTube and is titled “A Retrospective and Farewell.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.