Watkins Mill gets face lift with new website

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Watkins Mill HS website

Watkins Mill High School website home page

Jessica Cruz and Louisa Boockhoff

Watkins Mill High School’s new mobile-friendly school website showcases different student cultures and rigorous programs while offering new features such as a student page and sports clubs pages. This new platform allows for more community outreach.

The old school website platform “wasn’t really talking about who we are,” principal Carol Goddard said. “The departments [International Baccalaureate, Career Programs and Diploma Program] needed to be shown and heard about.”

The website is easier to navigate and the main page is usually updated every day by administrative secretary Susan Brown. The idea to redesign the website came up the first week of school. It was then completed and uploaded around Thanksgiving.

The biggest challenge for redoing the website was to start from scratch. The website used the new MCPS platform as a base and media specialist, Ana Maria Mitton, customized it from there. But because the website covers so much material it’s still a work in progress. Putting the website together was a “team effort” Mitton said due to a time crunch.

“It is important to keep the website updated,” athletic director Reggie Spears said. As a frequent editor, Spears launched the Watkins Mill Athletics page last year, prior to the WMHS website overhaul. One of the features on the athletics site is the use of the Press Box App, which allows users to get all the latest on game cancellations along with other things via text or email.

“I would definitely like to get more of the students to use [the Press Box App],” Spears said. “It is a way to get more information to the kids.”

“If you look at the front page of the website it is not all black and white… everyone is represented,” Mitton said. MCPS hired a personal photographer to come and take pictures. I went to classes and I [asked] who wants to be in the picture,” Mitton added. Mitton chose the final picture out of 12.

Students voices can be heard on the new website. Mitton would be open to student page that could be run by the students. Several different website designs were presented. “The website’s design is the one we chose, it just looks the best,” Goddard said. “We have a great school and we don’t get our brand out there very much.”   

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