Last chalk board standing

By Katy Ryan
In-Depth Editor
Math teacher Michael Grasse teaches in one of the last remaining classrooms at Prospect that has an old slate chalkboard. Out of the entire school, only a few of the classrooms on the third floor have kept their chalkboards since the school has been built, while the rest have been replaced with whiteboards.
The administration has decided to remove these last few remaining chalkboards and replace them with whiteboards as well. Grasse expects the change to happen before the end of the year, but the exact date is not known.
“I hope if it does just appear I hope it appears with some markers as well so we can write on it,” Grasse joked.
For the past two years, he has taught in Room 301, the room math teacher Margaret Mamsch taught in for 28 years until she retired.
According to Grasse, the chalkboard in Room 301 is something of Mamsch’s legacy. “Every bit of math that she taught was on that chalkboard,” Grasse said. “I’m just a little sentimental [but] I understand that progress marches on and whiteboards make a lot of sense.”
Grasse believes that the chalkboards are being replaced due to efficiency, cost, and cleanliness, along with a few other reasons.
“I think whiteboards are much cleaner,” Grasse said. “You don’t have chalk dust all over the place. I think they find that the electronics in the room last longer [and need] less maintenance without things being so dusty.”
Junior Zoe Neff, who has a class in Room 301, is glad that the chalkboard is being removed. “I will miss nothing about having a chalkboard,” she said. “I just don’t like the sound plus when you erase the chalkboard it leaves chalk dust all over and then it’s not clean anymore.”
Though he admits that not having chalk dust is one of the many upsides to using a whiteboard, Grasse will miss writing on the chalkboard in 301.
“I’ll miss the sound,” Grasse said. “There’s nothing like the sound of chalk on a slate chalkboard … It’s actually a stone … not like the other ones that are treated pieces of wood or whatever they are … There are a lot of advantages to whiteboards, but there’s nothing quite so satisfying as that sound. It’s just that whole old school appeal.”