Highlighting students, creating atmosphere, and generating revenue

Aberdeen Central High School uses Daktronics LED center hung and wall displays along with a Scorers Table in the gym, plus two LCD video walls to enhance every event, get messages out and provide more opportunities for students.

Technical Director Josh Jensen has goals for Aberdeen Central High School – to provide the best possible experience for students, and to enhance events at the school. One of the ways he and the school accomplish these goals is through Daktronics video displays.

They recently upgraded their gymnasium by replacing their static center hung scoreboard with a four-sided video display. They also have an LED video board on the wall, and they added an LED Scorers Table – an LED display in front of the table where their official scorers sit.

“We use our center hung videoboard for advertising, video highlights and school promos,” Jensen says. It’s a mood enhancer, and it creates atmosphere for the kids. We use it for PE classes, Sanford athletics, unattended exercise, weights and more. We also use it for graduation, pops concerts and other events. We use the LED Scorers Table and the video board in the gym to advertise in different ways. With all of this, we can provide different levels of sponsorship.”

Adding LCD to the mix

Aberdeen Central added two LCD video walls to their school at the same time. Those are also used for daily messaging and to enrich events. One of the video walls is right outside the theater, and the other is in the concessions area.

“We used the one on the theater wall when we had overflow for the theater during the COVID year,” says Jensen. “We have cameras in the theater and gym, and we send a live feed to the video wall so people can watch the performance and have space to feel safe. We pipe out a live feed to the concessions wall too.”

The boards also give students a chance to shine. The media broadcasting class produces Eagle Zone, featuring news from the school and community. They do a weekly show, which airs during lunchtime.

“Each of the students pitch a story and put it together,” explains Jenson. “They can highlight other schools in the district, what’s for lunch, etc. We used to have a TV station, but we only showed it on a 43-inch TV in the corner. This is larger, crisper and more visible. Kids who watch the show during lunch are sometimes inspired. They want to see themselves on that big screen, so they plan to take the class.”

Incorporating screens to make events special

The school uses both the LED displays in the gym and the LCD displays in the halls during big events such as prom and graduation.

During prom, they were still social distancing, so they couldn’t have everyone in the gym at the same time.

“There was some family in the gym, and the center hung showed glitter and set the tone,” Jensen says. “The video board by the theater showed what was happening in the gym so students could watch each other. In the theater there’s also a projector and we showed it there too.”

During graduation, they could show students even before they walked in. People applauded before the ceremony even began.

“We showed it all on the center hung. There are no bad seats anymore.”

Recommending video displays

Jensen says even though the school uses their video displays every day, they still haven’t used them to their full potential. Daktronics trained several people in the district on how to use them, and they want to use their displays to coax people back to school events.

“We want to make events real events again,” he says. “We’re excited about using our video displays. It does enhance events. People want to be up there. The kids get excited to see themselves.”

He is convinced that more schools will start using displays once they see the ones at Aberdeen Central.

“Once they see ours and what’s possible, every school will get one,” he says. “The messaging is a lot better, and it’s hard to miss.”

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