Museum Connections course and class museum to be removed after this year

The district will finalize plans for artifact removal this summer


By Luke Wood

Waiting on the District’s decision about removal, artifacts collect dust next to the empty chairs of the former Museum Connections room.

Luci Guess, JagWire reporter/photographer

In the ongoing case involving former MTMS teacher Keil Hileman, current court records indicate his preliminary hearing was rescheduled from Wednesday, May 17 to June 8. 

Court records also revealed that the judge in the case has given Hileman permission to remove personal items connected to the museum from district property as agreed upon with the district and with no students present. Under the conditions of his case, Hileman is currently under house arrest and is to have no contact with children under 18 years of age.

In an email statement, assistant superintendent for communications Alvie Cater said he cannot speak to the court ruling and the plan for Hileman gathering his personal belongings has not been finalized. 

“The district is in the process of finalizing plans regarding artifacts, which would be after the school year is ended,” Cater said. “Details are not final. I have not seen anything from Johnson County District Courts, so I can’t speak directly to that.” 

Cater also shared that the museum is no longer needed, as it served its original purpose to add courses for the growing student population.

“USD 232 will no longer offer Museum Connections as a course at Monticello Trails Middle School,” Cater said. “Museum Connections originated several years ago as a way to provide an additional elective option for students at a time when MTMS was experiencing growth in enrollment. Based on current enrollment, course offerings and staffing at the three USD 232 middle schools, Museum Connections is no longer needed. The artifacts will be removed over the summer and the classroom will be made available for other course offerings.” 

Senior Bella Mehner is most intrigued to know what is going to happen with all the artifacts. 

“I’m curious what they do with everything.” Mehner said. “I know that there’s a lot of stuff there and there is a lot of stuff worth a lot. Some of the stuff is really cool. I’m just curious where they take everything and what they do with it.

Nonetheless, for senior Eli Olson, while recognizing how the entire situation is unfortunate, the value of the museum is lost without Hileman’s unique teaching style.  

“I don’t think anyone could really teach what he taught.” Olson said. “I think [the museum] had a lot of value and I think that value is kind of just gone.”

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