Milton Hershey School Dedicates D. Michael Weller Trades Center
The Milton Hershey School community began its 2023 Alumni Fellowship Weekend by celebrating an alumnus whose decades-long MHS journey included serving as a coach, teacher, and administrator. The D. Michael Weller Trades Center was officially dedicated in front of a large crowd of friends, classmates, colleagues, and former students.
“Mike Weller was the ultimate role model of our school’s Sacred Values,” said Former MHS Athletic Director Bob Guyer.
As a student, Weller was an active athlete, Explorer Scout, National Honor Society member, and leader. As an MHS English teacher and basketball coach, Weller modeled the lessons he learned from MHS teachers, said classmate Charles “Chuck” Welsh ’66. In 1980, he coached the Spartans to their first successful Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association District III basketball championship. The next year, Weller’s team was crowned state champions.
Jason Wolfe ’87, a member of the MHS Board of Managers, said Weller thought of others more than himself. He credited his former teacher’s guidance to his success as an entrepreneur and self-taught programmer.
“In the years following my graduation, I realized how much he cared about me personally,” said Wolfe.
Several current MHS students also participated in the event to share their excitement about their new classroom. Tia Williams Cooper, MHS senior, noted how her education prepared her for the future. After graduation, Tia will study to be an auto mechanic while attending Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology.
“We are excited for the hands-on learning experiences that are now possible because of the technology and resources in this facility,” Tia said.
Another senior, Edwin Villanueva, praised the opportunities he experienced in the MHS Carpentry and Construction pathway as a part of the school’s Career and Technical Education program. Villanueva plans to study project management at the Pennsylvania College of Technology.
“We dedicate this building to Mr. Weller and his commitment to ensuring that all students have the chance to find success in our future careers,” he said.
The MHS CTE program and its 12 career pathways prepare students for college or career. The program combines tailor-made instruction and hands-on learning with the ability to gain certifications and real-life experience through internships, co-ops, and pre-apprenticeships.