March 4, 2009
Time capsule safeguards hopes, dreams
and fears of class of 2012
By Sarah Horner
They like the rapper Lil Wayne, they worry about
being tardy for class, and some of them admit they couldn’t
live without cell phones.
“They” are the class of 2012 —
the first that will graduate from Duluth’s expanded eastern
and western high schools — and those are a few of the identity
scraps students placed in the school district’s first citywide
Student representatives from Denfeld, East and
Central met at Central High School on Tuesday morning to lock up
the time capsules, which contained questionnaires filled out by
each school’s freshman class. They were asked to list things
like their favorite movie, their worries and their goals.
Symbolic of the high school consolidation that
will take place a year or two from now, papers filled out by Central
students were tucked into capsules that will be housed at Denfeld
and at the new eastern high school, where those students will eventually
go to school.
The capsules will be opened in the spring of 2012,
the year this year’s freshman class graduates.
“You guys are part of a historical moment,”
Tonya Sconiers, assistant principal at Denfeld, told the students
at a ceremony Tuesday morning. “This is a sign that we are
looking forward to the future. You will be the first class to graduate
from these new schools. … People will look to this class to
see how to react to these changes.”
According to questionnaire responses, many freshmen
still are struggling with the looming changes created by the district’s
long-range facilities plan. When asked to explain how they feel
about graduating from the new schools, most said they weren’t
excited about it.
“A lot of people wrote: ‘It stinks,’
‘It’s pointless,’ ‘It sucks,’ ”
said Jasmine Sward, a ninth-grader at Central. “I agree that
what will happen is a little sad. I love Central, but hopefully
it will be fine.”
Whitney Adams, a freshman at Denfeld, said she’s
optimistic about the high school consolidation.
“I think it’s cool to think that in
four years we will all sort of come together in new schools,”
Adams said. She added that she understands why the district decided
to close buildings.
“We have fewer students coming to our schools
today, so to keep running three [high schools] would just be a waste
of money,” she said.
All the student representatives agreed it will
be interesting to see whether attitudes have changed about the consolidation
once the time capsule is opened.
“I don’t really care for [the consolidation];
I would rather just graduate from East, but maybe I’ll change
my mind,” said Tyshawn Hubbard, a freshman at East.