Since the Wickes and Van-Cove (V-C) high schools have combined, precious memories of the old campuses have been maintained. Although, the passing of many seniors over the years, have left years of memories inaccessible. Since two grades of students remember the campus and its joys, the role has fallen to us few who are able recollect and speak of those fond memories.
Out of the people that have been questioned about the V-C campus, the most fondly remembered detail of Van-Cove was the open campus policy. Students were able to check out for lunch and go to Scotty's or another local food place if they wished.
After lunch we were allowed to go outside and play on the small basketball court or lounge around the gazebo. That is far from the new high school's policy where students are questioned extensively if they are caught outside the classroom. Although the campus certainly showed its wear over time, the campus was full of over 60 years of history and memories. Even the sidewalk was almost literally paved with history. Names of seniors all the way back to the mid 40's were engraved into the sidewalk paths encompassing the campus buildings. In the Art room sections of the windows were customized with painted hornets accompanying the past senior's graduation year.
Many have also stated that Van-Cove wasn't just a school, it was a community, a "second home" for most. Everyone knew everyone, we were all one big, albeit somewhat dysfunctional, family. Those on the basketball team were especially familiar with one another. They were very tolerant of one another, no matter how tall, heavy, or your knowledge of the sport, as long as you showed willingness to participate, you were embraced wholeheartedly.
Although some may disagree, the tension of the past "rivalry" between the towns of Cove and Wickes has gone largely without incident. Of course the first year of the combination was an alien experience with everyone curious to see if the tension would escalate.
Fortunately no memorable events of that nature occurred aside the constant debate on which school was better. The days of the far past with threats of shotgun blasts and burning crosses are long gone. The new campus of Cossatot River High School (CRHS) offers new opportunities in education and relationships. Many people find themselves introduced to many new people of different regions of the county, and then develop strong friendships with them; and with a new campus, come more educational opportunities.
With access to more current technology, students find themselves taking courses completely online. Many students have found them in a new exciting class called EAST, students do projects to help the community with their access to new technology. Although much history has been lost in the transition from Van-Cove to CRHS, many of the memories will stay in the minds of the students for years. Students will still be able to look back to their joyous times and laugh. Those who were not able or fortunate enough to attend, can look to their elders and learn from their school experiences. But with the new campus we will look toward the future, while cherishing our past.
Thanks to the people who made this essay possible through their effort
Joshua's Speech to History Club will be August 13. Josh is a new member of our History Club. Apparently the school at Cossatot has a course whereby students have a course that they do something for the community in which they attend school. He chose to join our History Club and is providing pictures of grads from 1954 - also taking pictures of the side walk foot prints of the old Cove High school before Wickes and Cove became Cossatot High.