Revisiting Riverton School prompts a new appeal for missing 8th-Grade grad photos

Riverton Public School 3-21-2023

Given the nostalgic reveries I see on Facebook from some of my former Riverton School students (now middle-aged adults), they may be interested in these photos of their old alma mater that I took last week when I was there for Ned Gilmore’s presentation on fossils.

Welcome to Riverton School

Out front, in addition to an attractive historical marker, visitors find locked doors, video surveillance, and an intercom for requesting permission to enter, measures unheard of during the “Wonder Years” of our youth.

plaques and awards for student achievement

Inside, dozens of award plaques and trophies displayed in glass cabinets are a testament to many years of student achievement.

a remarkably clean facility

Painted stars on the hallway floor are a somber reminder of the social-distancing requirement that is no longer in effect. Be glad that you missed that.

award plaques

Dozens of framed eighth-grade graduation photos line the walls of the first-floor hallway, a custom started by former principal/superintendent Ronald (Rip) Kline. Mr. Kline was a great proponent of awarding and publicizing student achievement. The quantity and variety of student award plaques expanded during his administration starting in 1974.

One might assume that the school would have class photos going back to when the school was built, but most were missing when we started. We began the display with only a handful of photos.

I say ‘we’ because, back then, the school offered summer employment to some teachers to perform summer maintenance tasks such as cleaning windows and painting classrooms. Ron Cosgrove, Paul Hashagen, and I installed the aluminum tracking used to display the framed photos and student work.

8th Grade Class of 1924 – orig. scan
8th Grade Class of 1924 – restored

Over several years I sought out more class photos by word of mouth and acquired 23 additional scans of graduation photos. After some photo restoration, I had prints made and donated them to the school.

Thank You to the following folks for helping
to recover 23 missing 8th-Grade class photos

Annette Brown, Tracey Brown, Jeff Cole, Peggy Trauger Crook, Don and Pam Deitz, Ed Gilmore, Judy Jacobsen, Mabel Kloos, Cheryl Smekal, Elsie Waters, Steve Weeks

I retired in 2009, but former teacher Mabel Kloos asked me to prepare for her a slide show entitled “A Short History of Riverton School” for the 100th Anniversary Celebration in 2010. I posted the slideshow and notes here in 2012.

I included in that presentation an appeal for others to come forward with missing photos with the aim of completing the record of eighth-grade graduation photos.

Another post in 2012 repeated the request, but that was ages ago, so we appeal to our readers again.

Note that at least 25 graduation photos remain missing.

This school building was located at the corner of 4th and Howard, facing Howard St. (now on the basketball court/playground).
Sonny Wright, standing, likely in front of 1892 school, courtesy of Elsie Waters

Students of Riverton history will recall that public education in Riverton did not start with the construction of the current school in 1910. There may well be more graduation photos that go back to the 1892 school.

Every passing year diminishes the likelihood that more photos will surface.

Where can you look, or who can you check with to help complete the set?

More photos follow of every class photo on display in the hallway. The resolution isn’t great, but you might see someone you know. -JMc

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Published by

John McCormick

Teacher at Riverton School 1974-2019, author, amateur historian, Historical Society of Riverton Board Member 2007-2023, newsletter editor 2007-2023, website editor 2011-2023

Leave a Reply