A special school in a special place

There certainly seems to be something special about growing up in and graduating from high school in a small town like Washougal.

It’s a community with many familiar faces, as some would say “everybody knows everybody.” That includes students, teachers and administrators. And from the athletics boosters to the PTA, many parents are also actively engaged in school activities, in and out of the classroom.

Of course, some will complain that those very things are negative examples. But compare the experience in Washougal to attending a large, big city high school, where students can sometimes feel anonymous, alone and lost in the crowd, and you know you’ve got something special with this small town that carries such a huge amount of pride in its Washougal Panthers.

An event this Thursday, organized by the Washougal High School Old Timers Group and the Washougal School District, will celebrate the school, its history, and the many students who have walked through its doors.

As detailed in an article in today’s Post-Record, the event marking the 100th anniversary of WHS’s first graduating class will include several notable guest speakers from different classes and former staff members. Alumi will be greeted by current students and wear name tags indicating which decade they graduated.

During the past century, thousands of students have graduated from WHS. That first class of just four students held its commencement in 1914. In 2013, 181 students followed in those footsteps to become WHS alumni.

This week, those students, and all of the others in-between, will be part of a unique celebration recognizing the school’s special history.