A Brief History of Surprise Valley High School

Text – Patricia Barry

Statistics – Sharon Staton

(Copyright 1996)

In the fall of 2010, Surprise Valley High School will be opening for the one hundred seventh time. It was first called “Surprise Valley Union High,” and this is how it all came about:

THE 1900’S

In 1902, some citizens of Surprise Valley decided that the Valley should have a Union High School for their children. This idea was put before the voters in June, 1903, and the vote was favorable. A Board of Trustees was elected and we were on our way.

High school opened for the first time in September of 1903, in Cedarville, the most centrally located town in the valley. Classes were begun in the “Athletic Room” on the second floor of the Grammar School Building. There was but one teacher, a Mr. W.A. Wright from Berkeley, to control and teach the twenty students who came from all over the valley. The students who came from too far from Cedarville to commute daily on horseback or by horse-drawn vehicles had to find places to board in Cedarville.

Many students dropped out for one reason or another to leave the valley or go to work, but a few happily finished. In the second school year, 1904-1905, the total average attendance grew to nearly forty students, and Mr. Anthony Rose, a graduate of Harvard University, appeared on the scene as a teaching principal, with a Miss Wilkerson as his assistant.

With two classes made up of forty or more students, things were far too crowded, and the citizens decided there would have to be a new building. On March 4th, 1905, an election was held for the high school building, and the bonds were carried with few dissenting votes. The site for the new building, in the general area of the present gym, was chosen, and work was begun in the spring of 1905.

The students themselves established several funds as a means of acquiring articles to make their school rooms convenient and attractive. They began a fund to purchase a piano for their assembly room, a picture fund, a library fund, and an athletic fund. Thus, fund-raisers became a fact of life in this high school and this is one thing that has remained consistent through all the years.

By June of l905, the first yearbook appeared; this yearbook was called the SURPRISE, and it was called this at least through the 1920’s. This first yearbook was printed “by the kindness of Mr. and Mrs. R.H. Stanley,” at the SURPRISE VALLEY RECORD plant, with Miss Eva Snelling furnishing the materials and Mr. Milton Sharp assisting the students with the publishing.

This first yearbook of 1905 shows the first baseball team in the first uniforms. There may or may not have been a yearbook for 1906. There is no 1906 yearbook in the high school collection. However, there were two yearbooks in 1907–one printed in May and one in June.

The year 1907 was a big year for Surprise Valley Union High. With the opening of the fall term, the school had boys’ and girls’ basketball, a boys’ baseball team, and a boys’ track team. It should be noted that the first basketball team, previous to 1907, was a girls’ team.

The handsome new, two-story brick building was finished in time for its photo to appear in the 1907 yearbook, and the first seniors graduated in the spring of 1907. There were seventeen of them, and these first graduates were:

Edith Minto

Pearl Ward

Harriet Hill

Belle Whitehead

Edith Cambridge

Carrie Bowers

Alfred Sweet

Louis Hansen

Olive Mayfield

Sadie Bassett

Cordelia Dyke

Madge Whitehead

Bessie Dyke

Lloyd Chapman

Elbert Dodson

Harry Hill

(Interesting note: The class of 1996, getting ready for graduation on May 31st as this was being written, had seventeen graduating members also).

Those early students at Union High were a lively lot. They had the opportunity to study hard and learn the traditional subjects. A “Course of Study”, proudly shown in the 1905 yearbook, included English, Ancient, Medieval, Modern, and U.S. History, Civics, Latin, and Mathematics, including Algebra, Plane Geometry, Solid Geometry, and Trigonometry, Chemistry, Physics, Geography and Bookkeeping, plus electives chosen from those subjects. In later years in the 1900’s, three modern languages–French, Spanish, and German, were offered in addition to the usual Latin and English.

Those old-timer students didn’t put in all their time studying. The class of 1907 had “The Senior Cavalry.” All 17 of them would bring horses and ride to the mountains or to some hot spring, and they had their picture taken on horseback and put into the 1907 yearbook to prove it. In the fall of 1906, most of the students of the school, the principal, and the teachers “accepted Mr. John Dyke’s invitation to raid his watermelon patch after school, an had “a jolly good time.” There’s a picture to prove this, too.

The physical geography classes hiked up Cedar Canyon and studied the rock formations. The high school students entertained each other, their teachers, and the grammar school’s eighth graders with receptions. The yearbooks describe candy pulls and picnics, basket socials and ball games. Life was anything but dull for the lively students of Union High.

In the winter of 1912-1913, a group of the high school actors traveled from Cedarville to Fort Bidwell by horse-drawn sleigh, where they stayed and were chaperoned at the Hotel Bidwell. After traveling twenty-five miles in the open sleighs, during which, they say, “we just about froze,” this group put on a play for the townspeople, followed by a dance, and, they said, had a “grand time,” before returning by sleigh to Cedarville. The lovely yearbooks from 1905 through 1921 are loaded with the doings of the students, which included everything from athletics to music to plays to zoology, all of which were approached with unbelievable zest.

Those yearbooks are beautifully done, with pictures of the students and their activities accompanied by poems, short stories, and legends of the valley. Each graduating class had a humorous class prophecy in the yearbook, and for many years, a meticulous follow-up was done on each graduate.

The class of 1915 was the smallest ever to graduate from Surprise Valley Union High, with only four graduates.

THE 1920’S

The 1920’s, also known as “The Roaring ‘Twenties,” were greeted with the opening of a brand new school building at Fort Bidwell, which was built of dressed native stone and was supposed to last “forever.” It was built to house the first eight grades on one side of the hall, and a branch of Surprise Valley Union on the other side. The exact date of the opening of the school has been lost, but the Branch section of the 1919-1920 yearbook of Surprise Valley Union has photos of the first “initiates, “who were Marie Baty, Elsie Kober, Audrey Decious, Helen Munroe, Geraldine Ward, Edith Peterson, Bernice Peterson, and Mitchell Santiago, all “initiated at Cedarville.” Ruth Fulton and Richard Sessions, the yearbook states, were “initiated later.” These statements are followed by a list of “other students” of Fort Bidwell Branch, which included, Aloha? Althea? Bowman, Reuel Bucher, Oliver Messner, Maud Riggs, Ross Routson, Jewel Hickerson, Merrill Pulcher and Laurance Fee. It might be assumed that the “initiates” were freshmen and that then other students. were older. One tentative date for the opening of Fort Bidwell Branch is September 1st, 1919.

Another development of the 1920’s was the growth of both the student body and the number of faculty at the main plant, with the addition of a high school teacher at Fort Bidwell helping. The collection of yearbooks at the high school at present ends with 1921, and does not resume until 1948, which leaves a considerable gap. It is because senior albums replaced the yearbooks during those hard years of drought and depression.

Also, a gym was added to Surprise Valley Union High in 1925, and with the building of this gym a romance developed. The young contractor builder Percy B. Harris, kept nodicing one special Home Ec girl in the main building, and it is said that he made eyes at her, definitely taking her mind off her studies. Cassie Johnstone introduced them, they were married, and thus began a partnership that included four children, lumber mills, a ranch, and the building of many other structures. The partnership lasted a lot longer than the gym, which burned along with the school, in 1935.

THE 1930’S

It might seem that in the Depression years of the 1930’s, everything might have come to a stop entirely, and a lot of things did stop and some disappeared completely, but the schools marched on. One landmark of the 1930’s was the chartering of our Future Farmers of America Chapter, number One-hundred and twenty-four, in the school year 1932-1933.

The application for the charter was signed by Bob McCulley, President, Adrian Murphy, Secretary, and Albert Tandy, Advisor. The charter members were:

Darrel Allen Bob McCulley

Warren Benner – Hal McCulley

Shirley Bordwell – Adrian Murphy

Ben Conklin – Mike Seminario

Rosco Conklin – Joe Schwartz

Clyde Cool – Ray Ward

Darrel Dorton – Waldo Warrens

The application package included the application form, a list of activities for the coming year, and the brand new constitution of the Surprise Valley chapter number 124.

The fall of 1935 held an unpleasant surprise for the people of Surprise Valley. At 1:20 a.m., on September 27th, 1935, the high school was on fire and there was no stopping it–there was no volunteer fire department to put out the flames, and the disaster was complete–the high school was gone.

Again, P.B. Harris won the school contract, this time to build a new high school building to contain classrooms, a shop, and a new gym. In the meantime, classes were held in just about any building that had empty space, all over town–the Masonic Hall, the Odd Fellows Hall, the Pythian Sisters Hall, the Fair hall, and in the jai-alai court of Valentine’s Bar. The new school was finished in 1936, and school began to get back to normal.

A lot of you who hear or read this will remember the terribly hard drought and depression years of the 1930’s. Yet, even though times were terrible, there were dances, plays, proms, basketball games and boxing matches in the gym.

In the 1930’s, possibly because of the hard times, the yearbooks were still not being produced and what was basically a senior album was put together each year instead.

Who knows the answer to this? Was the Hornet our first and only emblem and mascot? In the school year 1994-1995, the school received a large, handsome, framed chenille Hornet, donated by E.E. Stanley of Hawaii, class of 1940. A plate attached to the frame reads, “First Hornet,–1937”. Does that mean it was the first one made, or that the Hornet was not our school symbol before 1937?

The class of 1938, next to the last to graduate in the decade, holds the distinction of being the largest class ever to graduate from Surprise Valley Union, with forty-two graduates.

THE 1940’s

The 1930’s had been disturbing years, also, because of the rumblings of war in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Then came December 7th, 1941. After Pearl Harbor, there were few of our lives that did not see profound changes. A lot of boys and some girls went off to war, and many people left Surprise Valley to work in the shipyards or airplane or other factories. The ‘forties were times of separations and re-unitings, hard work and heart-break, rationing and sacrifice, losses and gains, laughter and tears.

Although music had been part of the high school scene since the beginnings of the school, Karl Major seems to have put together the first big marching band, during the ‘forties. There were not enough high school students to make the band that he wanted, so he included the seventh and eighth graders and they all made music. marching in the Cedarville and Lakeview fair parades and playing at basketball games and other school functions. Then Karl Major joined the navy. and the band didn’t get as big and strong again until Hank Johnson showed up. With the end of World War lI in 1945, things changed again. There were new faculty at the school. Jack MacDonald had returned from the War, and started the longest recorded teaching career at the high school. During his thirty-plus years’ association, teaching math and a lot of other things in the classroom, he was also Administrative Assistant, Counselor, Driving Ed Instructor, and Coach. He also kept busy in the hour before and after school driving the Fort Bidwell bus.

The Fort Bidwell Branch of Surprise Valley Union had closed at the end of school year 1942-43, and the bus run from Fort Bidwell to Cedarville was begun in the fall of 1943 with Lewis Vaughn at the wheel, so now the Bidwell bus joined Cook and the “basket bus” in uniting the students from both ends of the valley with the Cedarville students.

The class of 1946 had members who wanted to re-instate the yearbooks, but when the matter was put to a vote, the albums won. The class of 1947 also had an album, but finally, in 1948, the yearbooks came back and have remained up until this year of 1996, presumably to stay. The original yearbooks were called “Surprise,” the 1948 and following issues were called “Hornet”.

The class of 1946, this year’s fiftieth anniversary class, were, as far as anyone can remember, the first to graduate in caps and gowns instead of dress-up clothes, and the caps and gowns were maroon and gold. The graduating seniors still wear caps and gowns, but sometimes they go with maroon and gold and sometimes with stark black.

The re-born 1948 annual is thin, but full of information. The faculty consisted of Jack MacDonald, Elizabeth Hill, and Bonnie Borden, J. Post Williams, who was also principal, and Norman Nichols, the ag teacher and FFA Advisor. In the school year 1947- 1948, the Surprise Valley FFA chapter was recognized by the State as one of the outstanding FFA chapters in California. The Block “S” had ten members and Joe Harris was president. Boys’ basketball did very well, with A, B, and C teams, and Jack MacDonald coaching all three. The Girls’ Athletic Association had thirty-four members. Dorothy Darst and Joyce Doss were the yell leaders. Lewis Vermillion was student body president.

THE 1950’S

In spite of the nasty business and upset and lost lives of the Korean War, the post-war vigor and optimism following World War II remained. The ‘fifties came on strong–this was one of the busy decades of the high school. In 1952, for example, Grandon “Granny” Russell was principal of a really busy high school. Enrollment had fallen off from the highs of the end of the ‘thirties and early ‘forties until there were only sixty-seven students, but there were committees for every purpose and all kinds of action was going on. The Future Homemakers of America had twenty-four members; the Future Farmers of America had twenty-seven members. The A, B, and C basketball teams were making us winners.

A major new development in the late 1950’s was the formation of a Surprise Valley High football team. The first amazing team defeated big Lakeview, which was really something, since some of the Surprise Valley players had never even seen someone else play football, especially since there was not yet television in the valley. There are probably some players around from other schools who remember being bounced off Surprise Valley’s Jimmy Paddy, who paid no more attention to them than if they were mosquitoes.

Fund raisers of various kinds have always been a Surprise Valley necessity and tradition, from the time of the first class, of 1907, who stated in their yearbook that they had established a picture fund, a library fund, and an athletic fund. Probably the most extensive fund raisers during the lifetime of the school were those that raised money to buy the football uniforms and equipment and the several different band uniforms.

The 1950’s were notable not only for the beginnings of the football team but also for the arrival of dynamic Herman (Hank) Johnson, who had energy that wouldn’t quit, and who, according to one of his former students, “…could make a rock play music and sing.”

Under the leadership of Hank Johnson, Surprise Valley’s premium marching band developed. He marched them up, he marched them down, he marched them all over town.

Surprise Valley High School received its first California Scholarship Federation charter in 1951 and became chapter 413 in the statewide academic honors organization.

THE 1960’S

The ‘sixties might be called the “holding” years, because during the ‘sixties a great many traditions and ways of doing things stayed as they had developed during the ‘thirties, ‘forties, and ‘fifties. There were still plays, games, dances, and merry mischief. During the sixties, we have heard, some of the most inventive Halloween pranks in the history of the school were invented and implemented. There were vehicles on roofs, horses and goats in the hallway, and chickens in the principal’s office. Cars got misplaced and people’s shoes disappeared. Interesting garments were run up the flag pole. The sign at Patch’s Corner was moved into a poplar tree, where it remains, crawling slowly upward.

The Senior Ball in the spring was still open to the public and was the big dress-up and social event of the year, while a close second was the Junior Prom in the fall. The Junior-Senior Banquet at Goldens was a big event. The Juniors put it on for themselves and the seniors and their dates, and provided entertainment, and the Juniors knew they had to do this or their name would be mud.

Hank Johnson was still marching the band up and down and all around the town, and sometimes he had them play on the steps of the Briles Store. If there were shut-ins who couldn’t get out and about, Hank and the band serenaded them at home. They played in at least one competition at Quincy, they marched in the Nevada Day Parade in Reno in October, 1960. There were prideful times for Surprise Valley when the when the band traveled to San Francisco, stayed at the Manx Hotel, and played in the great gathering of bands during half-time of the East-West Game in Kezar Stadium. They played at basketball games here at halftime, and traveled with the team to away games. There were several memorable majorettes, as well as some outstanding musicians. The students got to sing, too, for Hank Johnson also had a powerful chorus.

During the sixties, the A, B, C basketball teams were still in style, and the Surprise Valley B team became champions, and there were still football teams during part of the sixties.

Elbe Bullen came to Surprise Valley to teach ag classes and be the FFA advisor, and the FFA continued doing well.

Francis Page was high school principal from 1959 to 1965, and made high school a memorable experience for the many people who passed through the high school during his term.

Sometime between 1965 and 1969, the English room–auditorium was re-done, shelved, and made into a library.

THE 1970’S

The civil unrest that had spread to the schools in the 1960’s continued into the ‘seventies, with the ugly shadow of Viet Nam hovering over it all. Change, good and bad, seemed to almost come out of the air. As always, what affected the nation affected the school, and a period of change in the school and its inhabitants began then and has not yet stopped.

Elbe Bullen died, and his funeral in the gym had to be one of the saddest occurrences in the history of Surprise Valley High School. Through Elbe’s long illness there were several interim ag instructors. One of them was a lady–Charlotte Kimball–and that was a sign of the changing times.

Unfortunately, Elbe did not live to enjoy teaching in the new ag classroom and shop building that was designed by architects Smart, Clabaugh, and Young in the spring of 1972, and was ready to go in the school year 1972- 1973. In the meantime, John Luce had been hired as ag teacher, and the first girls joined FFA. This may not be a complete list, but the girls shown in the 1972 yearbook are Donna Seeley, Toni Page, Sabrina Harris, Sammie Stevenson, Vicki Nay, Debbie Perry, Susan Scott, and Jan Rosendahl. In the 1973 annual, the girls listed as FFA members are Toni Page, Lu Flournoy, Paula Ligon, Lesa Bell, Annette Rea, Jean Cockrell, Donna Sharrow, Pam Bell, Sammie Stevenson, Jo Ann Stevenson, Mary Ann Minnete, Jan Rosendahl, and Debbie Reynolds. Clayton Oilar had become the ag teacher/FFA advisor, following the resignation of John luce.

One of the results of the Civil Rights movement had been the implementation of Title IX, which was the reason that girls could join FFA and have basketball and other athletic teams of their own with the same status and privileges as the boys. They eventually became able to have their own games schedules, coordinated with the boys, and began to shine in sports. The Surprise Valley girls have consistently done especially well in track, which they practiced for by running from the Surprise Valley boys.

In due time, the Title IX changes led to the disappearance of the G.A.A., and now, in 1996, there is just one athletic club for boys and girls, and that is the BLOCK S . The changes in the scope of girls’ sports ultimately resulted in the building of a second locker room, which had been long needed, anyway.

Business and journalism teacher Jake Merritt came to the school, and fostered the HORNET BUZZ, which became a real newspaper and was a good training ground for budding journalists. In 1973, Merritt applied for and obtained a charter for the Surprise Valley chapter of Quill and Scroll, the honor society for high school journalists. In addition to putting out the paper, Merritt’s students had for a time a student store. Under Merritt’s tutelage, the HORNET BUZZ won many awards, including national awards from the Columbia University School of Journalism. Sadly, since Jake Merritt left, the newspaper and the Quill and Scroll society have both become defunct, partly because of student apathy and unwillingness to put in long hours beyond class times.

A major event of the 1970’s was the Modoc County Centennial Show in 1974. Dozens of students from both high school and grammar school, along with parents and other adults, practiced and practiced and in the end put on an amazing show, with the Oregon Old Time Fiddlers furnishing the live music, and Lester and Marian McKenzie operating the stereo accompaniments. The refreshment stands sold Jean and Yvonne Etchebarne’s Basque bread, Texas-sized doughnuts eight inches in diameter, Bigfoot doughnuts, genuine Sarsaparilla, and giant dill pickles. All seats, all standing room, and all food were sold out, and it is a pity that the show was not run for two nights.

The ‘seventies saw the end of the Junior-Senior Banquet and the beginning of the Junior-Senior Breakfast, which didn’t last long. There was a junior prom in 1972, as well as a junior play, but these were dying gasps of the old ways. The cafeteria went out of business in the late 1970’s and did not return until school year 1981-1982.

The girls’ athletic program grew and the boys’ athletics were dominated by Rick Reeves as an all-around athlete, and James Olmsted burned up the track, setting records, some of which skill have not been bettered.

Jack MacDonald, who had given thirty-two years of his life to Surprise Valley High School and the youth of Surprise Valley, retired in 1976, and that was the end of an era.

THE 1980’S

The coming in of a new decade saw the beginning of what is going to be a twenty-year period of massive change in the high school plant, personnel, equipment, and students.

It began with the black-topping of the parking lot in 1982. Next, the first carpeting was laid in the halls and most of the classrooms, cutting the general noise level by about ninety-five percent. The last of the old-style, connected desks that so many of us sat in disappeared, and college-style chairs with a writing space on the arm appeared in their place. Further seating changes were made when some of the rooms were outfitted with chairs and tables.

In 1984, a greenhouse was added to the new voc-ag building, and some renovations were made to the home ec room. Jake Merritt purchased a used off-set press and taught several students how to do offset printing, and presently the HORNET BUZZ plus a lot of job printing, came off the press.

Students who were used to listening to classroom offerings from records and reel-to-reel tape recorders suddenly were hearing the same things, only better, from sleek little cassette players.

Between 1979 and 1984, the first computers came to live in the high school, added to the science room by Don Penland. The students clustered around them to look at the miracle.

During the 1980’s. the 16 millimeter projectors, slide projectors , and overheads began to disappear, being replaced by one-eyed monsters; that is, TV monitors with video tape players.

The 1980’s saw the disappearance of what had been the favorite roosting spots of student lovebirds and the substitute spittoons for a couple of generations of tobacco chewers. The old radiators were torn out and replaced by boxed in heating units, rooms were outfitted with thermostats, and the new geothermal well which we share with the hospital began putting out heat for the long winter months. The system had a lot of bugs in it, which are being elimnated over the years, and it is sure that anybody who ever fought with the old furnace regretted to see it replaced.

One interesting feature of the 1980’s was the introduction of an afternoon ski program for interested students, and many a happy hour was spent on the Cedar Pass ski hill. Unfortunately, that program vanished along with the instructors, who were Sara Gooch and Don Penland.

The 1980’s were characterized by a steady stream of changes, but something that bears noticing about the 1970’s and 1980’s was the turnover in principals. Between 1970 and 1996 the principals have been Milton Boyden, Lew Foster, Robert Dial, Elwood Ford, Richard Cunnison, and Henry Bietz. Henry Bietz arrived in 1989 and is still here in 1996.

THE 1990’S

The present main buildings of the school are now in their sixtieth year. Many alterations have been done since the building was first completed, and some have already been mentioned. While other decades saw some alterations, the ‘nineties have seen a multitude of them


The playing field has been done over, and at present sports a handsome lawn and a chain link fence. In the voc-ag area, pumice block retaining walls have been built to form giant boxes that have been filled with rich soil for garden projects, and a small orchard grows on the west side.

All through the ‘nineties, the race to modernize the building and equipment in order to keep the school an adequate preparatory place for young people to cope has grown more intense.

In 1990, the television broadcasting facility for local broadcasts and transmission of PBS was built at the north end of the math room, and we went on the air in July, 1991. In 1992, the first equipment for an On-Line Catalogue was purchased and its installation in the library followed. In the fall of 1994, the On-Line Catalogue was ready for the students to use, and the old card catalogue joined other obsolete equipment. Thus, students who went to college and were compelled to use computer catalogues would be aware of the system and how it worked.

The 1980’s and 1990’s also saw the addition of a very large storage room on the west side of the school, the disappearance of the old home ec facility and the addition of new features: a new faculty room on the north end of the building, and a conference room used mainly by the Special Education department funded by the county and housed in the northeast corner of the main building.

The 1990’s have seen the complete remodeling and modernizing of the gym. An inner foam shell has been blown into the ceiling and it has been re-roofed. The locker rooms have been refurbished, the concession stand modernized, the wiring improved, a new floor put in, scoreboards added. The projection booth, which made such a great hiding place for little class cutters, has disappeared. However, there may still be a trap door over the stage, so that two girls could lower a spitting tomcat on a string in order to clutch the wig from a teacher’s head. Of course, nothing like that ever happened at Surprise Valley. The new bleachers topped off the gym renovations.

In the ‘nineties, a “temporary” building was purchased, remodeled, and made the home for the growing accounting department, which moved out of the room now used as a conference room.

In the “nineties, there is no more home ec. department, though the facilities are basically in place. But an art department has been added. The day of the big bands vanished along with the big band teachers, who didn’t want to live in Cedarville and take less salary than they could get elsewhere.

In the summer of 1995, beautiful new lockers took the place of the old standbys in the hall, which were just about ready to collapse from endless hard use. At present, there are about thirty computer terminals and six or seven laser or ink jet printers and a scanner in the main building. There are four copying machines of various types, and there is a FAX machine in the main office. The office of the school secretary has had a long-needed overhaul, so that she now has modern furniture and the necessary high tech equipment to help her do her job. Computer keyboarding is now a required subject for graduation from Surprise Valley High School. The library went on INTERNET in school year 1995-1996.

The Civil Rights movements and the subsequent Federal and State laws have pretty well pulled the teeth of California teachers, so discipline can’t be what it used to be, without breaking a law. If students behave, it is because they want to–not because faculty or administration can make them.

Much is different, much is changed, since the beginning in 1903. The fact is unchanging that knowledge is here and can be absorbed by young -people who want to learn something, and can be ignored and gotten around by young people who don’t want to learn anything. Thanks to the efforts of taxpayers and parents, faculty and administration, secretaries, librarians, cooks, custodians, bus drivers, board members, the students themselves, and all the people who have helped make the school keep going, it is still going on. Hopefully will keep on forever, or at least half-way to forever.

With a great deal of effort, a count of Surprise Valley’s graduates was made for the 1996 reunion and celebration. By this count, after the class of 1996 graduated, Surprise Valley Union High, now known as Surprise Valley High, had turned out ONE THOUSAND, FIVE HUNDRED AND FIFTY GRADUATES. With the graduating class ranging in size from the four of 1915 to the forty-two of 1938.

Hopefully, classroom instruction will go on; sports will go on; art and music will go on; bus transportation will go on. And so will proms, yearbooks, romances, bashfulness, acne, and all the other wonders of high school, marching into the twenty-first century. This presentation does not attempt to or pretend to tell the whole story of the history of the high school. Some of that is lost forever, and some of it lies quietly in your minds and hearts. There are probably mistakes in this presentation. If so, just let us know. And there will be corrections.