Eagle Rock's 90th Birthday

by Lillian Ngo

On September 12, 1927, Eagle Rock High School was founded, thus making our wonderful school 90 years old! To mark this major milestone, our very own students, staff, and alumni united to make this event lively and successful. Dedication is definitely the appropriate word to use when describing the Eagle Rock community. By the early hours of 7 a.m., students were working diligently to create this event as they tackled delicate details, such as perfectly twisting streamers on tables, to creating wall collages where student creativity took a forefront. The custodial staff provided a clean canvas to work on as they powerwashed the school the Friday before the celebration, and the students did not miss a beat. To take a behind-the-scenes look, I interviewed Susan Kao, the ASB Special Events Commissioner. Susan informed me that planning the event began 4-5 weeks in advance. In fact, this event was made successful by the skills of the many students and staff involved. Susan highlighted that they held meetings to strategically plan  and they were able to keep a fun balance as they shared cookies and laughter. When asking Susan why the 90th birthday was significant to her, she said it was an amazing opportunity for students to delve into our school’s history and talk to past alumni.

As I walked through the celebration, I witnessed many wonderful stands, each with eager individuals belonging to the Eagle Rock community. Clubs displayed their Eagle Rock pride as they sold food among tables decorated with a unique touch specific to their own club. However, although seemingly far and across campus, there was a table that was incomparable. Scratch that. It wasn’t even a table. Whoever manned this booth had created their own elaborate tent full of Eagle Rock gear! As I took a closer look, the tent consisted of Eagle Rock colors: green, grey, and white, and behind this ten was an alumni with an effervescent smile and openness. She beamed as she told me about her tent full of Eagle Rock gear she made herself! She excitedly gave my peers and I a closer look at an Eagle Rock pin of a glittery green heart with an ERHS print and introduced herself as Andrea Gilbert, an alumni from the class of 1998. When asked about why Eagle Rock’s 90th birthday celebration was significant to her, she answered, “My son is a student at Eagle Rock now and I want him to participate in all the events the school has to offer, because these will be his best years. I speak from experience as an alumni. It’s important to participate, volunteer, and interact with students. As an alumni, you want others to know you’re proud to be an Eagle. I want him to be involved as an alumni and for him to be just as proud as I am as he becomes involved in the community and school.” Gilbert’s goal is to spread happiness in her community, she said, “Kindness can break the chains of animosity, and rivalry, and in the end of the day we’re all Eagles.”

“The things that can happen for this school! I’m trying to get one little smile, because it takes one gesture to create a cycle of kindness.” When asked how Eagle Rock shaped Gilbert, she stated that her role as ASB secretary played a huge part, and it made her punctual and opened her boundaries. She became more outspoken and was able to talk to all kinds of people.

Along with awesome stands, you couldn’t forget about the sensational 90th Birthday Museum! This museum contained remarkable items such as countless yearbooks, photos, newspaper articles, old Eagle Rock gear, and awards. Families, students, staff, and alumni rushed in as they were highly intrigued by artifacts historic to Eagle Rock. Among the crowd of people, an endearing family caught my eye. Quite specifically, the father had a pin saying “Donald Young”; he had graduated from the year 1984. When asked how Eagle Rock has changed and grown, Young said, “It’s bigger, there’s different buildings, but in a lot of ways it’s very similar. There’s definitely familiarity, and even things my kids go through, it definitely still feel the same. Eagle Rock is sorta that regular classic high school, and I mean that in the best way. It’s that American tradition of a high school experience.” Finally, I inquired Young about how Eagle Rock impacted Young, he said “The best teacher I ever had, Ms. Bachan, she was willing to bust me and willing to get me in big trouble and set me in a straight path, and it took a little while, but it worked.”

Furthermore, besides interacting with great people, there’s things that we can’t forget about this event. The music played from the band lasted for a large portion of the event as they showed musical diversity by playing all types of music and instruments. Our talented drill team strut down into the crowd to get ready to perform and people ushered in to watch their performance. These delighted girls shined their cheery smiles as they gave an outstanding show. To end the event, our community came together to take a monumental photo as everyone stood in position to form the number 90. After the photo was taken, there was a huge cheer. The everlasting enthusiasm, excitement, and effort streamed across everyone’s face as the unity of all ages came together to highlight the pride and happiness from our wonderful Eagle Rock community.