Routt Catholic High School is celebrating its 120th Anniversary this weekend. Routt’s AP U.S. History class developed an exhibit at the Jacksonville Area Museum for people to have a glimpse at some of that history.
Routt High School U.S. History teacher and Jacksonville Area Museum volunteer Lisa Hall says that many of the items on display were donated and curated from several Routt alumni and through her students’ families: “We started several months ago about how we can best represent Routt. We selected photographs. We asked for artifacts from not only our family members, but looking around school trying to find what we could dig up there, and then putting it out to the Routt community if anyone had something they might want to share with us. Then, we learned how to document the things that we borrowed from people for the display. We selected our photographs. We wrote texts to tell the story of Routt. We centered it around 5 different components. After that, we started to interview people to get stories for their perspective. Then, it was putting it all together in a layout for people to come and visit and learn a little bit more about school, maybe relive a little bit of memory that they had when they went through Routt, or celebrate their connections to Routt.”
Each piece of the exhibit has QR codes that people can scan to hear stories associated with the pieces on display taken from the interviews the students conducted. Hall says a couple of the students really embraced the project. Hall says one student currently still talks with members of Cedarhurst Assisted Living about their days at Routt, while other students learned about their family members’ time at the school.
Hall says the students’ main take away from the project is that high school really isn’t that different now than it was in the past: “We’re not all that different. School may change through the decades. Clubs may change. Athletic success may change. The things we learn may change. However, at one point, everyone lives through the teenage years. The students got to compare what it was like for people in the past at Routt to what they are experiencing now. I think they enjoyed it. It was a lot of hard work. I think the students will admit that, as well. Putting everything all into perspective and then putting it into words wasn’t easy for them sometimes.”
Hall says the other thing that students took away from the project was their overall pride in the completion of the project. She says that several members of the Routt community and family members of the students went through the display’s opening last week. The Routt anniversary display will be on display for another two weeks at the museum.