Friday was the celebration for my little high school, Cartwright HS in Blackstock, as it is closing at the end of this school year.
I don’t think I have been to the school since I graduated in 2002 (it’s far from me now), but it hasn’t changed at all.
I arrived a bit earlier than the rest of my pals to help Mr. B and his wife Jan set up the decade rooms. Inside the school there are five classrooms, and each had a slideshow and various pictures and paraphernalia detailing different decades, from the 1940s to the 2000s.
Ah, the old science lab.
The main part of the school is very, very small.
That is the view as soon as you walk in. There is the office and three classrooms on the main floor, and two more classrooms (one is also a library), teacher’s lounge and the attic on the second floor. The basement is where the locker rooms and washrooms are.
So the entire student body doesn’t exactly fit inside the school, and I don’t think I have ever seen it as crowded in there as it was on Friday with all the people touring through it. There’s a bunch of portables in the back for the other classrooms.
And a double portable (which we called the lunch portable) that is used as the cafeteria and gym (and apparently now a weights room). I heard there was food being served in there, so after everything was set up that’s where I headed. Just to check it out, you know.
The desserts in there were dynamite.
When Dawn arrived and asked where I was someone said “In the lunch portable,” and she told me she was like “Hmm, this sounds familiar…”
Dawn, Emily, and Joanna arrived around the same time so the four of us got our tour on. It felt like old times!
I found a pretty good picture of Mr. B in the 1990s – 2000s decade room (which had a recording of our band playing in there on a stereo).
If there’s at least one thing I’ve learned since high school it’s definitely how to take a better picture…
I also found our graduation pictures in our decade room.
We had some Grade 12’s who graduated with us when we were in OAC (Grade 13), so our actual class was smaller than that. Here it is in all its glory.
After looking around the decade rooms, the four of us went on an adventure in the rest of the school and visited our old hangouts.
Like the attic, which I don’t think students are supposed to be in unless they need something…
Like pinnies. There are so many random items to be found in there.
And we had big time nostalgia in our old locker room.
I felt like I had never even left. I still felt like I was a student there.
I had so many warm and familiar feelings, and it was so good to see everyone.
Almost all of our old teachers were in attendance, so we decided we wanted to get a group picture with all of them. We asked the current principal if he could help us make an announcement about it over the PA, which we were banned from for a little while in Grade 12 because one time we got inappropriate on there. So he brought us to the office and we started making a list of all our teachers and we maybe got a little rowdy, and the principal said to us “I can see why you girls were banned…”
He liked us though.
Much more than our principal did. We told him our Grade 12 year would have been a dream if he had been our principal. I hope current students are not taking him for granted. They don’t know how good they have it.
Anyway, our announcement was funny and it worked. We rallied up all our old teachers.
I was really surprised at the number of teachers in attendance who don’t actually teach there anymore. Two are missing from this photo who were there earlier and had to leave, including my Grade 9 teacher Mrs. Ellis. I really remember her because she gave me 98% in Grade 9 English. Yes yes.
It’s such an amazing school and I have nothing but happy memories of my time there. I saw so many people who I haven’t seen in years, and it was great to hear everyone’s unique memories of our little school. I am very sad to see the school close. It will always hold a special place in my heart.
Although there is a public meeting this Wednesday (May 29 at 7pm at CCPS) to determine if the board followed the proper process for closing the school, and the decision could actually be reversed. More info on that here. So it’s possible we’ll all be meeting again in a few years and doing a big re-goodbye. But, any excuse for a party.
Anyway, it was a really good time and I am so glad I went. I love that little school!
(Edit: Dawn had a really great post about this as well if you want to check it out)