The importance of school in a young person’s life was made evident Sept. 22, when scores of alumni reunited for the unveiling of the Rehoboth High School History Room.
Attendees hugged and reminisced, flipped through photo and memory books, and looked for their names – or the names of their ancestors – on plaques and trophies lining the walls of the room within Rehoboth Elementary.
The small museum contains a collection of artifacts and memorabilia documenting the high school that served students from 1939-69. The building later housed junior high and elementary students after the consolidation of Cape Henlopen School District in 1969.
After the new Rehoboth Elementary opened in September 2019, the old Rehoboth High building was demolished, and district leaders dedicated a room in the new building to honor the school, its staff and students.
For more than a year, Rehoboth High alumni Hope Wilson Lavachia, Jackie Johnson Shockley and Gail Nowakowski worked with Cape Public Relations Coordinator Steph DeMalto to fill the room with trophies, yearbooks, photos, newspaper clippings and uniforms documenting the school.
At the open house, Lavachia acknowledged Cape Superintendent Bob Fulton, who she said heard the grumblings of Rehoboth High alumni when the building was set for demolition. Fulton understood their feelings, Lavachia said, and alumni understood the building had to be torn down.
“Without Bob, none of us would be here tonight and this room would not exist. He made this happen, and we thank you so much,” she said to Fulton.
Fulton said he traveled to other schools, including A.I. du Pont High, for ideas on how districts have honored schools that had to be demolished. Noting his own children attended Rehoboth Elementary, Fulton said he enjoyed meeting alumni of the old school.
“This is incredible. We tried to bring as much as we could from the other school into this building, not just for you all, but for us and the students who go through here,” Fulton said. “It’s important for them to know and remember and think about who was here before them, and why this is such a special place to live and to go to school.”