- Cherry Creek School District No. 5
Prairie Middle School time capsule is a peek into the past
Valery Brown-Godino is on a mission; to find as many of her middle school classmates and teachers as possible to help her identify the contents of a time capsule buried at Prairie Middle School on October 24, 1977, the year the school opened.
“When I stood in the esplanade and we buried that, I cried. It was a big deal,” Brown-Godino recalled.
In 1977, Jimmy Carter was president. The minimum wage was $2.30 an hour. 1977 was the year Apple Computer was officially incorporated, with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak listed as co-founders. Thirty years later, Apple would introduce the iPhone. Rocky won the Oscar for best picture that year, and Rod Stewart’s “Tonight’s the Night” ended the year at #1 on Billboard’s list of pop singles.
That was the social context when the Prairie time capsule was filled with all kinds of things related to the new middle school; an invitation to the PMS dedication ceremony, the school’s curriculum, board policies and district goals. It also contained dozens of photos of Prairie students and staff, as well as student drawings.
“Everybody could draw pictures of what was important then,” Brown-Godino said.
Unfortunately, most of the photos don’t have names, which is why Brown-Godino is trying to find former classmates and teachers, so they can help her identify the people, photos and drawings.
Her class attended Prairie during its inaugural year, then went on to Overland High School, which opened in 1978. They were the first class that attended all four years at Overland, graduating in 1982.
When members of the Class of 1982 were planning their 20-year class reunion in 2002, they started searching for the Prairie time capsule. Brown-Godino learned it had been dug up in 1997, then reburied, then unearthed again, sometime in the 2000s. She eventually found it in the school’s main office, and the school turned it over to the Class of 1982. The contents will be displayed at the group’s 40th reunion this August.
“Our goal is just to recognize the students and staff who participated (in the time capsule),” Brown-Godino said.
If you would like information about the Overland High School Class of 1982 40th reunion celebration in August, please visit https://overlandhs.com/.