Education feature: Class of 2012 looks back at 100 years of New Mexico schools

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Clovis High School freshman campus students Kyla Vestal, left, and Shannon Spurgeon are working on centennial projects this year at the freshman campus. Current freshman, the class of 2012, will be the 100th class to graduate from high school in New Mexic

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

Students at Clovis freshman campus are interviewing previous graduates as a project for the Centennial Graduates Initiative.

The initiative is an event to mark New Mexico’s Centennial.

The Class of 2012 marks 100 years of high school graduation classes in the New Mexico, which became the 47th state Jan. 6, 1912.

Clovis freshman are using the interviews to compare differences between then and now. They are also designing a logo.

The history faculty at the Clovis freshman campus have spearheaded the project. History department head Brian Pickard said the project will be good for the students and the state.

“I think it has many benefits. It will put New Mexico on the map. A lot of people aren’t sure what New Mexico really is,” he said. “And as a history teacher, remembering dates is important but it’s not just a date but all the significance behind it.”

Shannon Spurgeon, 14, interviewed Board of Education member Lora Harlan who graduated from Clovis High School in 1965.

“It was a cool thing, for history reasons,” Spurgeon said. “In ways, things were different but in a lot of ways the same.”

Spurgeon said the biggest difference was a lack of technology.

“I can’t imagine having school without computers,” she said. “She was on yearbook like I am and they had to do that without computers.”

Spurgeon shuddered at the thought of physically laying out the pages and hand writing captions.