Homecoming is a high school ritual at this time of year with pep rallies, parades, dances and football games, but this week will be the end of an era for one central Iowa school. Northeast Hamilton High School in Blairsburg will have its final Homecoming since it was created in the early 1960s with the merger of schools in Blairsburg, Kamrar and Williams in Hamilton County.
Ashley Davis is one organizer of this year’s final Homecoming. “The planning has been very emotional, making these decisions and realizing it’s the last time we’re going to be making some of these decisions,” Davis says. “It’s made for a stressful couple of months, so far.”
Next year, students who attend Northeast Hamilton will attend Webster City High, located about ten miles west of Blairsburg. The elementary school will continue to operate from pre-K to sixth grade. Dwindling enrollment is one of the factors for closing the high school.
Davis says there’s a bonfire tonight and special events each day this week. “Tuesday is Decade Day, every class is going to dress as a different decade and Tuesday night’s also our Jam the Gym for volleyball,” Davis says. “Wednesday will be Classic Movie Day, Thursday is Neon Day and Friday is Spirit Day and we’ll announce our king and queen Friday night at the football game.”
The entire 15-member class of 2015 will be the candidates for the final Homecoming queen and king at Northeast Hamilton. Tours of the high school will be a part of Homecoming evening. Davis says the football game will feature a halftime tribute. “They’re planning on getting former football teams together, former football players and during halftime, we’re going to do not only the coronation for this year but we’re also going to honor any past kings and queens that are able to join us,” Davis says.
The final football game to be played at Northeast Hamilton will be on October 24th. The final graduation day is set for May 17th of next year.
(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)