Oh, How the Times Have Changed


First Wheat Ridge High School in May of 1897. Courtesy of Colorado Historical Society

Nevaeh Valtierra, Features Editor

Have you ever thought about what our beloved school was like before we–freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors–occupied it? Really think about it.

Who used to walk these halls? Who were the heroes and bullies of the school? Who used to open your locker every day before you ever did? What ghosts haunt the bathrooms stalls? Well, we’ll never know all of the school’s secrets on those people who went here and their stories, but we can take a look into the school’s archives and see what once was.
The Haystack has found old newspapers all the way from the 1920s. Of course the school has changed since then, but what have we lost and what have we gained?

The first Wheat Ridge High School was created in May of 1897 for grades 10 through 12. After that, another building was built in July of 1936. Our current building was built in 1958, and things have been added to the building since.

Imagine going to school in the early 1900s where the number of enrolled students was so small that everyone knew each other’s first and last names. Think of what the school environment was like for the student body during the Great Depression. Think of the unity that had to be formed in the school during World War l and World War ll. Also think about the loss of students there was due to recruitment.

Before, religion was a part of the school’s curriculum. Teachers were allowed to discipline students physically. People took showers after gym. And there were expectations of you based on your gender.

Ladies, imagine not being able to wear jeans, sweats, or shorts. You’d only be allowed to wear skirts and dresses, but they would have to reach your calves. Boys, you had requirements too! There was no sagging and messy hair back then. Meaning, your hair couldn’t reach your collar or touch your ears. You were expected to tuck in your shirts and wear belts. Also, if you didn’t follow these norms, you were sent home to change your clothes, and you were expected to return.

Yes, this all sounds tough, and I’m sure you’re extremely grateful for the way things are now, but back then Wheat Ridge High School had way more fun than we do. After asking around, multiple teachers said students have lost school spirit. Senate was once a governing body for our school. There was a school president who worked to meet the needs and wants of the students. The school even held elections, giving students a lot of voice. Now it feels like events are planned and no one really gets in any input. Wheat Ridge High School also used to have a Pep Club that literally gathered and discussed how to get students to have more pep. They worked to get everyone participating on spirit days, sports games, and even worked to get the community involved.

We’re missing out on talent shows, casino nights, pie-eating contests, themed Fridays, and so much more. There was gymnastics and tae kwan do! Wheat Ridge used to throw carnivals, and circuses. They had more opportunities to leave the country for educational purposes. They hosted more fundraisers. To be honest, I don’t know what all of these are, but most of it sounds fun. It’s impossible to list all of the big and small things Wheat Ridge once had.

Informing you that our school isn’t heavy with fun activities isn’t to put our school down, but simply to encourage you to get involved and help Wheat Ridge continue to evolve. Our school has so much history and significance in it. There are current students today who have generations of family and loved ones who graduated from the Farm (it’s even been said that you could leave the state or country and still run into retired Farmers). If you’re not impressed with things now, change it.