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12 TAHS seniors have an adventure digging up third grade memories in time capsule

Front row: Mike Moore, Matt Christine, Garrett Ray and Tyler Ayres. Second row: Stephanie Bagshaw, Chelsea Brockett, Shane Emigh, Shayne Tate, Josh Bradley, Dustin Hook and Arran Shields. Front: Chelsea Brockett, Mrs. Lauck, Mike Moore, Tyler Ayres, Matt Christine, Arran Shields and Mrs. Shultz. Back: Shane Emigh, Garrett Ray, Kyle Updike, Shayne Tate and Josh Bradley.

On June 10, 1999, a third grade class of twelve students taught by Jannette Ober-Lauck planted one of the four original trees in front of what was the first year of the new elementary school. The project was originated from a science lesson on reasons to plant trees, taught to the kids by Jody Wallace.
Before planting the tree, the class that is soon to be graduating in June, decided to bury a time capsule at the same time. Ober-Lauck, Wallace and Terri Shultz, the paraprofessional at the time, assisted the students in the project.
The time capsule consisted of a list of reasons to plant a tree, a class picture, signatures of all the students, and the date by which the capsule was buried.
The third grade students that day was Chelsea Brockett, Mike Moore, Tyler Ayers, Matt Christine, Arran Shields, Shane Emigh, Garrett Ray, Kyle Updyke, Shayne Tate, Josh Bradley, Dustin Hook, and Stephanie Bagshaw.
Ober-Lauck recalled how “well thought out” the list of reasons her third graders developed for planting a tree. The reasons ranged from helping “stop soil erosion” and “for oxygen” to “a good place to rest” and “a memory of school and friends.”
One of Ober-Lauck’s former students in her third grade class, Shane Emigh, approached her two months ago about the buried time capsule. He and his classmates were eager to dig up their nine-year-old memories. But, Ober-Lauck, Emigh, and the rest of the class found that it was easier said than done.
“The problem was we didn’t write down where we planted the tree, and two of the trees died since then,” said Ober-Lauck. “Shane got the kids together over at the high school, so last Wednesday was the day we decided to do it.”
Since Ober-Lauck wasn’t sure of the time capsule’s location, a metal detector was used by Carol Waite and Patty Kilmer, but that didn’t produce any definitive readings. So, the class began digging a little bit under the first tree that died, but nothing was found.
The students moved on to tree number two, but again, nothing was found. Ober-Lauck remembered that the school district did some construction at the front of the building when drain work was re-done, so she began to doubt if the time capsule survived the construction.
Then, an interesting turn of events occurred – one of Ober-Lauck’s former students, Arran Shields, began finding an omen-like number of four-leaf clovers and even a five-leaf clover, which is well-known as a good luck charm.
Indeed it was.
“We decided we weren’t digging deep enough,” said Ober-Lauck as she was realizing they were digging up school property. “We started digging more and we found one.”
Once the time capsule was found, the group was elated and prepared to take some pictures with their treasure. But, the students soon realized that it wasn’t their time capsule. Frustrated, the students dug a bigger hole at the first hole dug and they found another capsule.
That wasn’t their time capsule either.
“So, we figured it must be under the third tree and it was,” said Ober-Lauck. “It wasn’t that deep either, but we finally found it and we were happy about that.”
She added jubilantly, “I think if we would of just dug it up right away, it would have taken away from the experience.”
Once the class retrieved the time capsule and the items contained it, the group enjoyed a relaxing evening at Reservoir Park and had a picnic to reminisce about third grade and the project, along with simply catching up with friends and talking about the future.
“What was really impressive was how focused these kids are,” stated Ober-Lauck. “Just well put together kids, focused on their next step. Every one of them gave me a hug and said thank you, and I was so glad they took the time to spend that evening with me.”
She continued, “It was neat to see them out of school too, because they are really funny. That sense of humor sticks in my mind as part of that evening, but just how focused they are is amazing – their parents should be really proud of them.”
Emigh said that he thought the experience was “great,” and to be able to look back at something that seems so long ago, knowing that he and his classmates are graduating this year, put it all in perspective for him.
“It’s weird to see how we’ve changed from what we were then, even just in the picture and the friends we had then,” stated Emigh. “Just to see how we were back then to how we are now, and how Mrs. Ober-Lauck’s class really helped us a lot even as young as we were, because the enrichment class really helped me out a lot in school.”
He continued, “The friends I had then are still the friends I have now in high school, and it’s really helped me push through a lot of things. It really gave me a discipline for myself to be able to know I can push myself through anything.”
Emigh also said that it was nice getting together with his former third grade classmates, because although they all are in high school together, they don’t always see each other. He added that it was interesting seeing what everyone’s future plans were and to simply have a good time together.
“We had a lot of goals back then, but I think that we’ve exceeded those greatly and became even more than what we expected,” said Emigh. “We still goof around and there’s still little kids in each and every one of us.”