SINCLAIRVILLE - The second day of Cassadaga Valley Central School's 75th anniversary celebration was marked by the return of several former students to the place that shaped them during their formative years.
On Saturday, a number of CVCS alumni representing seven decades of successful graduates returned to their alma mater to partake in walking tours of the middle/high school building and relive a piece of personal history.
The tours - provided by the Cassadaga Valley 75th anniversary committee - took attendees through the building's many hallways and rooms to provide the alumni with a firsthand look at the changes experienced by the district since their time of attendance. According to Sally Lawson, chairperson of the anniversary committee, tours of the building are given annually for 50-year class reunions, and they are always well-received by alumni.
Several Cassadaga Valley Central School alumni pose for a photo with members of the CVCS 75th anniversary committee, pictured at left, during a walking tour of the middle/high school building for the district’s 75th anniversary celebration on Saturday.
P-J photo by Gavin Paterniti
"It's just amazing to see everybody's reactions," said Lawson, a 1966 graduate of CVCS. "We did tours when we had the 50th (anniversary celebration), but what I really wanted this time was a large population of students who were some of the first students here. I know my own class was here a couple of years ago, and the people, even in my class, are always amazed at the technology that's in school now and how things and the building itself has changed. It's always simply amazing to them because they remember the old school, and they don't realize that we had to change with the times."
The first tour of the day was comprised of some of the earliest graduates of Cassadaga Valley, with one attendee going as far back as the class of 1944 - only five years removed from the first class to be graduated by the CVCS district. The tour was conducted by Thomas Zanghi, supervisor of building and grounds, who said the tours have educational value for everyone involved.
"When people come back, they like to see how things have changed," Zanghi said. "People that live right in the community may not have been up to the school for a long time. So, it's something that people really enjoy doing because they can come in and remember a certain teacher that was really good to them, or a sports team that they were on or a musical that they were in. And so everybody's got a little bit of a different perspective. It's just been very interesting, and I really enjoy it. I look forward to it every year."