DUGGER, Ind. (WTHI) – One Wabash Valley Community is saying goodbye to a piece of history as Union-Dugger High School will be closing its door for good.
“I started in 1969 and retired in 2010 and came back to help this year. If you want to get technical, I started school here in 1953 so I’ve been here basically forever.”
Science teacher Tom Hiatt just couldn’t stay away.
Hiatt started his attendance in this classroom as a 5th grader – years later he’s saying goodbye as a teacher.
“Back in the same classroom I started in many, many years ago.”
Hiatt has been a Bulldog for more than 60 years, watching this school grow and change.
“They’ve had three major renovations over the time I’ve been here where they’ve remodeled everything, changed things,” he explained. “New lockers, moved elementary out of high school. So that part of it has been interesting being able to rely it to the kids, and telling them the past and what there looking forward to in the future. Things change and they’re going to have a big change this year.”
Within a two week period, students and staff found out their school was closing.
“I think its one of those life changes. The small close knit community, we’re going to miss that!” described Shane Reese, principal of Union-Dugger High School.
He says these past few weeks have been hard – not just for him but for everyone.
“Certainly for my kids and my staff it’s been really traumatic,” Reese continued. “We’ve tried all year here to make it as normal as possible here, especially with this last week with graduation coming up. You know we have a senior class that is graduating and it’s there time.”
Reese is reminding his seniors that they are now a piece of history.
“You’re the lucky ones; you’re going to get to be the final class, that’s something to be proud of!”
But that doesn’t make it easy for students or for the staff.
“Really, there are things we will miss, like I said life goes on,” Reese stated. “And in the words of a famous man, ‘thats all I got to say about that.’”
Friday is Union-Dugger High Schools’ last full day and on Saturday the final graduating class will walk across the stage for their diplomas.
Finals will continue on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.