Class of 2019 Exhibit shows history in the making

The community gathered inside the Claremore Museum of History Thursday night for the unveiling of an exhibit three months in the making.

The Claremore High School Yearbook Staff co-curated an exhibit detailing the accomplishments of the class of 2019.

Among those accomplishments: the dance team’s first state championship and trip to nationals, back to back regional volleyball championships and the marching band making it to state finals.

“It took three weeks and a few long meetings to figure out what we wanted to do,” the yearbook students said.

Students were responsible for choosing the stories and items that will be on display for the next year and displaying them.

The got a crash course in museum design and can add that the co-curated an exhibit to their resumes.

Students said the trophy was the greatest part of the exhibit, followed by the background designed by Museum Director Andy Couch.

Next to the exhibit is a place for visitors to record their favorite high school memories.

The goal of the exhibit is to show people, “High school students are more than just the stereotypes,” the students said.

Yearbook Advisor Jessica Warden said, “It was interesting to see how the kids organized their thoughts and what parts of Claremore High School they though were important.”

Warden said the project was almost entirely student led.

“Once the ideas had been selected the kids were able t run with it almost completely by themselves,” she said. “I think their experiences in yearbook helped, but it was definitely different than creating a flat piece. There was a lot of freedom and creativity involved.”

“I’m excited to see it,” said CHS Principal Kerri Garroutte on opening night.

This is the first time that the outgoing class has had an exhibit in the museum, and Couch hopes to make it a tradition.

The Claremore Museum of History is one of 20 museums in the country taking part in the OF/BY/FOR ALL campaign started by Nina Simon in Santa Cruz, California.

“To make the museum more relevant to the community we want to be co-created by our community,” Couch said. “By allowing the yearbook team to co-create, we’ve developed a platform for their creativity.”

“We are really happy to partner with Claremore High School and we look forward to this being an annual project,” Couch said. “After all, we are the Claremore museum.”

Warden said, “I’m really proud of the effort the student put into this. There was a lot of student led teamwork that went into this so it was impressive to see what they accomplished.”

“This exhibit provided our students with a real-world, project-based opportunity,” Garroutte said. “I’m thankful to Mr. Couch, thankful to Ms. Warden and thankful to the students themselves for making this happen.”