The Museum on Main will be commemorating Amador Valley High School's centennial birthday with a special exhibit opening next week that will feature memorabilia and artifacts from Pleasanton's original high school.
Titled "The Don Century: Amador Valley High School 1923-2023," the exhibit will showcase everything from old cheerleader uniforms to building fragments from the original Amador classroom building, which was torn down in 1968, to a report card from Amador's first year of instruction – and so much more.
It will also feature clips from interviews with alumni as well as current and former faculty and staff in order to show just how much has changed over the century since the school first opened.
"The whole Valley has changed so much since 1923," Museum on Main curator Ken MacLennan stated in a press release.
"When Amador was established, Pleasanton was still very much a small town in an agricultural region," he said. "When the second year of classes started -- still in a temporary location as the Santa Rita Road facility began construction -- the entire student body was only 90 kids, and at that time the service area included Dublin and Sunol."
MacLennan was referencing how the school was originally part of the Amador Valley Joint Union High School District -- which led the efforts in building Amador high -- and took in students from the surrounding Tri-Valley communities. Prior to the school being founded, most Pleasanton kids had to make the trip to Livermore High School.
In 1988 a ballot measure passed, which allowed the Amador high school district to merge with the Pleasanton Joint School District in order to form the Pleasanton Unified School District.
The high school has since evolved into a top-ranked school that has grown along with the Tri-Valley's population.
Now, with the 100th year celebration coming up in September, MacLennan said alumni and the high school have been eagerly offering to lend items for the exhibit in order to show their piece of history from their time at the school.
"We've recorded interviews with several alumni covering seven decades of high school at Amador," MacLennan said, "They've lent us some wonderful memorabilia for the show."
Other items on display, according to MacLennan, will include letter sweaters, band uniforms, yearbooks and student newspapers and seating from the old auditorium predating its renovation into the Amador Theater.
To mark the exhibit's opening, Amador alumnae and Museum on Main board president Kathleen Hart-Hinek will moderate a panel discussion with former and current Amador teachers and staff from 5-6 p.m. on Tuesday (Aug. 29).
Community members will get a chance to hear from the teachers and staff who witnessed the school's development over the past couple of decades. Some of the panelists for "A Discussion with Amador High School Dons" include current teacher Kevin Kiyoi, former principal Cyril Bonanno, former social studies teacher Barbara Norton, longtime library clerk Judy Rathbone Burt, former football coach Rick Sira and former basketball coach Don Underwood.
Due to limited space, residents will have to make reservations in advance on the museum's website. The event will also be filmed and made available on the museum's YouTube channel in September.
After the panel, the museum will also be hosting a free public reception for the exhibit on Tuesday (Aug. 29) from 6-7 p.m. Registration is not required.
The exhibit will then be open to the public through Oct. 7 during the downtown museum's normal business hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.