The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Students take a look back with time capsule


November 4, 2018

Jamie Cushman

From left, third-grade teacher Candace Gulley, retired third-grade teacher Debbie Bracken and Principal Brenda Benfield open the five-year-old time capsule at Highland Elementary on Wednesday.

CLOVIS — OK, so maybe five years ago wasn't that long ago. Unless you are a student at Highland Elementary School in Clovis. Then it was nearly a lifetime ago.

Students got a taste of what life was like at their school when they were toddlers as a time capsule was opened during an assembly Wednesday morning.

Third-grade teacher Debbie Bracken and her students buried the capsule in 2013 under a pair of rose bushes located in front of their classroom at the old Highland school, located at the corner of Main and Plains.

When that school was torn down this past summer to make way for the new Highland, set to open next year in the same location, Bracken said construction workers found the time capsule buried there.

Despite the short time in the ground, the items removed from the plastic tube on Wednesday did appear considerably worse for wear thanks to water that leaked in. Biographies the students wrote were soaked and the class photo was faded down to just the name of the school and the outlines of a few students' heads.

And the contents smelled bad.

"It looks like (the plastic tube) would be tight but it must have got bent somehow and then it must have leaked," Bracken said.

Still, most of the items were still salvageable, including a copy of the April 10, 2013, edition of The Clovis News Journal from the day the time capsule was buried.

Besides some standard school supplies including a pen, colored pencil, marker and stapler, Bracken said the students also included some popular items from the times including a yo-yo, bouncy ball and temporary tattoos featuring birds and a snake.

"There was Pop's Place that was up on Main Street; it was a restaurant that had candy machines in it," Bracken said. "A lot of the kids went there for ice cream and they may have gotten some of that stuff out of the gumball machine."

Brenda Benfield, principal at Highland for the past four years, enjoyed seeing what was popular at the school before she worked there.

"I was a little disappointed that it was wet," Benfield said. "Some of the items were just I guess representative of what kids liked at that time. Pokemon was big and still is."

That was proven by the Pokemon that was among the winners of the school's pumpkin-design contest, also announced during Wednesday's assembly.

Luis Diaz was one of the students in Bracken's third-grade class five years ago and wrote a message that was placed in the time capsule.

He was interviewed on Wednesday at the Clovis High School Freshman Academy, where the students who took part in the time capsule now attend. Diaz said he could not remember much about what he wrote until he was told about it after the assembly.

Luis wrote that he wanted to grow up to be "a Hot Wheels driver."

"When I was younger I had a whole collection of them that I would just collect and I would tell my mom 'I want to become one,'" Luis said.

Luis laughed when he was reminded about his former aspirations and thought it was cool that his younger sister Jozlynn, who attends Highland now, was present for the opening of the time capsule.

Bracken, now retired after 25 years at Highland, thought the time capsule would be in the ground for a bit longer but overall said she was happy with how the project turned out.


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