Looking at yearbooks

Westby High School freshman Ty Harbaugh (left) and David Kraabel, a 1984 WHS graduate, look through a Westby yearbook as part of the History Alive Project.

Freshman Ty Harbaugh recently was introduced to and then worked with History Alive Project Board member and 1984 Westby High School graduate, David Kraabel, as Kraabel was a Dec. 13 guest teacher in Brian Huebner’s social studies classes at WHS.

All of the ninth-graders at the school are currently using the WHS library’s archived copies of the SKI yearbooks as they research changes over time in their own school setting. With a chuckle, Kraabel said, “With Ty, I was able to find my senior picture from 32 years ago and certainly could tell how I have changed in over three decades-plus since graduating; these kids are really good at digging out information and knowing what research questions to ask.”

The students continued using their learned “photo detective” skills in class to draw inferences and make conclusions about what they observed through objective questioning and then forming sound conclusions. They also are beginning to practice how to develop a set of “where do I go for added information” leads with their photographs. Westby annuals are being combed through for answers to questions such as: in what year was the photo of the Westby High Rife Club seen, what did the l914 girls’ basketball uniform for Westby look like, who was pictured as the prom queen and king in 1987, what were the popular hair do’s of Senior boys and girls in 1963 and how have the WHS band uniforms and football jerseys changed over the years?

History can pop up in the strangest of places and at the most unpredictable of times as one student, on spying her dad’s senior picture, was rather amused as she stated, “I never knew my dad had so much hair back then.”

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