River View celebrates 50 years with unveiling of bronze bear

| August 18, 2014

WARSAW – River View High School celebrated 50 years of excellence on Friday evening, Aug. 15 with a dedication ceremony and unveiling of the 8 foot bronze bear that now stands outside the entrance to the 50 year old high school. Inspired by 2011 graduate Brandon Stewart, who was the student council president, the bear was designed by world renowned Allan Cottrill of Zanesville.

Stewart said, “While traveling to the other schools in the ECOL I saw all of these bronze statues outside these other high schools and I said, ‘There’s no reason why River View shouldn’t have something that projects the pride that Mr. Rinkes invokes in these hallways right behind me.’ I just really appreciate all the support that I’ve had throughout River View and into my college career. I did have one quote that I looked up for this event – education is supposed to be fun and education is fun when you educate the heart. Aristotle once said, ‘Educating the mind without educating the heart is simply no education at all.’ The education that I got was very heartfelt and the education that you gave me was so beyond just the mind. That’s what this bear means to me and I hope that’s what this bear means to you as well.”

Allan Cottrill said, “It’s been a real pleasure working with Chuck, Sarah Jane and Bob Buxton on this project.” Cottrill painstakingly researched black bear anatomy to create a formidable likeness of the bear that stands in front of River View. “I want to thank you for the opportunity to create your River View Black Bear.”

Bob Buxton, a member of the class of 1966, chaired the fundraising committee, and said, “I think this is a tribute to all the people that came to see it. It was a lot of work but it was a lot of fun and when we unloaded that bear yesterday and put it up I knew it was going to be a proud thing for River View. I think that we’ll find a shiny spot on one of the paws soon and it will become our blarney stone. I want to thank Allan Cottrill for his generosity in this project and his fine craftsmanship that you will see here in a few minutes. I also want to thank Kevin McCoy, one of my former students, for the beautiful landscaping and lighting that he did. I hope to find a shiny spot on this bear next year when we come by where you give him a high five – rub him for luck every day when you come through the courtyard to go in to the high school.”

Chuck Rinkes, River View High School Principal, said in his closing remarks, “I’d like to finish with this. This 50th anniversary bronze bear marks a momentous time in the history of River View High School and River View Local School District. From a school and district formed with common ideals, values and purpose has risen a school and district with unlimited potential and promise. This bronze bear will stand as a tribute to the past, but more importantly it will stand as a promise to the future. A promise that each student who passes by morning, noon or night will do so with pride in the fact that they are privileged to receive an excellent education from this high school, River View High School, and call themselves a Black Bear for life.”

Drew Everhart asked several students and alumni what they thought. Connor Hill, class of 2015 said, “I think it is an honor to be the 50th graduating class. The bronze bear honors our class and previous classes in a respectful manner.”

Caleb Pendola, class off 2016 said, “The bronze bear is truly amazing. It shows the immense amount of pride that we take in our great school.”

Austin Glazier, class of 2015, said, “I am honored to be a part of the 50th graduating class of River View High School.”

Dianne Miller, 1986 graduate, said, “The bronze bear makes me feel proud of my school.”

Leland Lauvray, class of 2015 vice-president, said, “To me, the bronze bear was a good idea. Brandon Stewart had such intent in creating this honorable statue.”

Kennedy Webb, president of the class of 2015, said, “I think that the bear is a very good example of our dedication to excellence and a great way to honor past classes while also encouraging future classes.”

Coca-Cola was a corporate sponsor with the class of 1966, 1982, 2012, 2013 and 2014 being black and gold sponsors. Kevin McCoy Landscaping and Philip A. Wagner, Inc. & Wagner Technologies, LLC were also black and gold sponsors. Platinum sponsors were: Class of 1974, class of 2009, Berenice Richard-Lehner and Jeff Wilson.

Dave Wagner was selected as the winner of miniature bronze bear statue that was the inspiration for the 8 foot tall bear – and Dave presented the miniature to Brandon Stewart, with the crowd applauding.

The River View High School marching band and choir performed at the event.

Kennedy Webb, senior class president, led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Donations are still being accepted and fundraising will continue for ongoing maintenance of the bear and to replace the walkway in front of the bear.

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About the Author ()

I live with my beautiful wife Nancy on a small farm just outside Coshocton. We have been married for thirty two years and have two grown children, Jessica and Jacob. Jessica is married to Aaron Mencer and they are employed with Coshocton City Schools. Jacob is a sophomore at Kent State University. I graduated from River View High School, have a Bachelor’s Degree from North Carolina Wesleyan University and am actively involved with the Roscoe United Methodist Church, serve on several local committees and am a member of the Coshocton Kiwanis Club, having served as Past-President. I love reading, especially military thrillers, the Civil War and history in general. My goal is to write a novel. My wife and I are also AdvoCare distributors and encourage anyone wanting to lose weight, gain energy and better health to explore AdvoCare at our website; www.fortunes4advocare.com. I love the media field, innovative technology and have worked in newspapers for over 30 years – in fact, my first job was delivering newspapers. The Beacon is a dream made possible by the support of this community and a great team. I hope to continue serving Coshocton County for many years.

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