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RVHS prepares to celebrate 50th anniversary

| July 18, 2014

WARSAW – Chuck Rinkes is hoping to gather together as many River View High School alumni and supporters as possible for a very special occasion this summer.

The school will celebrate its 50th anniversary at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15, with the dedication of a new bronze bear statue. Right before that, River View will hold its meet and great for parents, which is from 5 to 6 p.m. for freshmen and 6 to 7:30 p.m. for sophomores through 12th graders.

“It (the statue) is intended to be a tribute to everyone who has graduated from River View High School,” said Rinkes, who is the school’s principal.

The idea for the statue came from Brandon Stewart, who is a 2011 graduate of RVHS and served as student council president his senior year.

“He came to me and said his class and the student council wanted to erect a statue to commemorate graduates of this school,” Rinkes said. “We came up with a small scale idea and went to see Alan Cottrill who is a bronze artist in Zanesville. He was excited right away but didn’t think our original idea of a three foot bear would suffice.”

Cottrill decided to create an eight foot bronze bear for the school and the class of 1966, which was the first to graduate from RVHS, took charge of fundraising for what became known as the Bronze Bear Project.

“We made this a four-year project so we could tie it to the 50th graduating class,” Rinkes said. “In 50 years probably about 10,000 kids have come through here.”

Along with the statue, there also will be a dedication plaque listing the names of those who donated at least $1,000 to the project. Three donation categories were established: Gold ($100 and over) – name in drawing for the two-foot Bronze Bear replica and name listed in 2015 yearbook; Silver ($50 – $99) – name in yearbook for Class of 2015; Bronze ($25 – $49) – name in the program on the day of commencement.

“We appreciated everybody who donated whether it was $1 or $1,000,” Rinkes said.

The area around the statue also will be landscaped and lighted.

“Kevin McCoy Landscaping is doing that for us,” Rinkes said. “He and his wife are both River View graduates and he is donating the materials and time for this project. We really want to thank them.”

The night of the dedication also will include a few remarks by Cottrill, Stewart and Bob Buxton, who is a ’66 graduate and chair of the fundraising committee.

“The school also will be open that night for people to tour and see the changes that have been made over the years,” Rinkes said. “I think the biggest changes people will notice are the signage and the increase in technology.”

There currently are about 60 inspirational quote boards on display in the school.

“Our new football coach commented at the parents’ meeting that for the age of our building it has been very well kept up and that the signs we have posted are uplifting,” Rinkes said. “I want people to stop and think and also see RV everywhere they turn.”

Technology wise, the school now has five computer labs and will have 400 Chromebooks.

“When I got here in 1996 we had no computer labs and teachers were lucky to have one computer in their rooms,” Rinkes said.

Donations to the Bronze Bear Project are still welcome and will help with upkeep of the statue and the area around it. Checks can be sent to: River View High School, c/o 50th Anniversary Bronze Bear Project, 26496 SR 60 N., Warsaw, OH 43844. Donors are asked to note their RV class on the check memo line.

“I hope when people see the statue they feel the pride that every student who graduates from River View High School does,” Rinkes said. “This is a special place where students get a quality education that they can take with them and use to move forward in life.”

He also sees the statue being used to create new traditions.

“There will be great photo opportunities with it for people who visit the high school, for teams and graduation.”

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Category: Education

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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