July 22, 2010
All text and photos by Jen Cowart
EDGEWOOD TIME CAPSULE: Principal Marlene Gamba and Walter Jeschke pull out letters addressed to the students from the class of 1999 inside the time capsule.
In the year 2000, the students and staff at Edgewood Highlands Elementary School created a time capsule, which was to remain closed until 2010.
To end the 2010 school year, the Edgewood Highlands Elementary School staff, students, and alumni, gathered once again. The time capsule was opened, and a new time capsule was on display, which would be closed for another 10 years.
As a sign of the passing decade, class photos from each classroom were on display from the 1999 school year.
Principal Marlene Gamba welcomed the evening’s guests, especially returning staff members Walter Jeschke and Carol Mitola who returned for the opening.
“I’m so excited to be here. I have a lot of fond memories of this room,” said Mitola. “We held a lot of programs in here for both staff and students.”
Mitola was a first grade teacher and music teacher at Edgewood Highlands and spent a total of 30 years teaching in Cranston Public Schools before her retirement.
Jeschke, who was the student council advisor at the time, served as emcee for the evening, reaching into the tall time capsule over and over to pull out one piece of memorabilia after another.
“I have no idea what we even put in here,” said Jeschke. “We did so many things, we loved this school so much.”
Jeschke first pulled out a faculty list from that school year.
“There were a lot of special people on this list, a lot of special memories,” he said.
He pulled out several more items including a cell phone and a list of the best children’s books of that time that included “Maniac Magee” and the “Goosebumps” series.
Jeschke next withdrew a stack of envelopes addressed to the students of 1999. Each one had written a letter, which was to be mailed to them in 2010. Gamba and Jeschke noted the difference in the cost of a postage stamp from 1999-2010.
Music CDs were pulled out, including ones by the Backstreet Boys, Enrique Iglesias and Brittney Spears. Cassette tapes were also removed from the capsule, which are now almost obsolete.
Other objects included Beanie Babies and Barbie dolls.
Another piece of memorabilia that drew a response from the audience was a Providence Journal newspaper. The headline of the day at that time was “Day of Drama,” the Eric Gonsalves case.
Following the opening of the time capsule, several groups of students provided entertainment for the audience, singing and dancing as a teaser for the school’s upcoming talent show later that week.
The items from the time capsule, as well as the new time capsule waiting to be sealed, were on display until the last day of school. At that time, the new capsule was closed officially until 2020.