BATAVIA, Ohio - It's Farewell Weekend for high schools in the West Clermont School District.
Glen Este and Amelia are closing to make way for a new high school in the fall. Graduates are getting a chance to say goodbye and take a trip down memory lane.
Glen Este opened in 1963, and there are thousands of Trojan graduates throughout the area.
Matt Curless, a 1990 graduate who has taught technology arts for the past 22 years, designed the T-shirt for Saturday's 5K run, the medal that finishers will receive and the logo for the new high school, the West Clermont Wolves.
“Sometimes I have to realize and remember that I was a student here too, and as I look forward to the new West Clermont High School, it's a little bittersweet to say the least that I'm going to have to say goodbye to these walls,” Curless said Friday.
“I, like a lot of alumni, am going to miss the marching band boogie, the body painting on Friday nights, the football, all the excitement of the sports, the parades that we had for homecoming.”
But Curless is looking forward to teaching in the improved, modern facilities in the new school building.
“I'm really looking forward to being in a 21st-century school with all of the great facilities that we have — to be able to have AP classes and classes that we've never had before,” Curless said.
The Glen Este campus will be torn down. Amelia High School will become the new junior high.
Amelia High School started in 1893. The current building opened in 1961.
Amelia is the place Craig Mazzaro calls home. The 1978 graduate has taught there 32 years and coached boys basketball 22 years.
“It’s very — I guess you would call it melancholy maybe,” Mazzaro said. “People are trying to get a piece of this T-shirt or this brick, something from the gym or anything like that and have a piece of it.
“It's just made me the person I am and tons of other people are in the same boat.”
Mazzaro, who will continue to coach the boys basketball team at West Clermont, will have twice as many players to choose from and expects the competition to be keen.
“It's going to be a major difference and a major step up for a lot of people,” Mazzaro said.
Expectations for success will be higher, too.
“We certainly have no excuses for the facilities that are going to be there,” he said.
Farewell Weekend kicks off at 9 a.m. Saturday with the 5K run at Batavia Township Park. Then, Amelia and Glen Este will hold open houses from noon until 4 p.m. with food, music, live entertainment, and games. Both schools will be offering building tours and selling old yearbooks, jerseys, school spirit wear, and other memorabilia. The community is invited.