The HSD 150th Anniversary Committee recently planted a commemorative oak tree where education took root in Hockinson nearly 151 years before.
An undated photo of the original Eureka Schoolhouse
Committee members were joined by Hockinson School Board Member Tim Hawkins to plant a native white oak tree in between the Hockinson Community Center and Hockinson Middle School. Its location was selected for its visibility and historical significance; public education in Hockinson officially began on the NW corner of what is now 159th St. and 182nd Ave. in the form of the Eureka Schoolhouse.
The group had hoped to plant the tree in March 2020, but its plans were interrupted by the COVID virus. While the event took place later than scheduled, the dry, sunny conditions were far better than anyone expected. Beth Tugaw, HHS teacher and daughter of longtime HSD educator Emma Jean Weber, described the day as "glorious." Meanwhile, former Fire District 3 Chief Steve Wrightson noticed the choice of shovels selected by HSD Operations Director Shaniko Ristau. "I thought I recognized these," commented Wrightson who attended the Hockinson Middle School groundbreaking five years earlier.
HSD School Board Member looks over the tree's new home.
At the February 22 Board Meeting, Superintendent Steve Marshall explained the selection of the oak tree as an enduring symbol of education: "Education is often symbolized by a lamp with flame or an old, strong tree. The committee chose a tree because of the metaphors of deep roots and continuous growth."
Learning is a lifelong process and in Hockinson it is also an experience shared across generations. The 150th Anniversary Committee envisions that people will gather under this tree 50 years from now to celebrate 200 years of public education in the Hockinson School District.
(l to r) Jen Teagarden, Steve Marshall, Julie Ruhl, Tim Hawkins, Beth Tugaw, Steve Wrightson
(Not pictured: Kathy Nordberg, Dave Sotka, Laurie Anderson and Marcia Neff)