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The student news site of Amador Valley High School


The student news site of Amador Valley High School


The student news site of Amador Valley High School


Centennial extravaganza: Amador’s 100 years in one room

Maximilien Kiyoi
Pleasanton’s Museum on Main opened an exhibition to celebrate Amador’s Centennial year.

Pleasanton’s Museum on Main opened an exhibition on August 29th to celebrate Amador’s Centennial and showcase its 100 years of history. AV alumni and both current and retired teachers visited to memorialize and tell their stories about their time at Amador.

The exhibit opened with a panel discussing Amador through the decades. The event was an opportunity for friends and colleagues to reconnect as well as an event to share memories. Thus, unsurprisingly, the group shared many colorful accounts about life in the 60’s and 70’s at Amador. They especially reflected on how different the campus looks now compared to when they worked and learned at the school.

“This school is part of the fabric of Pleasanton and we see it through generations of students and families who grace these halls. We are excited to celebrate and I think it’s important to mark this moment,” said Sarah Schaefer, Museum on Main executive director

Panelists included former Vice principal Rick Sira (1986-2016), museum worker and former librarian Judy Rathbone Burt (1965-2005), retired counselor, principal, and wrestling and cross country coach Cyril Bonnano (1974-1990), retired social studies teacher Barbara Norton, and current computer science teacher Kevin Kiyoi (2003-present). With all other panelists being retired, however, only Kiyoi offered a current-day view on teaching students of the twenty-first century. 

“I really appreciated the focus on the ‘now’ and what we are going to be doing with Amador in the future. I have been loving that we get to start making our own stories so that a hundred years from now, we’ll be able to come back and share our memories,” said AV Principal Jon Fey. 

Museum worker and Amador alum Kathleen Hart-Hinek served as the panel’s moderator, leading and asking the questions. Hart-Hinek’s final question for the discussion asked of each panelist’s finest contribution to their students, as well as to the school. Kiyoi, looking toward the future of education, said “[though] we haven’t met the finest contribution yet, the best is yet to come.”

The exhibit stands as a homage to the school as well as who set the president for the current school system. Changes across the decades shape how students learn and thrive today, and also reflects how past students and staff shaped the school’s future.

“We are surrounded by Amador alumni, we are surrounded by Amador history. One of the things that caught me in particular was that we actually had already looked at Pleasanton’s transformation from this small market town to a high-tech suburb. And we not only saw how that changed life at Amador, but also how Amador reflected back the changes in Pleasanton,” said the Ken MacLennan, Museum on Main curator.

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  • The Museum on Main featured the Amador Centennial exhibit on a poster outside its doors.

  • Panel host Kathleen Hart-Hinek (far left) presents the exhibit-opening panelists (left to right) Judy Rathbone Burt, Rick Sira, Cyril Bonnano, Barbara Norton, and Kevin Kiyoi.

  • (back row) Kevin Kiyoi, Cyril Bonnano, Rick Sira, (front row) Judy Rathbone Burt, and Barbara Norton greatly enjoyed the memory exchange that the panel offered.

  • Clothing items students and staff wore throughout the decades that the museum preserved were put on display.

  • Furthermore, the exhibit also featured a sports section with varsity jackets, swim caps, football helmets, trophies, and jerseys.

  • The museum included a collage of memories— photos and blurbs about different aspects of the school’s history.

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    JeanetteSep 5, 2023 at 2:16 pm

    Great story Max!