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As this year’s class of 8th graders at Chute Middle School walked across the stage to accept their diplomas, they also helped usher the middle school into its 50th year.  Oscar Chute Jr. High, as it was originally named, opened its doors in 1967.

The graduates were not the only ones to celebrate, however. The entire school participated in activities that culminated on May 11 with a community party. 

Leading up to the event, the students participated in many celebratory activities. The entire student body created T-shirts to mark the occasion. Each shirt was screen-printed and tie-dyed by the students. Eighth-graders participated in an Artist-In-Residence program where they not only learned about the science of glass, but created a large custom glass art piece that now hangs in the school. The piece, created at the direction of Rita Shimelfarb, an Evanston stained glass artist, is inspired by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright.

During the celebration, Chute families and alumni gathered at the school. Hallways were dedicated to each decade, exhibiting pictures and yearbook photos of former students. Yearbooks from each decade were scanned by current Chute students and are posted on the anniversary’s website chute50th.weebly.com.

 “It was like a walk down memory lane for anybody who graduated,” said Kelliann McArthur, Chute PTA Co-President. “There were band and orchestra kids performing at random spots in the halls too. It was pretty cool.”