Student helps celebrate Seaside High’s 100th year

Senior Class President Alie Zagata is researching Seaside High School's history and plans to present her work during a community “centennial celebration” event she is organizing for late spring.

SEASIDE — A hundred years ago, Seaside Union High School became a reality for South County families.

For her Pacifica Project, 2016 senior class President Alie Zagata researched the decades that transpired since the school’s foundation in October 1916. Her work will culminate in a centennial celebration sometime in late April or early May.

“Seaside High School has really helped me to become the student I am, and I know it has for a lot of other people,” said Zagata, who is from Manzanita and attends Seaside as an out-of-district student. “I just would like to be a part of celebrating it and marking 100 years of excellent education.”

Prior to 1916, Seaside had a high school for its local youth, but it was determined by the district and surrounding districts that a united high school would be the best option for secondary education. Seaside’s Union High School was built within the same property used by the high school today.

The “new” building was constructed in the late 1950s, with a few updates completed since then.

At the event, Zagata hopes to display memorabilia and a time line that outlines each decade and significant academic and sporting events — such as winning state titles — at the high school. The community event also will feature speakers sharing experiences from their tenure at Seaside High School. The idea, Zagata said, is to involve a lot of people in celebrating the high school “and what it has achieved in the past 100 years.” Another senior is spearheading a time capsule project that will be presented during the celebration.

Zagata would like the display to be interactive in some way — for instance, using sticky notes for people to write down their stories and place them at the appropriate place on the time line.

She is researching the history using old yearbooks as her primary source of information, and she also has reached out to the Seaside Historical Society and gone to the library. She is looking for more people in the area to share their stories to help fill in gaps or materials she can display at the community event. Those wishing to contribute can contact the high school at 503-738-5586 to get in contact with Zagata.

“We’d love to see anything that anyone has and would be willing to share,” she said. “It’ll be a lot of work, but I’m excited to see how it all ends up, and I hope to see a lot of people come out — a lot of alumni, a lot of community members.”

During her research, Zagata discovered that in the early 1920s, the high school had a basketball team for girls. However, shortly after, it was discontinued for several decades, or “until girls sports started to come back,” she said.

“It was interesting that there was a girl-specific basketball team that early on, and then that it would just disappear for so long,” she added.

After graduation, Zagata hopes to attend Whitman College, a liberal arts college in Washington. During her four years, Zagata has participated in sports, band, Key Club and other activities, in addition to being class president two consecutive years.

“I’ve had a really good educational experience at Seaside High School,” she said. “I can’t complain about anything. I just have really enjoyed my time here and I would like to leave my mark and offer a fun celebration for everyone.”