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School 1900 School Classes

As the town grew, so did the school population.

auditorium and grades 1-2--photo furnished by Bev Kissell Harris 

In the early 1920ís there were 350 elementary school children with 11 classroom teachers and a music and art teacher. A four-room frame building replaced the original log schoolhouse.

In 1910, a two-story brick building became another part of the Rockvale School. As the student population increased, two cottages became primary classrooms. There was no high school in any of the coal camps, but the Rockvale School district paid tuition to the Florence school district for 80 or more high school students, maintaining two school buses that made two morning and two afternoon trips to Florence. There was no kindergarten and many of the first grade pupils stayed two years in the first grade.

The children who came from Slovenian, Polish, German, French, and Italian speaking homes knew very little English, so their first year in school they learned to speak English and to mingle with children who spoke a different language.


grades 3-4/back 5-6/up 7-8--photo furnished by Bev Kissell Harris             



Of the two school buildings and three cottages once housed between 350 and 400 schoolchildren. The community enjoys activities in the remaining three frame rooms. The school districts of Eastern Fremont County all have been consolidated with the Florence district and the school children of the coal camps now ride to Florence in RE-2J school buses. When the school districts consolidated, Barto Babitz was school superintendent.

photo taken by Marvin Rambish 


photo from Aileen Orsi Andreaette             




Rockvale School teachers--circa late 1940's or early 1950's


Photo from Aileen Orsi Andreatta 





Graduation class of 1951--May 15, 1951

These students were the last 9th grade class from Rockvale School.

Bell that called students to class

Bell given by Mary Drenick to Orsi family--from Aileen Andreaette 


furnished by Alice Orsi Thomas 


photo from Bev Harris


Graduation class of 1952


(l-r) Miss Adilla Archer, superintendent of schools, Robert Orsi. Jimmy Gates, Everett Babb, Nancy Babb, Lorriane Faoro, Geneva Lewis, Nancy Yvonne Daniels, Phyllis DelVecchio, Betty Tamburello, Miss Mary Drenick, principal



photo from Bev Harris--names from Marvin Rambish


Graduation class of 1953


(l-r) Lawrence Sartoris, Tom (Buster) Maglietto, Billy Wyatt, Marvin Rambish,

John Paxton, Anna Addington, Bertha Thomas,  Pauline Gomez, Marlene Langloss,

Shirley Powers, Rosalee Tollis , Miss Mary Drenick


furnished by Bev Harris


Graduation class of 1954


(l-r) Lawrence Sartoris, Larry Lewis, Alfred Trogden, Norma Lee Harrison, Fay Thomas, Barbara Babb, Patsy Ziolkowski, Norma Del Duca, Miss Mary Drenick, principal



picture from Mary Louise Rambish McIntosh


Graduation class of 1955

(l-r) Lawrence Sartoris, John Tollis, Sherman Trogden, Oney Barnes, Lola Lewis, Alberta Langloss, Mary Gomez, Louise Rambish, *Marilyn Tessadri, Mildred Tessadri, principal Miss Mary Drenick


photo furnished by Marvin Rambish



Sherman Trodgen--giving speech

*Marilyn Tessadri--valedictorian


photo furnished by Bev Harris

Graduation class of 1956

(l-r) Miss Mary Drenick, Lawrence Sartoris, Lawrence Faoro, John Sudo, Frank Ziolkowski, Frank Lavato. Penny Stanfield, Janice Sudo, Barbara Espinosa, Nancy Bacarella, Juanita Robinson, Beverly J. Kissell, Betty Barnes

Out of this class Penny Stanfield died in a hit and run; Barbara Espinosa died of cancer; Juanita Robinson died in a motorcycle accident; and Betty Barnes died of cancer.


photo furnished by Bev Harris


1956 Girls Singing at graduation

(l-r) Nancy Swisher, Delberta Trodgen, Judy Chiri, Vera  Lewis, Betty Barnes,

 Nancy Bacarella, Janice Sudo, Barbara Espinosa, Juanita Robertson, Beverly Kissell,  Ellen Babb, Nancy Harrison, Lillian Smith, Louise Gomez


photo from Judi Chiri-Mulkey


Graduation class of 1957


 (l-r) Don Lewis, Delbert Trodgen, Vera Lewis, Ellen Babb, Delberta Trogden, Sylvia Colgin, Lillian Smith, Nancy Swisher, Judy Chiri, Nancy Harrison, Georganna Buxman, Ruth Crowly, Louise Gomez, Bob Lewis


photo furnished by Larry Lewis





Class of 1957



photo furnished by Mary Ann Orsi Klak



Graduation class of 1958


(bk) John Rambish, Donna Lewis, Karyl Powers, Larry Saindon

(ft) George Lavato, Virginia Ziolkowski, Mary Ann Orsi, Eileen Lakey,

Miss Mary Drenick, Lorraine Veltri, Albert Bufmack


photo furnished by Larry Lewis
Class of 1958


Class of 1960--last 8th grade class to graduate from Rockvale School
photo firnished by Bev Kissell Harris



(back row l-r) Clifford Lavato, Bill Harrison, Jody Rambish

(front) Gloria Ziolkowski, Martha Williams, Dorothy Ann Kissell, teacher Miss Mary Drenick


photo furnished by Joe Rambish



Another view of this last class of 1960--Rockvale School

Billy Harrison, Martha Williams, Dorothy Ann Kissell

Gloria Ziolkowski, Jody Rambish and Clifford Lavato


Dorothy Kissell Patterson died in May, 2004; Mary Drenick died in October, 2003