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Bay Haven School teacher Maribeth Ditmars reads a list of students’ names from her 1995 class.
Sarasota Thursday, Apr. 23, 2015 6 years ago

Bay Haven students dig up the past

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In 1995 the Major League Baseball strike came to an end, the Academy Award for Best Picture went to “Forrest Gump” and the verdict for the O.J. Simpson trial was not guilty.
by: Amanda Morales Staff Writer

In 1995 the Major League Baseball strike came to an end, the Academy Award for Best Picture went to “Forrest Gump” and the verdict for the O.J. Simpson trial was not guilty. For Maribeth Ditmars, it was her first year teaching at Bay Haven School of Basics Plus. That same year Sarasota County Historical Commission designated to the school as historic.

To incorporate the dedication and commemorate the event, Ditmars tasked her class of fourth-grade students to put together a time capsule to be buried. Until last week the capsule remained buried near one of the posts for the historical marker at the entrance to the school. On Friday, Ditmars and her current class dug up the contents of the capsule 

Ditmars decided that 20 years was sufficient time to reflect on the capsule and thought it would be an appropriate way to conclude her teaching career at Bay Haven School of Basics Plus. Ditmars will retire at the end of the school year.

“I thought it would be like coming full cycle,” Ditmars said. “My career here in Sarasota has been wonderful. I especially cherish my memories here at Bay Haven School of Basics Plus.”

Former students were invited to take part in the time capsule dig. One former student, Brian Oaks, stopped by to watch, as did Jamie Bailey and Dee Barth, the parents of former students, who attended in place of their sons who now live in New York.  Bailey said her son gave specific instructions on what he wanted to see. 

“My son had written to me, ‘Mom, make sure you get pictures of my pog and pictures of the floppy disk,’” Bailey said. “So he remembered what was in there. I thought he was making it up but then she actually found it.”

Using the findings in the time capsule Ditmars’ current students will work on a unit about archeology and anthropology to learn about 1995.  One of her students, Eliseo Dawkins, was looking forward to seeing what had been buried for so long. 

“I was looking for stuff they had back then before the modern time,” Dawkins said. “I was looking for how Bay Haven was when Mrs. Ditmars was teaching with her old students that are now about 30. It’s kind of a fun experience because we do stuff like real archaeologists do.”

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