Looking back: First graduating class reflects on school’s first 10 years

First graduating class reflects back on high school after 10 years

As the saying goes “First is best.” But for Hagerty’s first class of students, they did not necessarily feel that way. The pressure was on the shoulders of 450 freshmen to build a tradition of excellence both academically and athletically.

The original Huskies were seniors for four years, as there was no class before; the school grew behind them. There was no “freshmen suck” chant, but rather a tight knit community of teachers and students. Even now, five years after the first graduation, original students stay in touch with their teachers and fellow classmates.

Erin Wagstaff, a 2009 graduate who graduated from UCF in May of this year, babysits the Malkovichs’ daughter and regularly goes to girls’ junior varsity volleyball games to cheer on assistant principal Christy Bryce’s daughter, Frankie Tibbitts-Bryce.

“There were not many of us [students] nor many of them [teachers and administration],” Wagstaff said. “So we formed tight bonds.”

Alex Texiera, also a 2009 graduate, came back during the 2012-2013 school year to coach the girls’ junior varsity volleyball team.

“Being able to share my knowledge with other players and spark passion for the love of the game was what I truly wanted to provide,” Texiera said. “Coming back to my alma mater was just the icing on the cake.”

A close community was one special allure of Hagerty. But the new high school had many other difficulties, one being the athletic program.

“In any sport in our first couple of years we were demolished,” Wagstaff said. “We would hang in the first game but then they would beat our faces.”

Without a full four classes, students who had never played a sport before were recruited to fill rosters. It was not until the high school’s third year that the athletic program started catching up as freshmen became juniors. By the time the first seniors came to power, all sports were fully evolved and packed with skill.

By 2007, more clubs came into existence, the campus expanded, more classes were added to the curriculum and new traditions were made as the school and its population aged together.

“I remember the first kid who drove to school, Brandon Ausburn. He was the first of us all to get his license and parked his car in the teachers’ parking lot,” Wagstaff said.

Then in 2008-2009, the school had many firsts: homecoming, powderpuff, prom, junior senior wars, grad bash, senior nights, graduation and more. Everything came together.

“Everyone remembers their senior year like it was yesterday,” Texiera said. “You learn the most about yourself and you gain the most pride for your school colors. You bleed that black and blue.”

Lucas King, a 2009 graduate, remembers all the crazy senior moments, from the sports highlights to senior pranks.

“I remember beating Oviedo’s butt senior year in football,” King said. “But one of my favorite moments was throwing water balloons at people before first period one of the last days of senior year.”

Who knew that in such a short span of time, the school would rise above even veteran schools to dominate in academics and athletics? It was thanks to this first class that current classes are “pups no more.”