Through sports, academics, and even our rivalries, the environment in Potosi Schools has changed through the years. Even the building has changed. In 1958 the building that we all know and love wasn’t even built yet. The school used to be the apartments near the post office. 

The building that you or your kids have gone to or are going to was built after that year, but even then it looked very different. When Potosi school was built there was no cafeteria or elementary end as there is today. More of the school building was added before 1991. Even since then, the school has changed a lot. We had a new library, band, choir rooms, cafeteria,  new main office, and district office added with the auditorium in 2016. The library that we have now is the high school and elementary school library before they were separated. The band and choir rooms are now bigger and on their own branch of the school. They built this new branch of the school next to the auditorium. 

The cafeteria has changed because you don’t go into the kitchen to get your food. We now have windows we go up to to get our food. The cafeteria also used to have windows to look out of, but they are gone because that area is now the district office. When the district office was added, they also built a new main office. In the cafeteria there used to be a half brick wall that had a large bench to sit on, but in the remodel of the school they removed it. The building changes aren't the only changes in Potosi Schools.

In 1958, Kay and Orin Horner went to Potosi and the only sports they had for boys were basketball and baseball. Girls could only do cheerleading or color guard. The school building didn't have a gym or a baseball diamond, so they had to go to different places to play. The baseball diamond used to be down by the point; after crossing the railroad it was on the right-hand side. Trains would go rushing by as games went on. During the games, people could also go across the street and buy a drink at the bar that used to be there. The boys played basketball in a building across from the now village hall, which at the time was a jailhouse. The building they played in was just big enough for the court, which had a register in the middle that would burn the players if they fell on it. Since the building was only big enough for the court, the people watched the game from up above on a balcony, and to see, they would all hang over a railing. 

In 1991 their son Jason Horner graduated from Potosi High School. From 1958 to 1991 a lot had changed in sports. The students who wanted to play sports had a lot more options because there was now football, track, and basketball for both girls and boys, and volleyball was also added. By 1991 the school had been built and they now had a gym in which they could play basketball and volleyball. In 1991 there was a football team, but they were not very good. The football coaches were unpaid volunteers at the time. Football was not the sport that everyone wanted to go and watch at the time; baseball was. “Baseball was the king of the school,” said alumni Jason Horner. The baseball team was on a streak of three seasons without losing a game. 

Now his youngest daughter Kaitlyn Horner is a junior at Potosi High School. From 1991 to today more things changed with sports. One of the main sports that has changed is that there are no longer cheerleaders. Not many other sports have changed with sports except for football is the sport we are more known for. People now come to the games and support the team more because we started to win games. Not only has the support for the football team changed, but the support has changed for all the sports teams. During away games people didn't go to the game but now we do. Now every sport has at least some support from fans at away games. 

The academic elements of the school have also changed a lot since 1958; you didn't need all the classes we have now. To graduate high school you only needed 16 credits in classes. Each year of high school you needed four credits. In 1958 there were only two math classes to take. One class that students had to take was home economics; in this class, you learned to cook, sew, meal plan, and make a budget. At that time students didn't have the computers that we have now. Students did their homework on a chalkboard. The classrooms had desks that fit two people and had inkwells. Inkwells were a place on the desk where you would put your jar of ink for writing. Students had to study with a textbook that they had to cover in something like paper or a potato sack to protect it. Students did not get many options for reading because the library only had 70 to 100 books. Not only did they have a very different learning environment, but they also got very different punishments for acting up. “Your grandpa got swatted in the back of the head by his teacher for calling him sir,” Kaitlyn's grandma Kay Horner said. The teachers could hit you with a ruler whenever you said or did something that they didn't like. 

From 1958 to 1991 the discipline tactics teachers used changed a lot. The teachers wouldn't hit the students at this time, but they did try and scare the students by hitting the desk they were sitting in. In 1991 there still were a few things that were similar to the 50s, like how they did not have computers. The student would have to go to the library, which then had many more books, to find the books and articles that they needed to write an essay. When they were looking for a book, they had a manual card catalog to go through to find what they were looking for. They didn't have a computer to tell them where to look. In 1991 they had to earn 19 credits to graduate high school. The number of math classes needed had increased to a minimum of three classes, rather than two. The home economics classes had started to fade away even then. 

Now in 2023, you have to still take three math credits and have to get a  total of 25 high school credits to graduate. The math classes that we have now are different than what they had then. We no longer need to take trigonometry. One big class that we have now that they didn't have in 1991 is we have dual credit classes. We can take dual credit classes because we now learn using computers. The way our teachers teach is also very different because we use computers in all of our classes. When we want to know something for an essay or assignment, we just have to go to Google and look it up. When the teachers don’t explain something in a way that we understand, we can just go look up a new way to do it. If a student wants to go to college, we also have a counselor who can help us more and lead us in the right direction. Before, it was just a topic that was brought up and people had to figure it out on their own. In 1958 most of the people who graduated from high school didn’t go to college because it was not needed.

Not only have sports and learning changed in Potosi, but our school rivals have even changed. In 1958 Potosi and Tennyson were rivals. People from Potosi wouldn't even go to Tennyson because of the rivalry between the two towns. Eventually, Potosi and Tennison's rivalry fell away, and they are now combined in so many things other than just the school. By 1991 we gained a new rival in Cassville; the students from Potosi did not like the people from Cassville and would even cross the “C” out on the signs to Cassville. In 2017 we formed our first co-op with Cassville in football, and since then we have co-oped with them in all sports except for volleyball and boys basketball.

Overall, Potosi is still Potosi, even through all the changes. The changes we have had through the years have all been for the better. They have changed as our lives have changed. When we look back at 1958, we know that not only education has changed, but the way we live has.