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Post Falls High School students open time capsule

by DEVIN WEEKS
Staff Writer | April 26, 2024 1:09 AM

POST FALLS — If you could read a letter from your past self, what do you think it would say?

“My past self wants to be a vet, or a millionaire. I spelled both wrong," Post Falls High School senior Hailey Lindsey said, smiling after reading a letter she wrote to her future self when she was in fifth grade.

"I wanted to remember my teachers," Hailey said. "I am such a teachers’ pet, I love my teachers. I wanted to remember Miss Carpenter. That was my fifth grade teacher.”

Greensferry Elementary School opened in 2016. The first fifth graders to walk the halls of that new elementary school are now high school seniors, many of them at Post Falls High. In the spring of 2017, they conducted a "Letter to Myself" project and tucked words of elementary school wisdom into a time capsule, to be read by their future selves as their 12th grade year came to a close.

That moment came Thursday morning, filling the minds of soon-to-be high school graduates with funny, awkward and fond memories of who they were seven years ago.

Greensferry Elementary Principal Kathy Baker and a few of her team members who all knew these kids when they were fifth graders met with them in the Post Falls High School office to deliver the letters, accompanied by copies of their fifth grade class photos.

“I definitely look a lot different from what I looked like back then,” Jackson Kiehn said. 

Pointing to his fifth grade self, wearing glasses and an Under Armour brand hoodie, Jackson said it was a strange sensation to see and read words from his past self.

“I wear contacts instead of glasses now,” he said. "I was kind of average height back then."

Brooklyn Mendonca said her letter was filled with questions. Yes, she still likes mint ice cream. Yes, she still likes monkeys. No, she doesn't have a husband or kids yet.

“I don't’ know why I wrote that,” she said with a giggle.

“I feel like I should have given myself more advice instead of just asking questions,” she said. “Advice would have been a lot better, but it still made me laugh. It made my day.”

Alexis DePalma and Jessica Haller gasped and laughed as they read their letters.

"I realize I was a little boy obsessed in fifth grade,” Alexis said. “I’ve changed a lot. I’ve changed my career path completely. I was wanting to be in the military, in the Navy, but that’s not what I’m doing. I’m going into cosmetology.”

“I just think it’s funny that I wrote I felt like a teenager, because I’m almost 18 now and I still feel like a kid, like I don’t want to grow up,” Jessica said.

Several letters asked questions to which their past selves would never hear the answers, but some gave more realistic, if not humorous, advice to their future selves, such as, "Don't go to jail" and "Note: Don't get pregnant at 18."

“Different year, same mentality,” Aidan Shamion said. “Literally everything I said in there, I did. I said I wanted to join the Army and graduate from an academy. I signed two days ago, not West Point but ROTC.

“It’s nuts,” he said. “It’s crazy.”

Noah Wells said his letter was not even close to describing the way things actually turned out.

“So much has changed in the past few years,” he said. “I’m all, ‘Are you still friends with this person?’ Um, no. ‘Are you still pursuing this for a career?’ No."

Baker said she enjoyed seeing the students reminisce about their school experiences, as many of them have been in the same classes through the years.

“We as elementary staff, we don’t get to see this end of it, it’s such a reward to see them as such successful young adults," she said.

The time capsule was located after a past Greensferry student who moved to Texas contacted the school asking about it, Baker said.

"She had been on a student committee for that purpose," she said.

Greensferry staff members are hoping to connect with other first-year fifth graders whose sealed letters are waiting for them at the school. Baker said it would be amazing to connect those students with their letters. Former Greensferry Elementary students who participated in the project and have not yet received their letters are encouraged to call the school at 208-773-0999 or email kathy.baker@sd273.

“This was great," Hailey said. "I love they do stuff like this, because I totally forgot about it."

    From left, Post Falls High seniors Logan Blettner, Tyler French and Aiden Tomlinson can't help but smile Thursday morning as they read letters written by their fifth grade selves when they were among the first students at Greensferry Elementary School.
 
 
    Post Falls High senior Jackson Kiehn points to himself in his fifth grade class picture Thursday morning after he and his classmates received the photos accompanied by letters they wrote to their future selves when they were the first fifth graders to attend Greensferry Elementary School.
 
 
    Jackson Kiehn points to his younger self in a photo of Greensferry Elementary School's first fifth grade class during the 2016-2027 school year. Many of the former Greensferry students are now seniors at Post Falls High, about to graduate.
 
 
    Brooklyn Mendonca, a Post Falls High senior, shows the letter she wrote her future self when she was in Greensferry Elementary School's first fifth grade class. “I feel like I should have given myself more advice instead of just asking questions,” she said. “Advice would have been a lot better, but it still made me laugh. It made my day.”
 
 
    From Mustangs to Trojans, the first fifth graders at Greensferry Elementary School are about to graduate from Post Falls High School. They were given letters from their fifth grade selves Thursday morning.
 
 
    Post Falls High senior Hailey Lindsey, right, beams a smile Thursday morning with Greensferry Elementary School Principal Kathy Baker.