R-H is Where ‘The Rock’ Calls Home

  • Hollywood megastar Dwayne Johnson is known as "The Rock," but that nickname has a different meaning around these parts.

    Tucked away at Roth Junior High School, there is a boulder that continues to put smiles on the faces of many people who have lived and attended classes in the Rush-Henrietta Central School District.

    The Rock, as it is both fondly and straightforwardly called, once was part of the farmer's field where the junior high school now stands. The land originally belonged to Clark Stone, who sold 65 acres to the fledgling district in 1949 for a sum not to exceed $15,000. In retrospect, we think that was a real bargain! Known in the district’s early days as Rush-Henrietta Central School, the building was our district's first new school. It opened with great fanfare in 1951, serving all students in the district from grades K-12.

    For decades, students who attended school there would paint the massive rock with special or seasonal messages. “When I was a student, upperclassmen painted their graduation year on it,” recalls Terry Mathews-DeSant, Class of 1955. When the late Joe Bellanca, a member of the Class of 1965, would talk about The Rock, his eyes would light up with excitement. One day, he wondered aloud: Is The Rock getting smaller, the inevitable result of years of exposure to the elements? “Or,” he mused, “did we just get bigger and grow up?”

    While The Rock isn't painted anymore these days - at least not without permission from the district - its legacy is strong. Memories come flooding back when alumni are asked about The Rock. Many speak of it with a sense of reverence. The Class of 1968 asked the district if it could paint The Rock as part of its 50th class reunion celebration in 2018. This story features photos of that special occasion.

    Per a representative from the Class of 1968, shown in the bottom row are Norm Brunner, Dale Rowe, Al Romeo, Janet Manfre, Leyan Henry, Shirley Phillips, Charlene Blum, Janice Brown, Joy DeNoto, and Laurie Woodworth. In the top row are Diana Glaser, Linda Erwin, Dan Beck, Dave Miller, Marilyn Knowles, Ron Abbot, Jack Guntrum, Donna Mellis, Dave Abeel, Anne Contant, and Dave Hunt.

    Long live The Rock - both versions, but especially ours - and the precious memories it has provided for so many R-H graduates.
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    Click the "i" in the upper left corner of the photos below for more information.

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