WOODSTOCK - The Woodstock High School Class of 1999 didn't know what to expect Friday morning before digging up a large plastic bin that had been buried at their high school for 20 years.

What they found was a lot of dirt and roots that had broken through, as well as artifacts of precious memories from their time there. 

Members of Woodstock's first graduating class started out their sophomore year, when the school first opened. They became the school's first junior and senior class, creating some of the traditions that live on two decades later.

"We got to blaze our own trail," said Amanda Brooks, one of the class's student government board members who returned Friday to see old friends and to find out what was in the time capsule.

Thanks to social media, many of the old classmates are still good friends. Some of those in attendance at the small reunion came from as far as Chicago and California.

"Facebook is fantastic," Summer Silk said. "You're able to keep in touch with people."

Shortly before their planned 20-year reunion and time capsule recovery, class officers discovered that their box was buried about four feet in the ground. So Thursday, Cherokee County School District staff helped give them a head start digging, Silk said.

About a dozen alumni and their families gathered for the event. 

They dug up the box, wrapped in duct tape, and set it on a table. The former classmates, their spouses and their young children watched closely as things were carefully taken out: photographs of the student government members, a basketball program, a stuffed animal, newspaper clippings.

"A floppy disc! Who under the age of 10 knows what a floppy disc is?" someone asked the children. 

Alumni shared memories of serving on student government, cheerleading, attending basketball games, performing theater and more.

Woodstock High Principal Mark Smith was also in attendance, cheering on the alumni in their discovery. Later, they filmed a video message for the school, shouting the motto: "We are...Woodstock."

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Shannon is a reporter covering education, city governments, crime, features, religion and other local news. She is a graduate of Young Harris College and currently lives in unincorporated Woodstock.

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