ST. CLOUD -- St. Cloud Apollo High School opened in the fall of 1970, making the class of '71 the very first to split between two public high schools.

Mary Ellen Cota who graduated from Tech says the class lobbied hard to keep the 841 seniors together for their last year of high school.

The whole student government of the junior year really rallied and tried hard for us to stay together and not split our senior class.  Well, they did split the class and that was difficult, we were experiencing loss.

Cota says it was a time for big changes going from teammates in sports to rivals. She says many of the coaches, teachers and staff also moved over to Apollo High School.

Photo by WJON.com's Alex Svejkovsky

Sandra Dean of Apollo says it was difficult at the time to switch from Tech to Apollo, but moving into a brand new building was also exciting.

The teaching method was innovative, it was called modular scheduling instead of like six hours a day of classroom we had 21 pods of classroom, so you could have a class that's 20 minutes long and one that's an hour long.  It was innovative and reflective of individual needs.

Dean says she found it hard to bond with Apollo, especially since Tech was so ingrained in the day-to-day culture of the St. Cloud community at that time.

Photo by WJON.com's Alex Svejkovsky
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Before 1970 the junior high grades were already split between north and south junior high and then all brought together for high school at Tech.

photo by WJON.com's Alex Svejkovsky

The class of 1971 has a joint reunion this weekend, they have always held their reunions together, this Friday it's at the Ultimate from 4:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. and this Saturday it is at the Eagles Club from 4:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m.

Photo by WJON.com's Alex Svejkovsky

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