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Bauxite schools looking for help to restore decades long tradition

The tradition began in 1950 and if you are a Bauxite Miner, past or present, you know how much the school values their customs.

BAUXITE, Ark. — If you are a Bauxite Miner, past or present, you know the school values tradition.

One of those started in 1950. Each graduating class has every student’s name engraved into a campus sidewalk at the Saline County school.

But as years go on, it's becoming harder to maintain it.

"My grandparents have their names on the sidewalk, my mom's name is on there, and my aunt,” Christian Appling, a former student, said. "When you graduate from Bauxite, you earn your name on the sidewalk."

Many graduates from different decades enjoy going back to their roots and finding their name. But for Appling, a 2010 graduate, it's not that simple.

"When it rained the names disappeared on the sidewalk,” Appling said.

The 2010 class is one that has almost faded completely. Those are memories that Appling does not want to lose.

"We do want to concentrate on that and make that a priority to get those names fixed so everyone can come and be proud,” Leann Pinkerton, spokesperson for Bauxite Schools, said.

It's a project the school has worked on for quite some time, but it’s not an easy fix.

They've faced some obstacles along the way, including a lack of stamps and manpower to get the job done.

The school said they're on search to find someone who can help.

"We would love to have volunteers that would want to work on this project with us and certainly would welcome any help. What we would need is more stamps, more stamping equipment, and some personnel time,” Pinkerton said.

Appling said she last visited her class sidewalk two years ago and hopes next time she heads back, she'll have refreshed memories to look forward to.

"I know the school cares, because when the high school burned down, names mattered enough then to fix it,” Appling said.

If you want to help support Bauxite High School restore graduating class sidewalks, you are encouraged to contact the administration building.