8th grade teacher looks to preserve historic time capsule at James F. Doughty

Published: May. 9, 2023 at 6:15 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - A historic discovery has been made at James F. Doughty middle school.

Bangor native, Stephen Riitano teaches 8th grade social studies, and came across a Facebook post discussing a time capsule buried at Doughty in 1986.

“This is the legacy that the students from 2023 are going to leave for the students of 2048,”said Riitano.

“I remember when I was going through school, I wanted to be a teacher for as far back as I can remember, and this is something I remember wanting to do at some point in my career and so when I saw that post I was like this is so amazing right? That potentially there could be a time capsule buried on school grounds.”

In the capsule there’s video footage of each student saying what they hope the future will look like.

Riitano gathered faculty, staff and members of the Bangor school department to figure out how to locate this capsule.

Some extra help came along when students from the middle school voiced their curiosity on the project.

Students later assisted with creating a time capsule proposal in which they can recover the footage from 1986 and leave something behind from 2023 including a brochure from a ceremony next month and a COVID-19 at-home-test.

“I’m having a lot of fun, I really enjoy writing so I’ve been writing and I have documents and I’ve been explaining essentially what we’re doing and what’s been happening these past two years,” said Hayden Villarreal, 8th grade student from Doughty.

Both students were proud to share of piece of history with the future students who hopefully discover their capsule in 2048.

“It’s a watershed moment so we want to have future kids also remember this and leave a legacy,” said Isaiah Shearer, 7th grade student from Doughty.

“Covid was really really bad and many people died but we still remained strong,” said Villarreal.

Riitano reflected on how lucky he is to be a part of this historical moment in a school department that influenced him to be who he is today.

“I’m so lucky that I stumbled upon this, that we have a great school department that are committed and show up for kids,” said Riitano.

Riitano is hoping this will start a tradition with students at the middle school.

They will bury the new time capsule next month.

At some point, they will dig up the one from 1986.