Ten Years in Bearidise


After a decade of achievement, excitement, and change, Riverbend High School will celebrate its Tenth Anniversary this school year. 2014 will mark the year Riverbend sets out to improve career and college skills, writing, SAT tests, and AP class enrollment. Riverbend’s sports teams are growing, academic abilities are improving, and the staff is continuing to prepare students to “excel in a dynamic, diverse, and global society.”

Speaking of Riverbend’s mission statement, principal Dr. Wright stated, “We need to understand what others are coming from.” Riverbend’s budget cuts, which lost the school eight or nine teaching positions, continue to affect the atmosphere of the school. Over the years, Riverbend has come to adopt the motto “Don’t cheat the bears,” which originated in a conversation between Dr. Wright and a West Virginia Tech friend who recalled the slogan from his college years. He liked it, and it stuck. The significance of the phrase is not that others should not cheat us, but rather that we should not cheat ourselves.

Dr. Wright also mentioned the possibility of a “senior legacy” – something seniors leave behind to show their connection to the school. The items are important, he says, because they “show ownership when [the seniors] see they’ve left something behind.”

Latin teacher Mr. Keith was involved on the committee that determined the name, color, and mascot of the school. The name “Riverbend” came from a member on the committee who pointed out on a map that the school was located near a bend in the Rappahannock River. There was a discussion over whether the name should be one or two words – one member insisted the correct structure of the name would be two words, but eventually it was decided that one word was preferable. The school colors, which could have been red and black or green and silver, were ultimately determined to be green and blue to represent the wildlife of the area. The nominating committee, which consisted of high school students from Chancellor, Spotsylvania, and Courtland, made all final decisions.

As Dr. Wright put it, the last ten years of Riverbend have been, in a word, “Bearidise.”