Two “Enterprise historians” visited the Enterprise High School American Studies class on Sept. 6.
“Every Friday this month (September) we have what we’re calling ‘Enterprise historians’ come visit the students and the students have the opportunity to interview them based on their knowledge of Enterprise,” said American Studies history teacher Sarah Hulsey. “So the students have specific things they want to find out and our Enterprise historians hopefully have the answers to their questions.”
Retired teachers Judi Stinnett and Debbie Shelton served as the historians for the day of Sept. 6.
Groups of students took turns asking the two about the history of certain Enterprise families, downtown Enterprise, the train depot, Fort Rucker, etc.
This is all part of their preparation for the living ceremony event the class is hosting on Oct. 10 at Enterprise City Cemetery.
“The students will be in the cemetery at the headstones—the markers—for the family member that they are covering, and they will portray the information of how the person contributed to Enterprise,” Hulsey said.
As part of the portrayal, the students will dress in time-period accurate clothes and pretend to be the family member. The students will also discuss the impact past and future members of their chosen family have had on the City of Enterprise.
Eighth graders from Coppinville Junior High School and Dauphin Junior High School will be bussed to the cemetery to view the event.
The living history event will also be part of the Boll Weevil Centennial celebration as well as serve to make the people of Enterprise more aware of the cemetery, according to Husley.
“We’re hoping it brings knowledge of who is in the city cemetery and their contribution to Enterprise and where it is today, but also the awareness of the state of the city cemetery and how it still needs our attention and care at this time,” Hulsey said.
Stinnett said she enjoyed coming to the class and seeing the students delve head-first into the project.
“It just warms my heart so much,” Stinnett said. “I just can’t tell you how much it means to see them ask such good questions. I do appearances with the class all along (the school years) as various people and they amaze me with their curiosity and the different directions their minds go. And that was true with the kids who were here today. They were not just surface (questions) but trying to understand some of the things that have gone on.”
Shelton said that she was excited to see the students bring the history to life and teach to a younger audience.
“I love to be able to see them (students) become the teachers and be excited about sharing information with younger students in Enterprise (City Schools) so they have ownership and they’re the ones instructing,” Shelton said. “And I see that excitement in them that they get to be the ones that get to share that knowledge.”