Is this the 50th Wykon class?
IRON RIVER— The West Iron County class of 2018 is calling itself the 50th graduating Wykon class and is planning to sell merchandise declaring that message.
But is it really? After all, last spring the West Iron County School District billed the commencement of the class of 2017 as the 50th anniversary. So, which is correct?
Well, it seems, both are.
The opaqueness of the issue stems from timing and technicality. The timing is key because the year 1968 became a transition year of sorts between the former Iron River and Stambaugh high schools and the newly consolidated West Iron County school district.
The technicality is that the Wykon nickname, while designed and accepted in early 1968, did not become the official nickname until the fall of 1968, hence for the 1969 graduating class, and West Iron County High School did not open until that year.
To explain: (the following was culled from school district and community sources, the Iron County Historical Museum and archives of the Iron River Reporter.)
According to local historian Bill Leonoff in a program he presented at the IC Museum in 2013, a vote was held in September 1966 on the consolidation of the Iron River, Stambaugh and Bates schools, and it passed. In March 1967, the interim school board of the planned consolidated school system selected the “West Iron County Public Schools” for the new district’s name.