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Cape Coral High: Volunteers undertake history project

By Staff | Apr 29, 2016

A group of community members are trying to piece together Cape Coral High School’s past.

Harriet Mottaz, a former media specialist with school, is part of a group composed of community members, former faculty and alumni that wants to record the school’s past and basis of its traditions before they are buried in the future. Current Principal Scott Cook spurred the project into fruition.

Scott had questions one day about the beginnings of the school’s mascot and such.

“The history was being lost,” she said.

So Mottaz, who retired in 2010, banded together with the others in an effort to help preserve Cape High’s history for future generations. She noted that the school was officially adopted in 1979.

“The city has grown up around us,” she said.

For over a month, the group has been collecting and dating materials from the school. Just recently, they delved into a room full of old plaques and awards belonging to former athletes and the like.

“We’re going all the way back to the beginning,” Mottaz said.

It was the first school in Southwest Florida to be recognized as a National School of Excellence.

“The (Cape Coral) Breeze was a big contributor to the beginning of Cape High,” she said.

According to Mottaz, the first orange and blue bird costume for the mascot was donated by the newspaper. In recognition of the donation, the school named its Seahawk mascot “Breezy.”

“It went to every parade, every activity we had,” she said.

“As far as sports, you’ve always been No. 1 and behind us,” Mottaz added.

The group is also digging up information on the bell once donated by a developer.

“It’s a huge big bell that would go to all the games,” she said, noting that the bell was rung for every score that the Seahawks made in a game. “And it went to graduations and sat on stage.”

Cape High was one of the last school’s to hold gradation on its stadium field.

“We’re searching for pictures of the fireworks,” Mottaz said.

The project will serve as a record not only for the school, but also for the city itself.

“We’ll be sharing it with the public,” she said.

The Cape Coral Historical Society will end up for a final copy of the record.

Those who would like to contribute to the record, whether it be a historical fact, funny story or old photograph, can mail information to the school with the notation it is for the “History Project.”

“A lot of people are writing a memory of something special that happened at the school,” Mottaz said.

For submitted photographs, list the year that they were taken if possible.

The group is also collecting contact information for former faculty and students.

“If we could get an alumni association that would be great,” she said.

Cape Coral High School is at 2300 Santa Barbara Blvd.