Click or flick across for photos of the school's opening 50 years ago.
IT was by chance that Christine Rutten was the first student to step through the doors of the Beechworth Secondary College 50 years ago.
John Abbott was off from school sick so next on the role was the then 13-year-old Christine Ackroyd.
On Saturday, Mrs Rutten clutched a laminated newspaper article from 1962 that contained a photo of her 13-year-old self as she is about to enter the new building.
It captured the moment she is handed a small stone, a piece of the new building she could keep forever.
“That was my moment of fame,” she said.
About 60 people stood around her, there to celebrate 50 years since the school moved from its original site at Beechworth Primary School in Junction Road to around the corner to Balaclava Road.
High school friends tentatively sought one another out, eyes searching beyond wrinkles to find teenage faces.
“I don’t know everyone’s faces but your memories come back,” Mrs Rutten said.
The 64-year-old now living in Wodonga has worked as a kindergarten teacher’s aide, got married and had children since she graduated from high school.
“I can’t believe 50 years has gone by. It doesn’t feel that long,” Mrs Rutten said.
“But so much has happened. I’ve had a husband, I’ve had children, grandchildren and a great-grandson and I’ve lost my husband.”
Mrs Rutten looked down at the grainy, black and white photo of herself.
“I’m not 13 any more,” she said.
The school’s past students re-enacted the walk many of them took from Junction Road to Balaclava Road when they shifted schools.
Among them was principal John Hunter, who handed out small commemorative stones once again.
“It’s important to recognise the fact the school has been able to provide quality education for 50 years and to remind us of the importance of keeping records,” Mr Hunter said.
He said about 15,000 students have been through the school since and have gone on to become doctors, pilots, builders and plumbers.
Mr Hunter was trawling through old school records when he came across a book of student misdemeanours from 1968.
There were students punished for spreading rumours, skipping school to go down the street and mucking up on the bus.
“Not much has changed really,” he said with a wry smile.