By JARED VAN EPPS
A class ring represents the culmination of hard work that a student puts forth in high school or college, so a Calhoun High School (CHS) alumnus from the class of 1986 was pleasantly surprised upon receiving a phone call from his alma mater.
Darin Washington, of Port Lavaca, received the call from Heather Montgomery, the CCISD Police Chief, about his class ring that he lost 30-plus years ago.
Washington said he thought it was a scam at first but added the Bellmead Police Department (BPD) had called asking him to describe the ring. He described it as a silver ring with a blue stone, containing the words “Choir and Art” and his nickname, DWI, inscribed on it.
Washington said a couple of months ago he was thinking about his class ring because his niece was graduating from high school.
“I was thinking about ordering me another one, and then all of a sudden I get this phone call, and they [Bellmead] found my ring, and it totally blew me away,” Washington said.
According to Nicole Amason, Chief Montgomery got a call from “out of town” regarding a 1986 class ring.
“Chief Montgomery was in the front office asking anybody who was in high school during 1986, and I overheard her,” Amason said.
Amason added that she graduated in 1989, and she knew a “Darin Washington” in high school. She located a class of 1986 yearbook to confirm his identity.
According to Amason, CHS has helped fellow alumni in the past find missing class rings. She added that when a class ring is turned in to the school, a notification is posted on Facebook to help locate the owners.
“We take great pride in being Sandcrabs, and we’ll do whatever it takes to be able to return a class ring and make someone joyous again,” Amason said.
The ring was found after an “aggravated robbery” in 2017, according to detective Michael Irving, of BPD.
Irving said they had the ring about a year and added the suspect’s car used in the robbery was impounded until a search warrant could be obtained.
“Once the search warrant is obtained, all the property went to an assistant agency where the property was processed,” Irving said.
Irving said once there is a final deposition, and the “suspects are sent to prison” they start tracking down owners of the properties. Irving added that the property technician of BPD came to him about the CHS class ring and asked him to track the owner.
“If I had a class ring, if I still had it, it would be nice to have it returned to me too,” Irving said. “I was thinking Mr. [Darin] Washington would want the same thing.”
Irving contacted the resource officer to identify the ring’s owner, and he added that he got lucky that there was one Darin Washington in 1986.
Washington would like to thank the Bellmead Police Department and Chief Montgomery for finding his class ring after being lost for 30-plus years.
“I am just thankful, thank them and thank God because it is a blessing,” Washington said.