(Recorded on April 7, 1994)

~ Introductory Text by John Sherin ~

Part One

THE FIRST UTTERANCE of this gathering was made by a District Administrator and former Nurse Teacher who confessed to experiencing a kind of sadness watching the 1980 video yearbook. She said she was reminded how much “I enjoyed my job,” and how far she’d gotten away from working with students.

One former student, now a parent of a 7- and 9-year-old and in her junior year of preparation to become a State Certified Special Educator, reported recalling how, in spite of her friend's former administrative status, she had been regarded in a particularly casual manner by students who were as comfortable in her presence as they might have been in the presence of a member of their own family.

Recalling how students from the “other” school were often misjudged by their peers from the conventional high school and frequently treated as objects of scorn, becoming targets for name-calling -- i.e., “potheads” and “misfits” -- another young woman with two children and a Baccalaureate Degree in Management remarked how the same video had been devoid of any signs of drug use or objectionable behavior on the part of students.

They singled out occasions when an entire period would have been devoted to helping a student with a pressing family issue, unconstrained by requirements of Social Studies, for example. The environment they recalled was supportive and full of collaborative effort where important lessons were learned that later applied to life situations long after graduation.

Part Two

As parents, they observed that today’s students have it tough. Families are falling apart. Did we take regular attendance? Assuredly so, yet there was little recollection of that fact because cutting class was out of the question for students who loved being in school, wanted to learn and wanted to be there. One member of the group that had been a staff member and is still actively involved in the public school system shared how only that year she had resurrected the Maslow-Toffler Orientation Handbook of Experiential Activities to apply what she remembered to today’s counseling program in the school setting.

A former clerk typist and teacher aide explained how participation in the school had had a lasting impact on her even in later years, helping her to understand the importance of patience in fact-gathering before rushing to judgment about people or situations. She learned “fairness,” she said. Watching the video had left her with “a nice feeling.”

One of the group, whose father had been Superintendent of Schools in the District, tried to explain her high school experience to her children before coming to attend this “reunion” by chronicling the absence of desks, bells and textbooks. “Was Grandpa embarrassed?”  they wanted to know. She was gratified to hear how her father later extolled the virtues and successes of the school with which he was personally familiar to his grandchildren.

Remembering holiday shows, PAC performances, their class trip to the Delaware Water Gap and the Poconos, birthday celebrations, bumper sticker sales, constant emotional support, car-washing fundraisers, the importance of positive self image and public speaking opportunities. In closing, a singer-songwriter, performer and self-described “adjunct”  student read his original lyric, “MT Rooms,” to a rapt audience of listeners.