This past Saturday, Jamesville-DeWitt High School’s Class of 1969 gathered one more time to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of their graduation. During this reconciliation, they exchanged life experiences while exploring the renovations that have been made to J-DHS since the 60’s.
The reunion started in the senior parking lot, where the alumni caught up. They were then brought to the large group instruction room. Once Principal Paul Gasparini gave a short speech to the group, former J-DHS teacher and guidance counselor Tom Muench took the floor and prompted each person to share their accomplishments with the room. “The biggest thing that impressed me about the tour used to be looking at the building, but now it’s hearing what these kids have accomplished in their lives, and it’s overwhelming,” said Muench.
After this, Mr. Muench led the group through the school to see all of the improvements that have been made since they graduated. Although there were quite a few physical changes, “The heart and soul of the school is the same…it’s an inclusiveness that they’ve had since way back then and that they still have today,” said alum Nancy Farnell Curtin.
This inclusiveness that J-D emphasizes has formed many influential relationships between members of the school. “Even today, as we saw so many people from 50 years ago that we’ve known for so long, it brings us back to that sense of community,” said alum Marilyn Phillips Mor ey.
In many cases, the encouragement that J-D students are given by their peers and staff members ultimately contribute to the person that they become. “That sense of bonding and community and support grounds you for going out into the world and trying to find yourself,” said Curtin.
The reunion didn’t end there. Later on Saturday, the class of ‘69 went to reunite with more of their previous classmates at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. Although this might be the last time they see each other, they will never forget the impact that their experience at J-D has had on their lives. “It’s part of home, it’s growing up, it’s knowing where your roots are,” said Mr. Muench.