83-84 1983-1984 Throughout the year of 1983 through 1984, Perry Meridian High School went through some dramatic changes. Obtaining many athletic and academic victories, creating new clubs, and much more has helped Perry Meridian High School grow. Falcons are still adjusting to the desegregation. However, they have adapted to the new situation well. Such issues as this have helped shape and transform Perry Meridian High School into a more united and powerful student body. As many Falcons would say, Homecoming has always been a very memorable experience. On Friday, September 23rd, the Homecoming Extravaganza took place, where fun and exciting events such as tug-of-war, a dunk tank, fifteen minute movies, and basketball toss occurred. That night at 8 p.m., the usual pep session happened. At the pep session, the Homecoming King and Queen were announced, which were Brent Scheib and Jill Fortuna. On Homecoming day, September 24th, the parade began at 11 a.m. The Homecoming game came out as a simple victory for the Falcons. Finally, at 8 p.m. that evening, the Homecoming dance started. Its theme was “Go for the Gold” (Passages XI 34-37). Another memorable dance was, of course, prom, with the theme of “Tender is the Night”. This year it was held at the Valle Vista Clubhouse on May 11th. Doors opened at 7 p.m., with the Dad’s Club providing valet parking. Steve Cox and Kim Walters were selected as Prom King and Queen. After chosen, they danced to the Prom theme song by Jackson Browne (Passages XII 26-27). Many sports events took place this year that had very victorious outcomes. The Aquatides, a group of twenty-four synchronized swimmers, performed beautiful shows throughout the year (Passages XI 16-17). The baseball team had a victorious season, making it to the state championship. Sadly, they lost the game. The Perry boy’s basketball team had a winning season as well, making it to the ‘Elite 8’. Chris Fatheree helped lead the baseball and basketball teams to victory, being the team captain of both (Fatheree Personal Interview). Lisa Yen was a very involved student and a great contributor to Perry. She was an outstanding musician, which led her to winning the United States Marine Corps Band Award. The Academic Award was presented to her for being the top girl senior. More of her awards were the “A” Honor Roll for Three Nine-Week Grading Periods, National Merit Finalist Award, and Hoosier Scholars Award. Because of her contribution to Perry Meridian, she was given the Something Extra Award (Passages XI 28-29). Another student who excelled was Kelly Norrod, class of 1984. Kelly had exceptional artistic abilities and spent four weeks working on a project for the Scholastic Art Competition. She made a graphic design of a checkerboard dragon using paint, marker, colored pencils, and other materials. Kelly’s creative project was sponsored by the Indianapolis Star-News and L.S. Ayres. For her finished project, she won the Gold Key Award and a medal in a New York competition (Passages XII 46-47). This year there were more clubs open for the students to be a part of. The Student of the Month program was established, where students are selected to be recognized by members of the staff. Another club called FADD was created, and soon became one of the fastest growing clubs at Perry Meridian. FADD stands for “Falcons Against Drinking and Driving”. Sponsors were Mrs. Cindy Bertram, Mr. Michael Slack, and Mr. James Head. The main purpose of FADD was “to educate students to the realistic dangers of drinking alcohol and taking drugs and to promote alternative social activities for substance abuse” (Passages XI 48, 51). Marking the end of the school year, commencement took place on May 18th at 8 p.m. in the gymnasium, with 450 seniors graduating. Class Secretary Jill Fortuna led the pledge of allegiance, and class President Rob Gorbett welcomed everyone to the ceremony. “Falcons Forward” was presented by Co-Valedictorians Brent Schieb and Lorie Ritterskamp. Vice-President Bob Donnellan read the seniors’ names, and Class President Rob Gorbett led the changing of the tassel. After the benediction, seniors left the gymnasium to “March from Athalia” by the orchestra, which was led by Mrs. Carol Eads (Passages XII 28-29). All seniors who were eighteen or older were able to vote in the 1984 presidential election. Ronald Reagan ran again, and won this landslide election with 525 electoral votes. Geraldine Ferraro then became the first woman Vice-President running mate (Whitson online). A major problem that was causing a scare to the nation was the AIDS virus. On April 24th, 1984, found a virus that causes AIDS. About 4,000 people have infected by this disease since it was discovered in 1981, and since then almost half those people have died. Scientists hope that a vaccine to prevent AIDS will be available in the next two years or so (“1984: Scientist Finds AIDS Virus online). Over the years, students of Perry Meridian High School have learned many valuable life lessons. Chris Fatheree, class of 1985, stated the following: “All the little things you think are important in high school don’t matter at all when you’re forty. Life’s a long road. Don’t get too tied up in high school” (Fatheree Personal Interview). Another graduate of the class of 1985, Shannon Kern felt that the most important lesson she learned not to care about what others thought of her (Shannon Kern Personal Interview). From a staff member’s point of view, there is one life lesson Mr. Jerry Brown tried to teach his students. This is that of ‘opportunity cost’, which is an economics term. Jerry said that the meaning of this term is “for everything you do, you give something back up. Are the benefits worth the costs?” (Brown Personal Interview) Although they have experienced much change this year, the Perry Meridian Falcons have stuck together and became stronger than ever before. They succeeded in the athletic and art departments and also academically. However, the most important thing that Perry has done for its students is prepared them for the real world as best as possible. Rob Patterson, class of 1984, felt that Perry did the best job possible in helping him and guiding him to prepare for what lay ahead. Rob declared, “You never know where life will take you. All you can do is try to prepare as well as you possibly can, then just simply hope for the best” (Rob Patterson). Life can throw one many crazy angles. All one can do is have prepared as best as possible during high school to aid them in situations for the rest of their life. Works Cited Brown, Jerry. U.S. Government and Economics teacher. 1974-present. Personal Interview, 20 April 2007. Fatheree, Chris. Footbal, baseball, and basketball team captain. 1981-1985. Personal Interview, 11 April 2007. "1984: Scientist Find AIDS Virus". BBC News. . online. Accessed 17 Mar 2007. Kern, Shannon. Athletic Letterman. 1981-1985. Personal Interview, 29 Mar 2007. Passages XI. Marceline, MO: Walsworth Publishing Company, 1984. Passages XII. Marceline, MO: Walsworth Publishing Company, 1985. Patterson, Rob. Athlete. 1981-1984. Personal Interview, 9 April 2007. Whitson, James R. "President Elect 1984". Whitson Web. . online. Accessed 15 Mar 2007.