84-85 1984-1985 The year of 1984 through 1985 made a huge impact on Perry Meridian High School. Through the schedule changes, the successful athletic teams, the fantastic student leaders, and much more, Perry Meridian has been forever changed. The strong and supportive staff aided students in the right direction and prepared them for life. Controversial events, such as busing in northern community students made the seniors, who were the first class to go four years with desegregation, much more united. From the events that have taken place at Perry, the school, the staff, and the students have been affected in many great and positive ways that have shaped them over time into something much better and stronger. One of the most memorable times during many students’ high school careers seems to be homecoming. This year’s theme was “The Greatest Show on Earth,” with a circus-oriented design. As usual, students enjoyed dressing up for spirit week, the week of homecoming. On Tuesday, students colorfully painted their faces like clowns. Wednesday was button day, and Thursday was dress-like-a-clown day. The students showed off their Falcon spirit on Friday, wearing only blue. Friday evening held the traditional Homecoming Extravaganza, where entertaining activities such as, a dunk tank, tug-of-war, football throw, and basketball free throw took place. Following the fun and games, a pep session was held (Passages XII 30-31). On the following day, Saturday, September 15th, Homecoming day started out with the annual parade from Douglas MacArthur Elementary School to Perry Meridian High School at 10:00 a.m. The Falcon led the parade, showing off its new design. The senior’s float was themed “Falcon’s Under the Big Top,” displaying a circus tent and various circus animals. At 1:30 p.m., the Homecoming game against the Manuel Redskins started. During halftime the band performed its contest show, and then homecoming king and queen were announced. Jaynie Morrison was crowned Homecoming Queen, and Ronnie Westmoreland was crowned Homecoming King, making Perry Meridian history. Ronnie was the first African American person to be crowned King. To top it off, the game was finished with a victory (Passages XII 30-33). Finally, the Homecoming dance went from 8 to 11 p.m. and was held in the main foyer. This year, two exciting new features were tickets for refreshments and palm reading. Also, pictures were taken in the auditorium. This year’s DJ was Tony Presutti, who was thought to be exceptional by those who attended. Angie Coomes, class of 1987, declared, “The DJ is excellent; we think he knows the right music to play” (Passages XII 32-33). Another special event was the Prom, where almost 500 juniors and seniors attended. This year’s theme was “As the Time Goes By,” started at 8 p.m., and was held at the Valle Vista Clubhouse. Music was performed by “Just Friends,” a local band led by Roy Geesa, a former Perry teacher. The first After Prom party thrown by the school was held this year from midnight until 5 a.m. in both gymnasiums and the main foyer. Prizes were donated from local companies. Also, casino-style entertainment, refreshments, and breakfast were provided. The idea of After Prom was created by the PTA, Dad’s Club, and concerned parents, who all felt that this would provide students with something safe and entertaining to do after prom (Passages XIII 22-23). To make a contribution to the school, Student Council members and their sponsor, Mr. Robert Dunn, promoted extracurricular activities. Others who helped with these activities were the class officers President Doug May, Vice-President Gina Fyffe, and Secretary Jodie Bales. These students wanted to help their school and provide more enjoyable activities for the rest of the student body. Speaking of the activity promotion, Mr. Dunn stated, “There has been good participation, and people have been most cooperative” (Passages XII 58-89). The athletic teams were very successful this year. The boy’s basketball team made it to the Sweet 16, the baseball team won second place in state, and the football team had a stunning eight and two season (Passages XII 42-43). The girl’s varsity volleyball team won regional and advanced to semi-state, where they were defeated in the final game (Kern Personal Interview). Chris Fatheree, a highly involved senior, was captain of the football, baseball, and basketball teams (Fatheree Personal Interview). The school fully corroborated its teams and cheered them on. Debbie Brehob, class of 1985, believed, “I think what really made us successful was the togetherness of the team and the school backing us”. The strong unity of the student body helped in making the year a success for Perry’s athletic teams (Passages XII 42-43). During the exciting football season, the Perry Meridian Falcon Marching Band participated in the Indianapolis 500 Day Parade. The band was directed by Miss Lissa Fleming. The band was ecstatic to be a part of the parade that was aired on television. Senior Jim Jenson declared, “It felt awesome seeing the crowd and knowing it was being televised on net work television all over the nation” (Passages XII 8-9). The students felt that they were alike the Colts this season because they were prepared to have a winning season (Passages XII 8-9). Meanwhile, the Colts had left Baltimore to come and make a team in Indianapolis, which deeply angered Baltimore. In the first two weeks of their season, the Colts sold over 143,000 season tickets. Then on September 2, they played their first game as a team at the Hoosier Dome against the New York Jets. However, they sadly lost the game with a score of 23-14 (“Indianapolis Colts” online). As far as the classes and curriculum goes, there were many changes made. Homeroom was no longer held every day, rather only twice a week. The schedule was changed to a seven period day because the state made graduation requirements higher. However, the students were able to meet the requirements with little struggle. Also, final exams became mandatory in all classes (Jerry Brown Personal Interview). The classes English five and English six were added to curriculum to help further prepare students for college. Grammar was added as an elective, but the courses of film literature and contemporary literature were taken away. IDEA was available for freshmen and sophomores only. The advanced class earned passing students two credits per semester (Passages XII 50-51). Graduation came, symbolizing the end of the class of 1985’s high school career. 250 students graduated on May 25. This was the first class to have gone all four years of desegregation, creating a more united student body. Senior class President and Valedictorian John Knabel opened the invocation and passed the senior class totem down to the junior class president, Brad Bell. School Board Vice-President Emerson Brown read the names of the seniors, and then Superintendent Raymond Fatheree congratulated them. John Knabel then led the changing of the tassels ceremony, which was followed by a benediction, thus ending that part of their lives (Passages XIII 26-27). There were many common “favorites” of the Perry Meridian students during their high school education. Their favorite male singers were Bruce Springsteen, Lionel Ritchie, and Sammy Hagar. The female singers of the year were Madonna, Pat Benetar, and Stevie Nicks (Passages XII 62-63). Madonna’s 1985 hit “Like a Virgin” made her a superstar. She then filmed the song “Material Girl,” which became her theme song for the 1980s (“Madonna” Decades). The movies voted on were “Ghostbusters”, “Purple Rain”, and “Terminator”. The most popular places to hang out were the strip, the mall, and pizza places. Finally, the top teachers of the year were chosen by the students. They were Mr. James Fagan, Mr. Rex Hedegard, and Mr. Brett Andrews (Passages XII 62-63). Through this long and event-filled year, many students and teachers’ lives were greatly changed and impacted. Students felt that Perry Meridian had overall done an excellent job at preparing them for the rest of their lives. Senior Chris Fatheree said that Perry challenged him so he had to figure out how to be smarter and better. It put him in positions that were very challenging and that one wouldn’t normally do (Fatheree Personal Interview). Through the strengthening of the student body from desegregation, the excellent achievements in the athletic department, and much more, Perry Meridian High School, its students, and its staff have been forever changed. Works Cited Bondi, Victor. "Madonna". American Decades: 1980-1989. Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1996. 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. "Indianapolis Colts". National Football League. . Online. Accessed 18 Mar 2007. Kern, Shannon. Athletic Letterman. 1981-1985. Personal Interview, 29 Mar 2007. Passages XII. Marceline, MO: Walsworth Publishing Company, 1985. Passages XIII. Marceline, MO: Walsworth Publishing Company, 1986.