87-88 1987-1988 For an outsider looking in at Perry Meridian High School, the school year of 1987-88 was a year not unlike many others; yet to those that attended the school that year, it was a time of unforgettable new beginnings, achievements, and memories. In 1988, several new clubs were added to the school. For instance, the Key Club started a chapter at Perry Meridian, and its first meeting saw one-hundred and thirty members. The club’s new sponsor was Mr. Steve Dickaus, and the president was Robert McFarland ‘89. Very quickly, the Key Club became involved in school affairs. That year, the club sponsored the can food drive for the first time, as well as other service projects, such as caroling, visiting nursing homes, and baking cookies for local shelters (Glover “Key Club Gets Under Way” 1). Another club that was new to Perry Meridian in 1987 was the Ambassador Corps, sponsored by Mr. Mike Slack (Kinsey “Ambassador Corps Guides Visitors” 1). The club’s purpose was to act as escorts for school visitors and to help in any other way asked of them. Mr. Slack said of the new group, “I hope that people will take advantage of the Ambassador Corps and let Perry Meridian students show visitors what we can do” (Kinsey “Ambassador Corps Guides Visitors” 1). Today, both of these clubs are still in existence. On October 19, 1987, the world experienced the largest one-day stock market drop in history (Twist 33). The Dow Jones Company industrial average dropped 508.32 points, losing twenty-three percent of its total value (Pride and Prosperity: The 80’s 32). Companies from all around the world were affected by this failure. John Phelan, Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange said, "It's the nearest thing to a meltdown that I ever want to see. We were fortunate this occurred when the American economy is very strong. We are not operating in an environment of weakness” (Block www.statelib.lib.un.us). This crash far surpassed the one-day loss of thirteen percent in 1929 that began the stock market crash of 1929, thus beginning the Great Depression (Korkki www.statelib.lib.in.us). It was on this “Black Monday” in 1987 that people remembered the similar event from 1929 and its consequences. While people across the world were reminded of the catastrophic events of the late twenties, Falcons were reminiscing that decade from an entirely different perspective. The 1987 Homecoming theme was entitled, “Falcon’s Roar into the Twenties” (Passages XV 83). The homecoming court, football players, and pushcart racers all participated in the parade while the marching band accompanied them. The third annual pushcart race followed the parade and ended with the Jazz Band taking first place and the Art Club finishing second (Passages XV 83). The Homecoming game itself was very successful for Perry Meridian. The team beat Manual High School with a score of 35-6. At the dance, Rick Woolwine ‘88 and Pam Johnson ‘88 were named Homecoming King and Queen (Passages XV 83). The Falcon football team continued to do well and made it to the Marion County Final Four Tournament. Perry Meridian lost that game to Carmel High School but still made the 1987 season the most successful season Perry had ever seen with a 5-5 record (Coy Personal Interview). In addition, the boy’s cross country team placed second at the sectional championship and fourth at the regional. Seven boys qualified for state in individual events (Passages XV 104). The boy’s tennis team also did extremely well. They defeated Brebuef at regionals, became semi-state champions, and were ranked fourth in the state polls (Passages XV 111). The ultimate sport victory of 1988 was when the girl’s track team won the state championship, beating North Central High School. Marika Klemm ’88 placed third in the 300 hurdles, Louis Mckenzie ’88 won fourth in the 200 meter dash, and Holly Hyche ’90 broke the school record in the 100 meter dash and won the 200 meter dash (Passages XVI 83). That year, Holly Hyche made the Wall of Fame for her track victories (Wall of Fame). Academic groups also did very well that 1988 school year. Mr. Head always encouraged the continuation of academic clubs, and thanks to his support and encouragement, the Brain Game was able to win its third championship in a row, allowing the school to house the trophy one more year (Passages XV 151). Another team, the Spell Team, won its regional against Decatur Central. However, they failed to beat North Central, thus not being allowed to continue to state (Kinsey “Spell Team Eyes Third Trip to State” 2). Also that year, fifteen Perry Meridian students were chosen as semi-finalists in the Prelude Award Contest. Areas of the contest included music, theatre, dance, writing, and art (Bracik “Prelude Contestants Chosen” 2). In addition, at this time, Mrs. Anne Sanders was awarded the Perry Meridian High School Teacher of the Year (Wall of Fame). In 1988, Bobby McFerrin won a Grammy Award for Best Male Jazz Vocalist for the third year in a row. His unique sound had intrigued a growing audience because he “fused elements of seal, funk, calypso, bebop, and Bach” (Pride and Prosperity 151). That year, McFerrin released his hit, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” a song that immediately swept the nation into doing just that (Pride and Prosperity 151). As much of the United States was entertained by Bobby McFerrin’s music, Falcons listened to music much closer to home, in their very own auditorium. On November 10, 1987, the school received a very special visitor, the Hoosier rocker Henry Lee Summer. Over six-hundred students, teachers, and community members crowded into Perry Meridian High School’s auditorium to experience their very own concert for six dollars (Glover “Henry Lee! Hoosier Rocker Comes to Perry” 1). After the show, Henry Lee Summer, an Indiana-native, answered questions and signed autographs for a handful of students backstage. This concert was one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that nobody ever forgets. As the New Year was ushered in, the Lincoln Elementary School suffered a fire. The west wing of the school was entirely burnt to the ground, and the rest of the school suffered severe smoke damage (Passages XVI 6). There was no time to repair Lincoln Elementary entirely before the semester was to start, so it was proposed that the kids and their teachers would be housed at Perry Meridian High School. Many parents were nervous about how their children would be received, but they need not have worried (Passages XVI 6). “It was so sweet to watch. The high school kids behaved surprisingly well,” stated Mrs. Mary Rebber (Rebber Personal Interview). “The high school students were so protective of the little kids, making sure they were where they needed to be and taking them under their wing to make sure they felt comfortable in their new, temporary environment” (Rebber Personal Interview). During this time, the little kids had their classes in partitioned-off rooms in the auxiliary gym, the wings of the auditorium, and empty classrooms around Perry Meridian High School (Herald and Lallemand 4). While the Lincoln Elementary School burning was in the forefront of many people’s thoughts, another problem was continuing to emerge in the background. During the first decade and a half of Perry Meridian’s existence, there had been continued problems between the school board and the Perry Teachers’ Association, the teachers’ union, about terms in the teachers’ contracts. “It seemed that every year or two years, depending on the length of the contract, these negotiations would drag on and on,” said Mrs. Rebber, teacher representative to the school board (Rebber Personal Interview). The school year 1987-88 was one of these years. By February 1988, there still was no contract, even though negotiations had been going on for over a year (Heid “Teachers Reach for Settlement” 1). The teachers, finally getting tired of this, picketed outside school board meetings with signs that showed their frustration (Heid “Contract Conflict Continues” 1). Mr. Jim Vance, head of the teacher’s negotiating team, commented, “The teachers seem more upset this year [than the year they went on strike] because they see the delay as a recurring hassle…that’s not much to look forward to” (Heid “Teachers Still without Contract” 1). Mrs. Rebber also stated that there was no main issue holding up an agreement, but rather, “the board is not willing to engage in meaningful negotiations this year” (Heid “Teachers Reach for Settlement” 1). About a month later, an agreement was reached, and the contract was signed three-quarters of the way through the school year (Heid “Teachers Reach for Settlement” 1). Winter athletics also did very well that year. On February 19, 1988, two Perry Meridian wrestlers headed off to the individual state championship: Matt Schoettle ’89 and Jeff Thomas ’88 (Glover “Wrestlers Eye State” 6). Schoettle placed third in the competition, while Thomas took fourth place. The team itself placed second in the regional competition. Coach Strader said of his team, “The team deserves a lot of credit. They have maintained the intensity which is necessary for a winning team” (Glover “Wrestlers Eye State” 6). In addition, the girl’s gymnastics team won the sectional championship, was runner-up in the regional, and placed second in the county (Passages XVI 36-7). Not only did the gymnastics team do well at sectionals, but Perry Meridian boy’s swim team did also. They placed third in the sectional, and the 400 meter freestyle relay broke the school record and advanced to state (Benedict 6). Senior Aaron Chaney qualified for state in the 200 and 500 freestyles, while also breaking the record in the 200 meter freestyle (Benedict 6). The girl’s team placed fifth in their sectional championship against Lawrence Central, allowing Nancy Chapman ’88 and Jennifer Hall ’88 to make state on individual events (Passages XV 102). In the spring of 1988, the governor of Indiana, Robert D. Orr, made ISTEP tests mandatory for all freshman and juniors and for grades one, two, three, six, and eight (Lallemand 3). The test was intended to “compare the achievements of Indiana students to those nationally, identify students who may need remedial help, and diagnose individual student needs” (Lallemand 3). That first year, no one realized how important those test were, so no one took them seriously (Rebber Personal Interview). However, as time progressed, it is obvious the importance of those scores; now the test must be passed in order to graduate. During the few years leading up to 1988, the IMC had seen numerous cases of stolen books. So, in the spring of that year, with funding from the Perry Township Federal Government budget, remodeling began (Passages XV 106). One of the first things to be added was a security system. New computers were bought, and the IMC switched over to a system called “circulation-plus.” All books were given their own barcode number and kept track of with the new computers. Double doors were also added to help control the flow of traffic going into and out of the IMC (Bracik “IMC Remodeling Underway” 3). As it is still today, Prom was a main event of the year. The 1988 prom theme was “Almost Paradise” and was held in the Egyptian Room at the Murat Temple. That night, Seniors Paul Kinser and Marika Klemm were named Prom King and Queen (Passages XVI 70). The After Prom theme was “Reach for the Stars” and included a trolley ride through Perry Township. At three o’clock a.m., the variety show started, performed by teachers, parents, and administrators. The students finally went home in the early morning after experiencing a night of paradise (Passages XVI 70). At the 1988 Academic Honors Night, outstanding seniors were honored for their dedication and efforts to academics, athletics, and service. Tony Wilson won the Eugene Echols Award; the Tri-Kappa scholarship was awarded to Michael Daniel; and Greg Coy received the Something Extra Award. The US Army Reserve Athlete/Scholar Award was presented to Pam Harting and Greg Coy (Passages XVI 74-5). The class of 1988’s Valedictorian was Bill Spence with a GPA of 4.481, and Greg Coy was salutatorian with a 4.435 GPA (Passages XVI 98-9). As commencement began in the gym, class president David Wunsch opened the event and then Mr. Head spoke. Superintendent Dr. Fatheree and senior class vice-president Marika Klemm presented the diplomas (Passages XVI 98-9). After all their hours of dedication to Perry Meridian, their last event as seniors was over in a few, short hours. Many students, thinking back, still remember their Perry Meridian High School experiences. Greg Coy ’88 said that the greatest lesson he learned was the true value of friendships, both with his peers and his teachers. He learned which friendships were not important and which ones were (Coy Personal Interview). Jenifer Reed ’88 feels that the school, especially Mr. Potter, helped prepare her a great deal for life. She hopes that as she teaches her students, she will be able to repay all of her great teachers by inspiring one of her students as Mr. Potter did to her (Reed Personal Interview). Even though their high school career was over, it was far from forgotten. Years later, these students remembered Perry Meridian High School vividly and how it helped them and taught them lessons that stayed with them forever. This is Perry Meridian High School’s legacy. Thousands of students have attended this school over the years, and if they all learned these sorts of lessons, imagine the full impact this school has had on society. Perry Meridian is not just a learning center for academics; it is learning center for life. Works Cited 1987-88 Block, Gordon. "You Thought Monday was Bad." Spotlight. 30 Nov 1987:3.www.statelib.lib.in.us. 25 April 2007. Benedict, Brian. "State Ends Swimming Season." Focus: Soaring with the Falcons. 4 March 1988:6. Bracik, Tricia. "IMC Remodeling Underway." Focus: Soaring with the Falcons. 22 April 1988:3. Bracik, Tricia. "Prelude Contestants Chosen." Focus. 28 Oct 1987:2. Coy, Greg. Salutatorian and Alumni of PMHS 1988. Personal Interview. April 12, 2007. Glover, Heidi. "Henry Lee! Hoosier Rocker Comes to Perry." Focus. 10/9/1987:1. Glover, Heidi. "Key Club Gets Underway." Focus. 25 Nov 1987:1. Glover, Heidi. "Wrestlers Eye State." Focus: Soaring with the Falcons. 19 Feb 1988:6. Heid, Beth. "Contract Conflict Continues." Focus: Soaring with the Falcons. 4 March 1988:1. Heid, Beth. "Teachers Reach for Settlement." Focus. 18 Dec 1987:1. Heid, Beth. "Teachers Still without Contract." Focus: Soaring with the Falcons. 19 Feb 1988:1. Herald, Ken and Amy Lallemand. "Little Visitors Adjusting." Focus. 29 Jan 1988:4. Kinsey, Shelly. "Ambassador Corps Guides Visitors." Focus. 25 Sep 1987:1. Kinsey, Shelly. "Spell Team Eyes Third Trip to State." Focus. 28 Oct 1987:2. Korkki, Phyllis. "A Scary Tuesday was no Black Monday." Indianapolis Star. 20 Oct 1987:A3.www.statelib.lib.in.us. 25 April 2007. Lallemand, Amy, "State Test Will Affect All." Focus: Soaring with the Falcons. 19 Feb 1988:3. Passages XV: Best of Many Worlds. Mareeline, MO: Walsworth Publishing Company, 1987. Passages XVI: Perry Makes Heroic Strides. Mareeline, MO: Walsworth Publishing Company, 1988. Pride and Prosperity: The 80's. Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Books, 1999. Rebber, Mary. Perry Meridian High School Teacher and Teacher Representative to School Board 1973-1997. Personal Interview. March 29, 2007. Twist, Clint. Take Ten Years: 1980's. Steck-Vaughn Company, 1994. Wall Of Fame. Perry Meridian High School.