88-89 1988-1989 For many that attended Perry Meridian High School in the school year 1988-1989, there was a common theme throughout the whole school, and that was “The Plaid Effect.” Students saw the title as a good fit because all of the changes in the school as well as in the world wove together like plaid material. (Passages XVII 1-4). The new school year started out with ISTEP. Many people had mixed feelings about the test this year. Last spring, ISTEP was originally given with the intention of making the scores from the test count towards students’ semester grades. However, the scores did not arrive early enough to put them on the report cards. Many teachers expressed their opinions about the standardized test. One anonymous teacher said she “could not talk about ISTEP without using four-letter words.” Other teachers chose simply to say, “It was a good idea poorly executed” (Parikh 2). On October 13, Falcons kicked of Homecoming with the annual pep rally, which took place between the tennis courts and the football field. At the rally, the Homecoming royalty was crowned. The Freshman Princess was Lori Lee; the Sophomore Princess was Tonya Meadows; the Junior Princess was Jenny Swiger. Brad Adams and Gracie Keller were the King and Queen. After the parade, some of the faculty took part in the first ever faculty scooter race. Immediately following the faculty race, the students took part in the fourth annual push cart race. First place went to “The Brady Bunch,” which had to rely on their alternate, Alex Pazols ’89, after Jeff Brock ’90 suffered an injury. The following day, Falcons cheered on their varsity football team against Columbus North (Passages XVI 118d-119). In sports, John Moore ’89 was named the Academic All-State First team for his outstanding work in both the classroom and the football field. Not only was Moore an active part of the football team, but he also lettered in track, was a starter for the varsity basketball team, held a GPA of 4.6, and was the President of Student Council. John Moore expressed his feelings saying, “I feel it is a great honor, not only for me personally but for Perry that five players were recognized for athletic and academic success” (Hanrahan 6). Honorable mention team awards went to James Hilz, Bill Mathauer, Aaron Roth, and Brad Skillman (Hanrahan 6). The Teacher of the Year was Mr. Michael Slack. Mr. Slack helped with Ambassador Corps., directed the school musical, helped with cheerleading tryouts, and was a chairman on the Homecoming committee. Miss. Cynthia McClain nominated Mr. Slack (Passages XVII 68). While the country was welcoming President George H.W. Bush into office in Washington D.C., Perry Meridian High School was getting ready for their next musical (Passages XVII 245). The musical, directed by Mr. Michael Slack and Mrs. Anne Sanders, was “West Side Story.” With the help of more than one hundred students, the audience saw the story of an American gang, the Jets, and a Puerto Rican gang, the Sharks. The two gangs were always fighting with each other, which resulted in the death of Riff, the American gang leader. This death, in turn, brought the same fate to two more gang members. The musical took the stage on February 23 and 25 (Passages XVII 24). On February 27, the annual Grade Party made another awaited appearance. A or B honor roll students and those with no “F’s,” who improved their grades were invited to join the rest of their studious peers. Four hundred students attended the event. The night was filled with different games and competitions, which included pie-eating contest, Jello eating contest, car-stuffing contest, telephone booth stuffing contest, dancing, and volleyball. After stuffing an uncomfortable amount of people into a small telephone booth, the junior and freshman classes tied for first place. The messy and sticky pie-eating contest brought one victorious winner, which was the junior class (Passages XVII 22-23). FADD, Falcons Against Drinking and Drugs, created a party scene during FADD Week, which took place during March 6 through 10. The theme for the week was “Life’s A Party.” The group chose this theme because it demonstrated how students could have a good time without drinking and drugs. Each day symbolized a different type of party. Monday was a giant birthday party for anyone that celebrated their birthday on March 6. Although many were excited for the massive jamboree, it had to be cancelled because the township had a snow day due to the harsh conditions that Monday. Tuesday was a Super Bowl Party. To celebrate, students could wear their favorite college or professional team paraphernalia. Wednesday was a backwards party. Students were allowed to wear all of their clothes backwards. Thursday was Independence Day Party. Students were asked to wear red, white, and blue in support of the freedoms American citizens had. Friday was a Falcon Party. Students were advised to wear blue and silver (Passages XVII 53). Not only was FADD becoming an important club at Perry Meridian High School, but also the eighties had seen a return to a more traditional way of life in some aspects. For instance, the permissiveness that had once been the fashion in the seventies had disappeared by the end of the eighties. Aside from a more traditional way of life, students in the late eighties were beginning to learn more about sexually-transmitted diseases, such as AIDS, which had not been as evident in the world before this time (Greg 4-5). Mrs. Linda Souder-Gilbert, a teacher at Perry since1974, said that she saw a definite rise in teen-pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases. She also added that events like divorce and unmarried couples living together were becoming more commonplace during the eighties (Souder-Gilbert Personal Interview). While honorees were still reminiscing about their night on March 21, tragedy struck the United States of America. Just after midnight on March 24, the oil tanker Exxon Valdez, hit the ocean floor of Alaska’s Prince William Sound. Oil rushed out of the tanker leaving eleven million barrels of oil into the sound. A vast amount of Marine wildlife was lost during the spill. For instance, 2,800 sea otters, three hundred seals, two hundred and fifty bald eagles, as many as twenty-two killer whales, and a quarter of a million seabirds all lost their life. The oil spill not only tainted the sound but also contaminated a national forest, four national parks, and four critical habitat areas. In addition, it crippled the local salmon and fishing industry. It is estimated that billions upon billions of salmon and herring eggs were lost (Torr 171-173). Although the spill caused much damage to the area, some good did come from the spill. It prompted new laws and procedures designed to prevent spills in the future. In addition, the tainted area gave scientists a wonderful place to study the effects of marine pollution. In the end, the oil company that was responsible for the spill had to pay almost three billion dollars in clean up and compensation costs (Torr 171-173). Usually the day before Spring Break is calm and peaceful; however, this day before spring break brought reporters to the door of Meridian Middle School. On this day, twenty-seven percent of the student population stayed home because of the large amount of fights in the past two days. During the previous two days there had been twelve suspensions, two of whom were to be expelled for bringing weapons to school. Many students that did attend school brought along their parents for the day to be sure that they were “safe.” In response to the decision of the students staying home Principal Morris Beck said, “That’s heavy, there’s no doubt about that” (“27% of pupils at fight-beset middle school stay home” A12). On April 21 and 22, the Falcon auditorium filled with students and parents. The Perry Meridian High School spring play was “Fools,” by Neil Simon. Although the cast was small with only ten talented Falcons, the show received big praise from those who attended. The play takes place in the town Kulyenchikov, which was under a one thousand year old curse of stupidity. Leon Tolchinsky, played by student Chris Lineback ’89, came to the town in order to break the curse. Throughout the play, Tolchinsky teaches Sophia, played by Julie Ryker ’89, in an attempt to help the town break the curse. However, at the same time, he is trying to stop Sophia from marrying the evil Count Yousekevitch, played by Keven Anderson ’92, who is forcing her into marriage (Passages XVII 59). During April, many people begin to think about bees buzzing, but this April Falcons were concentrating on the school Spelling Bee. The competition went through three phases, which included a final round held on April 29. The final round had fifteen participants. The winner of the Spelling Bee was Barbara Bennett ’89, who received a gift certificate for all of her hard work (Passages XVII 117). This year’s prom theme was “Hold On To the Night” and was held from 8:00pm until 11:00pm at the Murat Temple. Electric blue and gold decorations filled the room. The king and queen for the night were Rod Cleary and Colleen Hoeping (“Perry Shoots for Wild, Wild West” 1). After the prom, students could go to the After Prom, which was held in the school’s front foyer from 12:00am until 5:00am. The theme for the After Prom was “Falcons Go West.” During the After Prom, students were entertained with a multitude of activities. Some of those activities were dancing, card games, a visit from famous comedian “Crazy” Charlie Warpell, and a mechanical bull. Attendees also were given the chance to win great prizes, which included a color television set, a stereo with a disc player, and an ’86 Renault car (“Senior Issue” 1). Cara Shirley was the lucky winner of the car (“Perry Shoots for Wild, Wild West” 1). The Prom turned out great due to magnificent parent sponsors Mrs. Debbie Elrod, Mrs. Sharon Larmore, and Mr. Ed Hoeping (“Senior Issue” 1). While the Prom did choose to play new styles of music from that year, the DJ stayed away from controversial rap groups, such as N.W.A., who released their CD Straight Outta Compton in 1989. The group even received warnings from the FBI after a single from their CD was released. Critics described their music as graphic and lurid (Torr 203). After a glamorous night at Prom, students were ready for a new adventure. On May 26, the annual Mini-Olympics took place. A large group of two hundred and sixteen seniors took part in the festivities and games. Each team consisted of twelve seniors, which took part in games such as the costume competition, tug o’ war, orange relay, and an obstacle course (Passages XVII 74). Each of the teams created a theme, which were the subject of their costumes that were worn during the costume competition. The winner of the costume contest was the “Look Ma-No Cavities” team. “The Missing Falcon Kids” showed their strength when they won the tug o’ war competition. The Orange Relay was mastered by “The Smurfy Dudes.” “The African Posse” won the obstacle course. In the end, “The Smurfy Dudes” took first place with fifty-five points (Passages XVII 74-75). The school year ended with the announcement of Asit Parikh as Valedictorian and Tina Yen as Salutatorian. The top ten percent of the class of 1989 wore gold tassels and honor collars. However, for the first time, seniors who had graduated with an academic honor diploma wore royal blue cords. To close the monumental event, Pastor Robert Amon from Southport Presbyterian Church gave a heartwarming benediction. Once the benediction had been said, James Hilz II introduced the class of ’89 by changing the tassels (Passages XVII 78). The 1988-1989 school year was an important time for both students and teachers; it was the last full year of the 1980’s. It saw signature big hairstyles, rap music, and cultural diversity. However, students at Perry Meridian High School worked to make the last strand of thread from “The Plaid Effect,” the finest. Works Cited "27% of pupils at fight-beset middle school stay home." Indianapolis Star. March 18, 1989: A12 Greg, Edward. The Eighties. Austin: Steck-Vaughn, 1989. Hanrahan, Kyle. "Moore Named All-State." Focus: Soaring with the Falcons. 9 December 1988: 6. Parikh, Asit. "ISTEP not standing up to expectations." Focus: Soaring with the Falcons. 9 December 1988: 2. Passages XVI: Perry Makes Heroic Strides. Clarksville, Tennessee: Jostens American Yearbook Company, 1989. Passages XVII: Plaid as we see it. Clarksville, Tennessee: Jostens American Yearbook Company, 1990. "Perry Shoots for Wild, Wild West." Focus: Soaring with the Falcons. 19 May, 1989: 1. "Senior Issue." Focus: Soaring with the Falcons. 31 May 1989: 1-15. Souder-Gilbert, Linda. Teacher at Perry Meridian High School. Personal Interview. Torr, James. The 1980's. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc., 2000.