03-04 2003-2004 With an eventful summer like the summer of 2003, it is not at all surprising to see the many things happening at Perry Meridian High School during the first semester of the 2003-2004 school year. The War in Iraq was very highly publicized over the first summer, and it was one of the most talked about news throughout the decade at PMHS. On the first day of school, many other stories were brought up and discussed. Throughout the school year, PMHS was either discussing news or making news. Over the summer, many developments were made in the Iraqi War. Saddam’s sons were killed in late July, but that ended most of the good news for quite awhile. Criticisms of President Bush started to surface, and many people began to question why the country went to war (Conan). Another national figure, Martha Stewart, began to face some criticism aimed at her. In June, she was charged for embezzlement and for withholding information from government investigators. Many people found it odd that someone could appear to be such a good person on television, but she was actually a soon-to-be convicted felon. (Rozhon). The Cyber Blue robotics team also had an exciting summer. Perry’s robotics team hosted the Indiana Robotics Invitational, an off-season event that draws over fifty teams to the city to compete with their robots. Two seniors on the team, Collin Fultz and Jason Kixmiller, flew out to New Hampshire to talk with the founder of FIRST, Dean Kamen. FIRST is the organization that runs the robotic competitions that PMHS competes in (Repass 2). During the weekend of August 29, many members of the PMHS faculty were a part of the school’s first ever faculty play. Mr. Linville was one of the stars in “You Can’t Take it With You,” the play performed by the staff members (Shives 1). Another main event at the start of the school is always the football season. Following an undefeated regular season in 2002, the expectations were high for the Falcon football team. When it was all said and done, the football team finished 7-5 with a sectional final loss to Ben Davis (Passages XXXI 118). Homecoming is one of the main attractions of September. The theme for Homecoming 2003 was “Falcons in the Caribbean.” With the dance scheduled for the 11th of September, festivities began the preceding week. Spirit Week had students dressing up as pirates and wearing their pajamas. During the football game against Bloomington South, the Falcons defended their field with a 30-21 victory (Rasmussen 1). With the start of the 2003-2004 school year, the Project-Lead-the-Way courses were introduced to PMHS. Taught by Scott Ritchie and Steve Fleenor, the PLtW courses are engineering courses that apply physics and math to real-life problems. Scott says that they are good for any student, not just those looking at engineering fields (Ritchie Personal Interview). At the start of the school year, the freshman class is always in need of their officers. Preya Dave was elected to president, Sarah Corbett was elected as the vice-president, and Hannah Bennett was elected to the secretary-treasurer position (Phillips 2). Mr. Moulton was recognized for his skill as a speech coach in 2003. He was inducted into the Indiana Speech Hall of Fame early on in the season. Mr. Moulton was also awarded the Triple Diamond Key, another prestigious award for speech coaches (Cartwright “Moulton Enters Hall of Fame”). Another award winner early on in the year was Mrs. Cristine Robinson, who was named the teacher of the year for the 2002-2003 school year (Passages XXXI 32). Nancy Johnson was the winner of the Project E. Teacher Award in 2003. She was very humble when she received her prize, saying how many other teachers work very hard without recognition. She won many great prizes, including an eight thousand dollar check, the opportunity to attend a VIP dinner hosted by John Wooden, and she also got to sit in a suite at a Pacer game. In addition to her prizes, the school was also given two thousand dollars. Ms. Johnson won the award for many strong skills as a teacher, including her instructional creativity and diversity (Moore 1). Over Halloween weekend, the Key Club helped to run the YMCA Haunted House. Many members enjoyed helping out the YMCA staff as they helped to start the business up again. The haunted house activity was one of the first for the YMCA after finishing reconstruction from the tornadoes (Walsh 1). During the fall sports season, the girls’ cross country team advanced all the way to semi-state. Many strong runners, including Nicole Grillo, led the team to one of the most successful seasons in Perry’s history for the sport. They finished 4th in regionals and 12th in semi-state (Curtis 7). Also taking place towards the beginning of the school year is the fall play. In 2003, Stephanie Davis directed the play “Nevermore.” The play is based on the lore of Edgar Allen Poe. The play starred senior Joe Carmer, freshman Stephanie Walsh, and senior Paul Wallace. It was performed on November 5th and 6th (Cartwright “PM Applauds ‘Nevermore’”). On Veterans’ Day, PMHS was treated to the speaker of Leonard Rose. Mr. Rose was a former Prisoner of War in Vietnam. His message spoke about the life of a soldier and the pains that they go through to give us the freedoms that we live with. As Mr. Rose said, “Freedom is not free” (Carmer 1). On December 11, 2003, Craig Potter announced that he would be resigning as the head coach of the PMHS football team. He had been the head coach for eleven seasons, and he had been an assistant for the first fourteen years of the school (Vick 1). The Falcons were fabulous with winter sports. The boys’ swim team had a very successful year. They won conference and became the first team to beat Columbus North at conference. Mark Ellis, Eric Kohlmann, Bryan Curtis, Brett Lauerman, Cameron Taylor, Daniel Slightom, Adam Moss, Sean Seager, and Chris Steindorff were all named to the All-Conference team (Hurrle “Let’s hair it for the boys” 6). They sent two relay teams to State and ended the season with a 10-1 record (Hurrle “Swimmers go 10-1, send relays to State” 6.) After winning 28 total titles and matches, the Falcon wrestling team showed up at the state competition expecting a win. While Perry trailed in the final match, Graham Miller managed a tie. The tiebreaker was a heart breaker for the Falcons, and they lost 47-12. Their second place finish at State and 28-1 record proved the wrestlers had a great season (Oaks 6). The Lady Falcon basketball team took home the 2004 Sectional Championship and advanced to the Regional Finals. By winning the sectional three years in a row, Perry is the only school in the 4A Competition to be one of the final eight teams for three consecutive years. The ladies’ overall record was 18-7 (Cartwright 7). Several scientific advances were made at the beginning 2004. The robot, Spirit, successfully landed on Mars on January 3, 2004. This is the first successful probe to land on another planet. The robber landed in a supposed lakebed and was searching for sedimentation, weathering from rivers, and fossils (“NASA’s Martian Rover Spirit Lands on Mars” ). Woo Suk Hwang and Dr. Shin Yong Moon, two scientists from South Korea, claimed to have successfully cloned more than 200 human embryos. If cloning would be approved, stem cells could be used to cure numerous diseases (“South Korean Scientists Claim to have Cloned Humans” ). Several unexpected things happened at Perry as well. One day while waiting for the bus, bus aide Alfreda Tobin was brutally attacked. She had several injuries and underwent surgery, but none of her injuries were life-threatening (Like 2). The Peppermint Twist winter dance king and queen were Eric Kohlmann and Claire Buffie. Over 450 Falcons attended the dance (Rasmussen “Peppermint Twist draws 450 attendees.” 1). On a happy note, the first Falcon Idol winner was announced at the Neon Lights Dance. Although senior Melissa Boyer and junior Sean Seager put up good fights, freshman (I repeat FRESHMAN) Tiffany Clay took home the title by singing, “I Believe in You and Me” by Whitney Houston. The Falcon Idol also won a spot in next year’s Homecoming parade, a spot to sing at a school convocation, and a $25 gift card to a music store (Carmer 1). People were also talking about other performances. During the halftime show at the Super Bowl XXVIII, Justin Timberlake accidentally removed the bustier of fellow performer Janet Jackson. The sponsoring TV station CBS received several emails outraged with the performance. The biggest problem, according to some, was Timberlake’s actions rather than the exposure of Jackson’s breast (“Jackson’s Wardrobe Malfunctions” ). More locally, they said three time’s a charm. The 2004 production of “Fiddler on the Roof” was by far the best. The auditorium was completely sold out all three nights (Walsh 1). The two Mock Trial teams competed at State. By lunch, one team started in first place but dropped to third later that day while the other dropped from seventh to ninth place. The teams felt the judging was unfair, and the third place team returned its awards. Although Aaron Oaks was awarded “Best Attorney” and Paul Wallace was awarded “Best Witness, “ both returned their individual awards as well (Rasmussen “Mock Trial competes at State, but protests results.” 1). The 2004 Prom theme was “A Knight for a Princess.” As many Falcons dressed up for the event at Primo Banquet Hall, the Falcons wanted to know who the king and queen would be. During the dance, the two titles were announced, and the king and queen of the ball were Jason Kixmiller and Amy McManama. At Expo Bowl, Falcons had a blast at After Prom (“A Knight for a Princess” 5). However, it would have been easier and safer for students to get to After Prom if improvements on Stop 11 Road were made. The improvements from Madison Avenue to Sherman Drive were talked about at a city meeting, and the project was expected to begin June 2004 and end August 2005 (“Stop 11 Road improvement will be outlined to public” 1A). The spring sports at Perry proved to be great for the Falcons. Meaghan Raynes and Desiree Spears were named to the All County softball team (Shelton 3). The baseball team ended the season with an 18-9 record but lost in the final game of the sectional against Center Grove. Paul Strack, Eric Hancock, Micah Bowers, and Tim LeMasters were all named All County and All Conference (Margason 3). Tim LeMasters was also named Indiana’s Mr. Baseball. His batting average was .618, and he had thirteen homeruns and fifty RBI’s . He was also drafted by the New York Yankees, but he chose to attend San Jacinto Junior College in Texas, of the best junior college baseball programs. (Brenneman 3). Freshman Jalesa Lee was the only Falcon to make it to the 2004 State Track and Field competition for high jump, but she failed to pass the beginning 5’2” height (Gill 3). As the 2003-2004 school year came to a close, several outstanding students were recognized at Honors Night. Amanda Fox won the Something Extra Award, Tanish Duerson won the Eugene Echols award (Vick 3), and Scott Carrico received the James Head Academic Scholarship (James Head Academic Scholarship plaque). The Staffer of the Year was Vijayar Ganaishlal, and the Editor of the Year was Nicole Zemaitis (Passages XXXI 255). Anna Cox said that the teachers at PMHS are the key point that sets it apart from other schools (Cox Personal Interview), and several prominent teachers were mentioned too. Christine Robinson was Teacher of the Year. Mr. Potter, Mr. Wampler, and Mr. Tonte were football, baseball, and wrestling Coaches of the Year, respectively (Passages XXXI 190, 191, 192, 193). When graduation came around, Mark Amos was valedictorian with a 4.4931 GPA, and Melissa Boyer was salutatorian with a 4.4636 GPA (Shives 1). Even though Perry had several outstanding Falcons, one thing remained the same. As I talked to Collin Fultz, he summarized it up best by saying, “It was big enough to give you real world diversity, but when I would walk in the hallways, I felt like I could place a name with a face for everyone. (Fultz Personal Interview).” The 2003-2004 school year had its ups and its downs, but most of the Falcons wanted to remember their successes as a Falcon. 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