If a student were to ask any alumni what they remember about Webster Groves High School (WGHS), the answers would vary. Many could tell of landmarks that currently, students have no recollection of.
This year, the alumni office will hold reunions for classes 1955 through 1978. The older classes may not be able to revisit Webster Groves or WGHS as old age and injuries have rendered a majority of them handicapped. As a solution, former principal, for whom the PV Commons are named, Pat Voss and the alumni office will give the Class of 1955 a virtual tour during its reunion. In instances like this, one can see how our past touches our technology ridden future. Remarks of how vastly the school’s appearance has changed occupy the tours. For instance, the original building for WGHS was built in 1906. A few things have lasted from this building including a foundational cornerstone located outside of the daycare. Major additions to the building came in 1920, 1947 and 2012.
Some things that seemed immortal are forgotten. An example of this is seen over the senior entrance. WGHS used to be named Frank Hampshire High School after Frank Hampshire, the fourth superintendent of the district who served from 1917-1924. Another example explains the reason why we have a senior and junior entrance. Before the middle schools Plymouth, Steger or Hixson were built, the current high school was simply split into two schools, conjoined by a public library. The junior school served grades seven through nine, and the senior school served grades ten through
Depending on the economic status of the class, the format of a reunion may change. Many younger reunion groups tend to meet up at free or inexpensive places like a park and play. Older classes around retirement age have more elaborate formats. Their reunions span several days sometimes at bed and breakfasts, always with a tour of the school, and most ending in a gala.
A leader from each class steps up as reunion chair and creates a committee of classmates to organize the reunion. This leader can be anything from a student council president, homecoming queen to a sports captain, so long as they are willing to forfeit their time in the name of their class gathering. The chairman must gather the list of classmates, locate each classmate, find out which venue and reunion format their classmates like most, and create a reunion for all able classmates to gather. This process usually takes a year.
School pride is a large factor that brings people back to reunions. School pride also serves as motivation for a number of WGHS faculty and staff. Several alumni serve in faculty and staff positions including Kristin Cole, Molly Clark, Simone Cunningham, Shannon Daniels, Lisa Dietl, Matthew Doner, Tiffany Esters, Lamar Fitzgerald, Cyndy Gilbert, Sarah Gray, Jason Grote, Jessica Haskins, Rachel Huertas, Dana Miller, Sarah McGrath, Jaime Schwartz, Zachary Smith, Kyle Tennant, and John E. Thomas.
For any people interested in learning more about what it means to be an alum or the alum of the past, please can visit wgalumni.org. For any people wanting information about the high school’s past, previous WGHS staff Minnie Bellie Phillips and Patricia Voss wrote a book, “100 Selma… 100 years”
This is Senior Trinity Madison’s first year on ECHO staff. She now serves as Advertising / Business Manager after a year of training and contributory writing in journalism class.
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