Ilion High School

1959 Senior Class History

As reported in "The Mirror of 1959"


We spent our first three years in Senior High breathlessly anticipating the day when we would finally be Seniors. Each year brought new wonders. We made plans for the exciting events, which were to take place and reflected upon the wonderful things which had already happened.


In the reflections of the past we see ourselves entering the doors of Ilion High as a group of bewildered. gangling Freshmen. Under the leadership of our class advisors, Mr. Brian Leach and Miss Nelle Schmidt, we held our first election of class officers. Ben Leach was chosen President, Ed Vernooy Vice-president, and "T" Bowers Secretary-treasurer.


The upperclassmen became aware of the new Frosh when we scored a well-deserved victory over the Sophs in the traditional class games. We attended our first open house at Pam Morris's to celebrate our triumph.


We shall never forget the good times that are reflected in the year 1956. It was then we were finally accepted as part of Senior High. That year Ben Leach was again elected to lead the class. Ed Vernooy filled the chair of Vice-president; Sandy Costello became our Secretary; and Tom Jackson was chosen Treasurer. Lynne Purple was elected our first representative to Senior High Senate. The other classes showed their approval of our representative by electing her as Secretary of Senate.


It was not long before we realized how empty our treasury was and hastily began moneymaking campaigns under the direction of our class advisors. Checking coats at basketball games proved very successful. We also sponsored several record dances in the school gym and an orchestra dance, "Swing into Spring."


Our Sophomore year brought a new experience. We joined the other classes in the first presentation of class plays. Our contribution was "The Trysting Place" by Booth Tarkington. The cast included Donna Day, Ned Young, Sue Blowers, Maureen Mason, Tom Moore, Stan Thompson, and Paul Lacey. Mr. Richard Bamberger acted as director. Later in the year Stan Thompson portrayed Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol."


Class games rolled around again, and our team remained unbeaten. A Soph cheering squad consisting of Nancy Clark. Sandy Costello, Pam Morris, Jane Folsy, Betty Geer, Lynn Purple, Mary Grygiel, and Chub Sweet urged our boys on to a 62-45 victory.


It was not long before we began our last year as underclassman. Ed Vernooy was chosen President, and Stan Thompson became our new Vice-p-resident, with Nancy Clark as Secretary and Sandy Costello as Treasurer. Stan was later elected Vice-president of our student governing body, Senate.


The most important projects of our Junior year were money-making campaigns under the guidance of our advisors, Mr. Bamberger and Miss Schmidt. We began with a magazine sale directed by Stan Thompson, Sharron Clive, and Pat Pendergrass. Later we sold candy and coke at basketball games. We also held a 'am session with music supplied by a local rock and roll group known as the Jumping Jacks.


The highlight of our third year in Senior High was our presentation of the Junior Ball. "Stardust." Under the leadership of Linda Kornbrust and Bob Smithson and the guidance of Miss Schmidt and Mr. Bamberger the gym was transformed into a blue heaven aglow with the twinkling of hundreds of silver stars.


Once again our class proved its versatility as seven of our classmates won title roles in the musical, "The Fortune Teller," by Victor Herbert. The Juniors who secured leading parts were Stan Thompson, Don Dekin, Leo Golicki. Milbrey Wallin, Anne Tillinghast, Donna Day, and Sandy Costello.


Many of our boys proved their athletic powers by becoming members of the varsity football and basketball squads. A Junior Varsity cheerleading squad consisting of Lynne Purple, Sandy Costello, Mary Ann Grygiel, Jane Foisy, Pam Morris, and Jean Kennell was chosen to cheer our teams on to victory.


Soon we elected five members of our class to represent us at Boys' State. Ed Vernooy, Maurice Monfeau, Stan Thompson, Bob Drumm and Ron Brown were our choices. Stan and Ed also represented us at the Syracuse Citizenship Education Conference. Sandy Costello and Linda Kornbrust were also chosen to attend. Summer vacation arrived again and finally came the long awaited Senior year. We were the upperclassmen. We began our final year with the election of class officers. Don Beach led the class of 1959. As Vice-president we chose Bob Smithson, Sandy Costello was elected secretary, and Jane Foisy was chosen to handle the financial duties. Our advisors were Mr. Teeter and Miss Schmidt.


Sandy Costello was elected President of the Senior High Senate. Under her direction we held the second annual homecoming weekend. Jean Kennell and Bob Smithson reigned over the proceedings. The royal couple was crowned at a pep rally preceding the Ilion-New Hartford game.


In November, Lorita Keddell was chosen to represent her classmates in the State D. A. R. Contest.


We sponsored the annual Twirp Dance. The dance was known as a "Dance for the Little Green Man Who Takes Pink Pills." This title was originated by Ron Brown and Mike Hamilton was the little green man. The first ten to guess his identity were admitted to the dance free.


Our other moneymaking activities included a Christmas Card sale and a concession stand at all home football games. The latter was a profitable venture largely due to the efforts of Ralph Bottini and Mr. Teeter.


The Senior Play, the Operetta, class games and the Senior Prom were all a part of the most important year of our lives. Exams, Baccalaureate, the class picnic, and graduation all formed poignant memories which will become part of our happy reflections of the past.


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Created and maintained by Aileen Carney Sweeney - Class of 1974

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First Published October 4, 1997 - Modified Sept 21, 2014