Ilion High School

1960 Senior Class History

As reported in "The Mirror of 1960"


In September, 1956, the halls of Ilion High echoed to the laughter and excitement of approximately 168 eager Freshmen. After the confusion of trying to locate classrooms had died down, we proceeded to the business at hand.

This first year began with the election of homeroom presidents who represented us in the Junior High Senate. Jack Rapenske was elected in room 29, Fran Coriale in 32, Tim Dekin in 37, and Bob Haggerty in 24. Fran Coriale became president of the Senate.

Preparations for Class Games showed the enthusiasm of the Freshmen. For several days preceding the games we could be seen wearing tags of blue and white, our class colors.

Signs featuring such cheers as "Frosh Beat Sophs" were seen dotting the halls of the third floor. The Freshman cheerleading honors were at length conferred upon: Bertha Bennett, Marilyn Billings., Eleanor Connick, Betsy Connors, Linda Daly, Joyce Gonyea, Pam Miles, Linda Kerr, and Gail Ping. Even though we lost to the Sophomores - 62 to 45, the games proved exciting. Judy Miller's home was visited that evening by the spirited Frosh.


We began our Sophomore year by electing Fran Coriale, class president; Eleanor Connick, vice presidenr; Dave Donohue, secretary Ralph Bell treasurer. In this election, the Class of '60 broke the tradition of male leaders. Mr. James Clugstone and Mrs. Alice Bamford became our advisers. As Sophomores, our first money making project was a dance held in the school gym Dec. 14. During the basketball season, many of our energetic classmates could be seen participating in the project of checking coats to help raise funds for our treasury. At the annual Class Games we defeated the Frosh - 46 to 37. An open house at Ed Shattuck's climaxed the year.


As in previous years, the election of class officers was first on our calendar as Juniors. Ed Conte, Gary Leonis, Dave Donohue, and Betsy Connors were to represent us during the '58-'59 school year. Mr. James Clugstone was replaced as adviser by Mr. John Grieco. During this school year we worked on a magazine sale and the concession stand at basketball games.

The chairmen of the annual Christmas Ball were Dan DeForrest and Jim Sickler. Wearing heavy sweaters and slacks to combat the chill of a closed school, we transformed the gym into a heavenly spot of silver and pink. "'Heaven's Little Hide-a-way" was held on Dec. 29th and featured the Mohican Orchestra. The Ball was a success in every way.

The Class Games featured the JUNIOR JAILBIRDS against the SENIOR CAVEMEN. Defeated by only one point, the JUNIOR JAILBIRDS had their toughest fight. J.V. cheerleaders were Babyface Bennett, Crooked Connick, Eagle Eye Gonyea, Cagey Kirkland, Knockout Schafer, and Slugger Wilson. After the games everyone headed for Esther Frii's's home, where the Junior Open House was held.

As the winter was long and bitter, two of our classmates felt the need of a Southern vacation. I'm sure many of us will remember hearing about Philadelphia!

Later in the same year, eight of our classmates were inducted into the Senior National Honor Society: Beffy Alvis, Eleanor Connick, Betsy Connors, Fran Coriale, Claire Gilbert, Nancy Kelly, Gary Leonis, and Pam Miles.

Four Juniors were honored in May by being elected to attend the Syracuse Citizenship Education Conference at Syracuse University. Ilion's Junior Class was represented by: Ed Conte, Betsy Connors, Fran Coriale, and Gary Leonis.

In the same month the senior varsity cheerleaders were selected. Receiving the honors were Bertha Bennett, Eleanor Connick, Nancy Decker, Joyce Gonyea, Linda Kerr, Linda Schafer, and Mary Wilson.

Manny Laura, Gary Leonis, Bob Riemann, Joe Sitts and Joe Teso were sponsored by local Ilion organizations to attend a summer session at Boys' State. They remained at Colgate University for one week.


At our first Senior class meeting Jim Bower was elected President; Gary Leonis, vice president; Karen Scanlan, secretary; Dan DeForrest, treasurer. Ed Conte was elected president of the Senior Student Council. We obtained new revenue from a card sale and the concession stand at football games. Fran Coriale was honored by being named the DAR good citizen of the Senior Class.

Our last football game - The Ilion-Herkimer Classic was played on the Russell Park field after a week of rain. We won't forget the ankle-deep mud, chill winds, and bitter disappointment. Chattering from cold but thrilled and proud, Sally Ann Kozenewski, donned the raccoon coat, mark of royalty and was crowned Homecoming Queen. Manny Laura picked up his crown later at the dance.

Claire Gilbert was again honored for her scholarship. She was the honored recipient of a letter of commendation for her score on the National Merit Scholarship Test. Last year she won a one-hundred dollar check for an essay on Poland sponsored by the Our Times newspaper.

As we go to press, we have much to look forward to in our last year. Yet to be enjoyed are the Junior Ball, Senior Prom, Class Games, Class Picnic, baccalaureate service, and graduation.

We will always cherish the many wonderful memories of our years in high school. Pajama parties, open houses, class meetings, work on the Junior Ball, visits to a famous "pizza house" - all have been an unforgettable part of high school life.


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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