Ilion High School

1962 Senior Class History

As reported in "The Mirror of 1962"


Well, by God, we made it. There were quite a few who said we wouldn't, but we ARE going to graduate. Yes, Virginia, there IS a class of '62.

In our freshman year, it was Mr. Teeter who first declared, after seeing us destroy algebra, that we would NEVER make it. Our soph world history teacher, Miss Schwartz, once exclaimed dismally, "The only sweethearts who will pass are you four in the back row!" Somehow, though, we made it. Mrs. Wright would use up numerous class periods telling us why we would never pass the English regents, but we all struggled through. Mr. Grygiel used to shudder convulsively over his Problems class, yet contrary to his predictions, we made it.

Looking back over those four wonderful years, we know in our hearts that we'll never forget them. For the present, though, we'll try.

Our freshman year proved to be a good starting point. (We had to start somewhere). We elected Dana Nelson, Karen Holt, Stan Kozenewski, Joanne Tuttle, and Elaine Volo as homeroom representatives to the Junior High Senate, and Jack Brewer served as its President. Our only activity was class games in which we defeated the sophomores. Cheerleading for the freshman squad were: Mary Alice Seymour, Joanne Tuttle, Judy Gregory, Dana Nelson, Elaine Volo, Judy Cormia, Regina Stefanishyn, Peggy McClave, and Roseanne DeJohn. After the game, we all invaded the home of Jill Urtz. A few unwelcome visitors from the sophomore class also attended.

At the start of our sophomore year, two fine teachers (who obviously were not familiar with our reputation) became our advisors - Miss Irene Pogonowski and Mr. John Monohan.(Oh well, to err is only human). On the second rung of the ladder, we chose Stan Kozenewski as our president. Ray Wardle was our vice-president and Peggy McClave and Elaine Volo were elected secretary and treasurer respectively. Our financial project for this year was the coat check for basketball games and wrestling matches. Of course we'll never forget the night we lost all the tags and everyone had to get his own coat! Besides the coat check that year, we had a dance featuring "The Plaids" which made our year a financial success. (We'll always remember it because it was our last financially successful year).

It was in our sophomore year, also, that Dennis Dodge first coined the phrase "muh" which is now a time worn expression used by most everyone. Denny first applied it one day in world history class (Mr. Panarites) stating that Hiroshima was bombed in 194 muh, Mike McCormack took it from there declaring that Alfred the Muh was king of the Danes etc. This was just another of the great accomplishments of the class of '62. Just like GE, progress is our most important product.

Class games again found us victorious, this time by a scant point, 37-36. Cheerleaders were: Joanne Tuttle, Elaine Volo, Judy Cormia, Peggy McClave, Linda Vernooy, Mary Alice Seymour, Cheryl Dodge, Dana Nelson, and Regina Stefanishyn. We had open house at Marsha Applegate's - we'll never forget that. (Chip and Victor would like to, though).

With two down and two to go, we eagerly ventured into our junior year. Bill Drumm became our president, Dana Nelson, vice-president; Pat Cowen, secretary; and Linda Vernooy, treasurer.

We started the year off with our magazine sale which greatly enriched our treasury. (Heaven knows we needed it!) Peggy McClave and Roger Fortuna were co-chairmen of the sale and did an excellent job.

We held our junior ball, "Mistletoe Memories," on December 15, 1960. It was a fine success under the leadership of Joanne Tuttle and Stan Kozenewski. Later though, we received a bill for crepe paper ($70) which we hadn't counted on. That's OK, Miss Pogo, everyone makes mistakes!

Soon, we ordered our class rings and some people were immediately shocked when they put them on facing outward, for the date of graduation glaring up at them was 2961 instead of 1962. However, our fears were soon calmed. (We all knew we'd make it by 2000 at the latest).

Basketball season came during which we had charge of the concession. It proved a lot of fun and work but little money was earned. (Ain't it the truth?)

Once again class games rolled around and we lost to a highly superior senior team. Cheerleaders included those from the JV squad: Cheryl Dodge, Regina Stefanishyn, Judy Cormia, Elaine Volo, Peggy McClave, and Pat Schneck. We also chose Joanne Tuttle, Dana Nelson, and Jill Urtz, After the game, we had an open house at the home of Peggy McClave.

Near the end of our junior year, varsity cheerleading try-outs were held. The cheerleaders chosen to lead the sports fans for the next year were Judy Cormia, Sharon Bennett, Regina Stefanishyn, Pat Schneck, Elaine Volo, Cheryl Dodge, and Shirley Richards.

Our junior year also saw the election of John F. Kennedy to the presidency of the United States. Working for the victorious Democratic cause were Mike Brown, Roger Fortuna, and Bill Kelly. Many a vigorous debate took place in Mr. Grygiel's third period American History class.

At the end of the year, Jack Brewer, Mike Brown, Rog Fortuna, Stan Kozenewski, and Harry Shelley were selected to attend Boys' State. About the only exciting thing that happened there was when Koz pushed Herkimer's Jerry Drabent into Taylor Lake, located on the Colgate campus.

Despite ominous predictions, we managed to pass English regents and moved onto our senior year. Roger Fortuna, our politician, was elected president of the Student Council (fixed election). Mike McCormack became the senior class president (he bribed everyone) Ray Wardle, vice-president; Ellen Greene, secretary; and Regina Stefanishyn, treasurer.

Our first activity of the year was the football concession. It was a delight to count the profits from this project. We hadn't seen profits for so long, anything would have been an improvement. Next on the agenda was the Christmas Card sale with Peggy McClave as chairman. We all pitched in and wound up only $469 short of what we expected. However, the situation later took a turn for the better. (No, we did NOT rob Oneida National, contrary to ugly rumors!)

Linda Vernooy and Peggy McClave were selected editors of the school paper, The Quill, and both did a fine job of getting out a paper every two weeks. Linda was also our candidate for the D.A.R. award.

Harry Shelley and Dana ("Bubbles") Nelson became the editors for the 1962 Mirror.

Our football team, including 20 seniors, upset the "Pizza-eaters" from across the river in the traditional Ilion-Herkimer contest, by a score of 6-0. Elaine Volo and Dick Adams reigned as Homecoming Queen and King.

Once again we had the senior ball in December (that's right - no profits). Shirley Richards and Stan Kozenewski were co-chairman of the affair, "Isle of Paradise." Shirley was crowned queen, a fitting reward for her tireless efforts.

Our chief accomplishment was getting Miss Pogonowski married. Finally, in October of our senior, year, she was happily wed to Mr. David Bouck. (It took only 2 years!)

Before our graduation, (and at this writing it looks like a good bet), we have the class games, senior class play, junior prom, class picnic (if we can afford it) and Commencement. After that, we can only hope for the best.


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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