Ilion High School

1965 Senior Class History

As reported in "The Mirror of 1965"


That day, that long awaited day of many mixed emotions, is nearly upon us. Our years within the sacred halls of I.H.S. are drawing to a close. We can now look eagerly, yet apprehensively, forward to what looms in the very near and equally mysterious future, keeping always in mind the very fond memories we have been fortunate enough to gather. Yes, the time has almost come. - But do we care??? Are you kidding? It's been a blast!

As ninth graders, we were probably no greener than any other Freshman class had been. We followed the naturally set pattern of imitating as often and as perfectly as possible the "big seniors", who, among other things, had actually created the word muh We picked that up quickly and proceeded to use daily----even "minute"ly.

Again, it didn't take us long to merge as a single solid group. (Nothing ever took us long except Mrs. Derby's career folders, her million maps, and our extravagant art work for science 9 notebooks. Right, Mr. McElwain?) We remained a group long enough to elect Dan McGrellis, a newcomer at the time, as president of Junior High Senate. Also, through amazingly orderly and usually fixed homeroom elections, Charleen Schierholtz, Owen Roberts, Bob DeMartine, Pat Sherman, Larry Hubbell, and Mary Rapenske were chosen to represent us in Senate.

The next big project, for which we did not remain united, was class games. Our hard-fighting Freshman team, cheered on by blue-jean and white-sweatshirt-clad Sandy Jones, Judy Gray, Jana Danforth, Betty Seaman, Sandy Santmire, Pat Sherman, Mary Jean McGrath, Jane Lacy, and Diana Withington, lost to the luckier, due-for-a-win sophs. However, keeping in mind that winning is not important, we noisily made our way up Benedict Avenue to Bev Miller's where we proceeded to eat, drink, and laugh our "sorrows" away. We had a great time, but our faculty advisors couldn't take it and finally resorted to clanging a dinner bell to get us out.

One inevitable traumatic event which took place in late Spring was cheerleading 'tryouts,' which ended happily for Judy Gray and Jana Danforth, who were chosen as J.V. cheerleaders.

A fairly full schedule, which did' not include a dance luckily, for every other class had one-eighth grade graduation, the Soph Hop, junior Prom, Senior Ball----helped to pass the time quickly; and we soon found ourselves being pushed out by a new group of greenhorns. Whether we were experienced or not didn't matter. Now we knew there would always be someone less experienced----for three years anyhow.

So on to our second rugged year. Dan McGrellis, a leader again, was chosen as class president, assisted by Bill Miles, Sandy Santmire, and Dave Crocker. Diana Withington represented us in Student Council as its secretary, along with Bob Bluett, Sue Getman, Charleen Schierholtz, Bob Schneider, Nancy Walker, Lauranne Cox, Joanne Urtz, and Owen Roberts as class representatives and homeroom presidents.

After being informed by our class advisors that one thousand dollars must be available for our graduation in four(?) years, we set immediately to work and came up with the idea of having a coat check. This wasn't a terribly original idea since every class before had done it. But, not every class sold kisses too. We reached our quota-plus.

In addition to learning that it is possible to make money on the Soph hop, many of us learned, learned, and relearned the causes of war---Spanish, Mexican, Italian, World---you name it, through a rough but unforgettable Miss Schwarz. We learned the names of scores of birds that lived on the telephone wire outside 204; and we learned that no one is perfect not even Mr. Utter (affectionately referred to as "the General" by Miss Schwarz)----as was recorded in a poem by a daring (Soph, you know) young miss.

With all this learning it hardly seemed possible, but we did take a break for class games. This year green sweatshirts and white skirts, filled with Jane Lacy, Sandy Santmire, Barb Hoerner, Charleen Schierholtz, Mary Jean McGrath, Jana Danforth, Joanne Urtz, and Diana Withington, cheered the boys on, strangely enough, to victory. Mr. and Mrs. George Getman bravely opened their doors to us where we gorged ourselves with enough- cake and pizza, to fill a ship and enough soda to float a navy.

When we returned to school after vacation and plodded one by one up the plaster laden and water logged stairs to get our belongings, if they hadn't been destroyed, we realized the seriousness of the disaster and the genuine need and results of not class but school unity.

It was good-bye now to "Aunt Barb" and "Uncle Bob" but we knew the eleventh grade teachers were eager to receive us and to be our new friends.

This year, Dan McGrellis returned to a "back seat" as Vice-President of Student Council. Diana Withington was elected to lead the class and was assisted by Bob Schneider, Linda Kroll, and Larry Hubbell. Also in Council as homeroom presidents, and class and club representatives, we had Greg Patrei, Mark Paul, Bill Cornell, Jean Keddell, Joanne Urtz, Bob Bluett, Bill Miles, Mary Jean McGrath, Linda Brown, Sandy Santmire, and Elaine Getman.

Our magazine sale, led by Bill Miles and Barb Wardle, was a big success; and Bridget Carney and her basketball concession committee added considerably to the class treasury.

Our marks went down (due to split sessions, don't you know) and so did we, from hearing again and again that colleges looked mostly at junior grades. Many of us took the National Merit Scholarship Test and College Boards, which also didn't boost the ego.

But some people we will always remember for the encouragement they gave by simply being nearby.

Mrs. Teeter-clops, our American History I teacher, (a fact which we dismissed whenever possible) was a terrific "mother", friend, and personal advisor (at no extra cost!). If it weren't for her invaluable help and counseling during the spring, our Prom might never have been and neither would some parts of Bye-Bye Birdie, both of which we discussed thoroughly each morning for weeks.

It was also in her class where the idea of going to the New York World's Fair was born. That might someday be history and was given equal time.

Just in time to sell tickets for "An Evening with Shakespeare," Kathy Hoffman, Bill Cornell, Rick Albin, Linda Brown, Bill Miles, Bridget Carney, and Suzanne Backman were inducted into Senior National Honor Society.

But, time was going fast. Class games had rolled around again. Our humble bee cheerleaders, Judy Gray, Jean Keddell, Sandy Santmire, Joanne Urtz, Jane Lacy, Barb Hoerner, Sandy Jones, Linda Kroll, and Charleen Schierholtz, "buzzed" for a team dressed in costumes (except for Billy Newkirk, who was still a "weed") as flowers. We didn't expect to win since these games are engineered so that each class wins only every other year, but we sure had the cocky Seniors fooled for a while.

The Prom, "Through the Looking Glass," was a big s______, was lots of fun anyway with Kathy Hoffman and Greg Patrei as co-chairmen and Jane Lacy as decorations chairman. Our junior year ended, none too soon, and to the amazement of our advisors, we emerged in the fall of '64 as a class of 182 Seniors.

Diana was re-elected president with Greg Partei, Joanne Urtz, and Mary Jean McGrath always ready to help.

Dan McGrellis was back in the driver's seat as Student Council President. Sue Getman was elected treasurer, and Bill Miles was appointed parliamentarian. Class representatives (and homeroom presidents because we got gypped out of a Senior homeroom) were Linda Kroll, Bob Bluett, Judy Gray, Mary Paul, Terry Braren, and Bootsie Day. Club representatives were Kathy Hoffman, Linda Brown, Sandy Santmire, Suzanne Backman, Karen Custer, Elaine Getman, Bridget Carney, Jane Lacy, and Bill Cornell.

The year started out with a bang, many bangs, in fact, multiplied by the McKay Construction Company which was set with the task of rebuilding our ashed "old building."

Football concession got under way, with Bridget Carney and Paul Thomas pulling the ropes. How successful that was financially, we still have not been able to determine.

However, with a huge door to door campaign for Christmas cards, under the chiefs Eileen Strait and Harold Stone, coming up, we weren't worried. We should have been.

The Senior Ball, "Frosted Fantasy," created by Pat Runge and Karen Custer, chairmanned by Jane Lacey and George Rollings, was our last project. However, with such interesting classes as we had, we really needed no planned projects. Mr. Salisbury's classes were one project after another---picketing outside for fair grades, seriously discussing Emil's ping-pong potential, and our unforgettable Valentine party.

The climax of the four years came with the announcements of Top-ten and Scholarship winners. In the Top-ten, Bill Cornell and Kath Hoffman led the group, followed closely by Linda Brown, Rick Albin, Bridget Carney, Bill Miles, Dave Crocker, Sue Backman, Ron Bluett, and Diana Withington. As for Scholarships, we copped sixteen places (the largest number in the county) PLUS six alternates. Guess there's more than one way to beat Herkimer.

The weeks whizzed by and following preparations for a too near graduation, beginning with measuring for caps and gowns, ordering announcements, deciding on a class gift, trying to decide on a place for the class trip, and lastly, attempting to finish the yearbook, we prepared eagerly to beat the juniors at class games-it being our turn to win-and to beat our chaperones at Mrs. Teeters open house.

So, we leave this half-day school, these dug up grounds, our great times----to suffer as true martyrs in a new world.


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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