Ilion High School

1968 Senior Class History

As reported in "The Mirror of 1968"

 

We, the class of 1968 first began to function as a class in September, 1964 when, as Freshmen, we took on a new and challenging position at Ilion High School. True, we were only scrubby, insignificant Frosh, but nevertheless we stood steadfast against the rest of the Senior High, and flexed our new muscles against the Junior High.

 

That fall Connie Raux was elected President of the Junior High Senate in an impressive and dramatic campaign. Homeroom presidents, Karen Unsinn, Pat Entwistle, Shirley Nichols, Mark Andrews, and Ron Benson were chosen to represent and lead our young class in the senate.

 

A big project for us that first year was a Frosh Concession Stand headed by Kathy Duffy and Sharon Losier, at Russell Park Hockey Rink. This effort proved to be a rewarding and fun--but COLD!!

 

In early spring of 1965 we put forth the supreme effort to "wipe out the Soph's" in our first experience with the awesome and fierce Class Games. John Kowalczik, Jim Bernard, Ron Benson, Clint Miller, Brian Volo, Dave Murphy, Jo Costanza, John Nelson, Lon Rivers, Bob Pozniak, Bill Comins, Mike Sparrin, Mark Andrews, John Yule, and Dave Cramer were chosen to lead us to victory against the "Soft Sophs." Cheerleaders for the event were Linda Pugh, Leigh Dibble, Pat Santmire, Pat Lacy, Sharon Losier, Bev Lozo, Pat Entwistle, and Sue Bachorik. Although dressed impressively in cut-offs and white sweatshirts bearing an enormous blue '"F", they were unable to cheer our boys to victory against the not-so-soft "Soft Sophs." But the bitter taste of defeat soon turned to revenge with the vow "we shall return!! "

 

Spring came, and with it, cheering try-outs. The green-horn freshmen found this to be a very "trying" experience. However, the effort paid off for Pat Lacy, Leigh Dibble, and Caryl Chambers, who were taken into the ranks of the J. V. Cheerleaders.

 

Our next duty as a whole unit was class elections. In late spring we held our first class meeting, and nominations were opened for class officers. The victors were Brian Humphrey as president, Sharon Losier as vice-president, Dave Murphy as secretary, and Connie Raux as treasurer. Also, Pat Santmire was elected as secretary of Student Council. Now, with confidence in our new leaders and with Miss Fahy and Mr. Jackson as our advisers, we were ready to meet our Sophomore year head-on.

 

By now, September 1965, we began to function properly as a class by electing Lauren Bell, Jody Janicki, Bev Lozo, Floy Ames, Linda Pugh, and Pat Entwistle to be the homeroom representatives to Student Council. It was with great foresight that we decided to sell pens as a money making scheme. Realizing a need for cash to see us through to our final class project-GRADUATION-we set out to do what no other Soph class had ever attempted. It took some fast talking but we were finally able to win Mr. Sammon over to our cause.

 

The pen sale resulted in a fairly decent profit, and we plunged into the required chore of our Sophomore year - the "Soph Coat Check." This is always a grueling task and never very profitable, but we worked on diligently under the careful eye of Jody Janicki-chairman. It was Jody's difficult job to see that enough people signed up to work, and an even more difficult task-to make sure they came!

 

By the time we had made it through basketball season, the "Soph Hop" was upon us. Linda Pugh was chosen chairman of the affair, The class went all-out for its first class dance, with decorations centered around that year's A.F.S. weekend. Ilion became the host school to all valley foreign-exchange students, and the Boy's Gym was gaily arranged with flags from all over the world.

 

Once again, before we knew it class games were upon us. As stated before we were out for revenge and revenge was OURS. John Kowalczik, Jim Bernard, Ron Benson, Dave Murphy, Dave Burton, Lon Rivers, Clint Miller, Brian Volo, Mark Andrews, Joe Costanza, Jack Braren, Bob Pozniak, Gary Wood, and Bill Comins were chosen in good faith by their fellow classmen to rally against the Frosh. Encouraged by the frantic cheers of Pat Santmire, Bev Lozo, Sharon Losier, Pat Entwistle, Pat Lacy, Connie Raux, Jody Janicki, and Linda Pugh the boys brought us a fine victory. After an easy win everyone rushed off to an open house at Chris Nehr's to celebrate a victorious 1966.

 

To carry us through our Junior year we called on Brian Humphrey as president, Craig Dolan as secretary, Glenn Smith as vice-president, and Joe Costanza as treasurer. Dave Murphy defeated Pat Santmire for the seat of vice-president of Student Council. Also elected as homeroom presidents were Pat Lacy, Sharon Losier, Connie Raux, Linda Pug-II, and John Yule. These students represent their homeroom in Student Council, and have the job of informing the students about Council activities.

 

Muscles became sore and groans of sheer agony could be heard as the girls again limbered up for cheering try-outs. Leigh Dibble-Varsity, Pat Lacy, Pat Entwistle, Caryl Chambers, and Shirley Nichols- J.V.-all passed the careful eye of the judges and were now ready to cheer on the Golden Bombers (and the Comeback Club) to VICTORY

 

Upon reaching our Junior year we began making plans for the concession stand, ordering of class rings and the Junior Prom. But more immediate than all-the magazine sale!! Leigh Dibble and Pat Santmire took on the task as co-chairmen of the sale. They pleaded, begged, and bribed us with prizes to "get out and sell." We made a handsome profit for our treasury and surged ahead to the Basketball Concession Stand.

 

Connie Raux was chairman for the money-making proposition. She and her faithful staff worked diligently each home game to set up table and softdrink machines. More than once the halls and perspective buyers were generouly sprayed with wild Coke hoses or upset cups. But in the end we managed to add even more money to our growing treasury. (At this point we wish to thank all hungry basketball fans!).

 

In February we proudly displayed our new class rings bearing the numbers-1968. On February 25, 1968, many blurry-eyed, half-asleep Juniors dragged themselves into the Boy's Gym and took the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. Caryl Chambers and Brian Humphrey proved to be wide-awake enough to win Letters of Commendation. One week later we begged, borrowed, or stole rides to Utica to undertake the hated and feared College Boards But we once again made it through and are still alive to tell of it.

 

This year we were to take on the Seniors in a battle of skill and brains(?) in the Class Games. The skit of "The Romper Room Rejects" was carried out by John Kowalczik, Mike Sparrin, John Grieco, Brian Volo, Jim Bernard, John Nelson, Tom Bently, Jack Braren, Gary Wood, Dave Murphy, Joe Costanza, Bob Pazniak, Bill Comins, Ron Benson, and Len Rivers ( who also served as basketball players.) Linda Pugh, Leigh Dibble, Pam Paragi, Pat Lacy, Sue Bachorik, Connie Raux, Jody Janicki, and Pat Santmire came dressed as little girls to do the "fight-score-win" bit. Lauren Bell was the teacher for this group of "Projects." They fought and cheered hard but somehow the Seniors managed to sneak a 60-57 win over us. Oh, well!! We almost won! For four months the class worked and worried about the presentation of their Junior Prom. On May 27, 1968, the hard work put forth by Lauren Bell and Ron Benson as general chairmen and Darlene Dodge and Kathy Duffy as chairmen of decorations, was realized in "Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows." The Prom followed a spring theme of pastel colors and blooming flowers. Much time, effort, and wear on various class members and their cars went into this dance. Miss Fahy and our new-found advisor - Mr. Cunningham- displayed all their patience and friendliness to help make our Prom a memorable experience for all.

 

This year we were to take on the Seniors in a battle of skill and brains(?) in the Class Games. The skit of "The Romper The halls became filled as students hurried to cast their votes in the Student Council elections. Ron Benson and Joe Costanza were elected President and Vice-president respectively.

 

This year we were to take on the Seniors in a battle of skill and brains(?) in the Class Games. The skit of "The Romper During their Junior year many other members of the class of 1968 received honors. Leigh Dibble, Kathy Duffy, Sharon Losier, Besty Rathbun, Pat Santmire, and Connie Raux were chosen to represent us on the Varsity Cheering Squad. Late in the spring Glenn Smith, Caryl Chambers, Craig Dolan, Clint Miller, Carol Woolver, Leigh Dibble, and Susanna Francisco were inducted into the National Honor Society. To start off our final year, Sharon Losier was elected president. Serving as her officers were Craig Dolan-vice-president, Gary Wood secretary, and Leigh Dibble-treasurer. During the summer months Caryl Chambers went to Girl's State, while Glenn Smith, Dave Murphy, Bob Pazniak, Clint Miller, and Gary Wood, went to Boy's State.

 

We entered our Senior year slightly awe-filled and surprised to see we had made it. At this time Duncan Jones, Louise Bouton, and Donna Beneau, became members of the Class of 1968. It didn't take long before that passed through and we were in full swing with the Senior Concession Stand. With Linda Pugh in command we managed to reap a profit.

 

Mid-season it was necessary to build a new stand, due to the fact that the old one blew over one night! With our newer and bigger stand we became even more organized and, with the help of Bill Comins I Jeep we managed to live through many home games.

 

To be elected to Student Council is quite an honor. From the Senior homerooms those chosen to represent their class as homeroom presidents were, John Yule, Shirley Nichols, Mike Sparrin, Bob Pozniak, Lon Rivers, and Linda Pugh. Homecoming Weekend ran smoothly through the efforts of Linda Pugh and her committee. Joe Costanza and Sharon Losier were chosen by their classmates to reign over the weekend. Although the rain dampened the ground it never once dampened the spectators spirits, and the Golden Bomber "squashed Pizza in the mud."

 

Christmas is, perhaps, the busiest season of the year. For Kathy Duffy and Darlene Dodge this was doubly true, due to the fact that they managed the annual Senior Card Sale. The headquarters for the card sale was in the auditorium. It was here that Kathy and Dar could be seen busily bagging, lettering and distributing cards. Their efforts plus those of student salesmen helped add to the treasury.

 

In February, fourteen Seniors received Regents Scholarships. The list includes Lauren Bell, Ruth Burch, Mary Callahan, Caryl Chambers, Craig Dolan, Mary Beth Falzareno, Brian Humphrey, Charles Kaltoff, Clinton Miller, Patrick O'Brien, Glenn Smith, Sandra Werthman, Carol Woolver, and Gary Wood, Alternate winners were Jane Irving, (also a recipient of a Nursing Scholarship), Bob Pozniak, Connie Raux, John Gressel, and Kathy Stark. Kathy was again honored by being the number one alternate in Herkimer County.

 

Also in February, on the 23rd and 24th, Student Council sponsored a Winter Carnival. The entire Senior High voted on the Senior girls who previously had been nominated in the Senior homerooms. Friday night, at the home game between Ilion and Mohawk, the queen and her court were announced. Pat Lacy was crowned queen with Sharon Losier, Shirley Nichols, Pat Santmire, and Karen Unsinn as her court.

 

Much is past at this point. Yet there is a bright future for us all. Almost everyone has heard from the college of their choice or else have jobs locally, out of town, or in the Armed Services.

 

But now there are at least three more months of fun, and work, term papers, finals, etcetera. But also the traditional dress-down day, the class picnic, and of course graduation JUNE 23, 1968!

 

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