Slidell High School Turns 100!
Centennial plans in works at Slidell High
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
By Kathleen Modenbach
Slidell High then and now is the approach of the school’s administration, faculty, students and alumni as they mark the 100th anniversary of the school’s opening in 2007-08, and prepare to celebrate the 100th graduating class in 2008-09.
An ambitious program of gathering oral histories, photographs and memories of Slidell High alumni will be presented over the course of the Centennial celebration as student learn about their school as well as the history of Slidell.
Slidell High senior Ericka Jenkins can’t imagine going to school by boat and train during World War I, not to mention getting home at midnight because soldiers had priority for the trains. Stories like these, told by Slidell High 50 Year Club members, are part of ongoing activities being planned as the Slidell school marks its centennial year.
“I learned so much about Slidell and its history. I had no idea that students ‘back in the day’ had to take boats and trains to get to school,” Jenkins said.
Senior Ashlie Lewis agrees, adding, “the interviews really made me realize how much we take for granted.”
Donna Manetta, Slidell High Centennial chair, said Slidell High opened in 1908 with a junior class. This year is the school’s centennial year, but the 2008-09 class will be the school’s 100th graduating class. Besides the oral histories filmed by the school’s Communication Academy under Christy Wiebelt, other planned events include highlighting each decade at Slidell High with happenings at the school, historical world events and music of the period.
Manetta and the Centennial Committee are working to compile the history of the school, from which she, her father and grandfather graduated. In a letter to Slidell High alumni, Manetta said “it is fitting and important to recognize the spirit and endeavors of those who have graduated from Slidell High.”
Slidell High Principal William Percy said the 50 Year Club is made up of alumni who graduated from the school 50 years ago or more. “They’re a pretty active club in Slidell and have had a relationship with the school for the last several years.”
Students from the school’s Communication Academy have been compiling an oral history of the school, interviewing 50 Year Club members along with other alumni who have had an impact on the community, he said. The students have been asking questions about Slidell then and now.
Percy said [the son of] L.V. McGinty, former Slidell High principal from 1936-1976, and his wife were in Slidell recently and were interviewed by the students. Many of these interviews and other centennial projects will be shared at various school activities during the course of the year, according to Percy.
Other activities include an open invitation for former Slidell High band members from any year to play with the Tiger band. Also, 50-year graduates will be honored with passes to major events, including sports, plays and music concerts. Finally, all alumni will be celebrated at a special gathering in the spring of 2009.
Susan Summers, Slidell High yearbook sponsor, is asking for candid then-and-now pictures of Slidell High graduates with children or grandchildren presently attending the school. The Saga yearbook staff will take the student pictures and pose them in a picture similar to ones the parents and grandparents had in their yearbooks. These will be used in a special centennial issue of the Saga yearbook, covering 100 years of change at the school.
Summers is also interested in hearing graduates’ stories or copying their old pictures. Contact her at email@example.com for more information.
To share a memory from time at Slidell High, contact Christy Wiebelt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The school welcomes any ideas or suggestions about centennial activities. Contact Slidell High at (985) 643-2992 or e-mail one of the faculty alumni: Donna Kahl Manetta, email@example.com or Tracy Sollberger Krieger, firstname.lastname@example.org or Joshua St. Cyr, email@example.com.
“Slidell High School has a rich heritage, and we most definitely want to honor that Tiger Pride,” Manetta said.
Published on NOLA.com Wednesday, December 12, 2007 12:16 p.m.
Published in The Times-Picayune Thursday, December 13, 2007