Wednesday, January 2, 2008 9:08 AM CST
Faculty and staff at Slidell High School are searching for alumni as they begin planning for the school’s 100th anniversary celebration.
“We’d like to have alumni representative from each class contribute their input,” said Donna Kahl Manetta, Class of ’74 and a co-coordinator of the anniversary committee. “The 50-Year Club has been instrumental to our plans, but we need to hear from graduates of 1958 and forward.”
The school opened in 1908, and the first class to graduate the following spring consisted of just four members. The diploma of one, Lena Ezell George, hangs in the front office.
Until the late 1950s, SHS was the only public high school in Slidell. The 50-Year Club is a group of SHS alumni, each who graduated 50 or more years ago. Christina Wiebelt, director of the Communications Academy, has begun filming interviews with some of its members for a series of mini-documentaries.
Manetta, who also teaches senior English, hopes to have a video to honor each decade of the school’s history. Interlaced with the personal histories will be snippets of current events and trends of the time.
Beginning in September 2008, they will play the videos on several monitors located around the school.
The committee is also looking for old photos to use in the 2008-2009 SAGA, the school yearbook. The yearbook theme will be “Tradition Touching Today” and will explore how the experiences of past graduates may influence those of the future.
Also coordinating the anniversary committee with Manetta is Tracy Sollberger Krieger, class of ’73 and a teacher of gifted and advanced placement English. The parents of both women attended SHS, something that is not uncommon among the student body.
“There are a lot of third and fourth generations that have gone to school here, and not a lot of schools can say that,” said Krieger. “It really fosters a sense of continuity and family.”
Manetta and Krieger say the yearlong celebration will culminate in a special gathering for all alumni in the spring of 2009, but specific details are not in place yet. They hope more alumni will come forward to be part of the planning process and will welcome all input.
The next anniversary committee meeting is set for Jan. 9, 2008. Those interested in participating should call 643-2992, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.