the times


Would you like to add yours? Email them.

Lana Teenor McKearney told about these at the 2007 alumni banquet:

"...the old gym and the old stage, the old study hall, the cloakrooms, classrooms so hot you thought for sure you’d die of the heat...bugs coming in the big unscreened open windows...playing softball during recess down by the open sewer and when the ball went in the sewer the boys had to get it out to continue the game...making leaf houses around the wonderful big trees...the teeter totter, swings and sliding board...the dungeon-like locker rooms and their special aroma...marching in the band while still in grade school, wearing those hot wool uniforms in the Apple Blossom parade...going to Maryville and Columbia for music contests, the junior and senior play, cheerleading (not me personally), football games, basketball games, building floats out of chicken wire and Kleenex on hay wagons for homecoming, the Sweetheart Ball, Top Twenty banquet, sports banquet, but mostly just being young and believing we would live forever.

"Some of my best memories are of the musical programs Mary Ruth Hall organized.  Performing in them was a highlight of my school experience – band, mixed chorus, glee club, sextet, trio and any other time the music room lights were on. 

"Some of my worst memories occurred in the old gym when I allowed some goofy coach to coerce me into playing on the basketball team.  I was not a good player, just taller than average, and being out there with everyone watching me was not a place I really wanted to be.  Finally I got the courage as a senior to say I wouldn’t play.  Such a relief to me and the girls’ basketball fans and teammates, I’m sure.

"Even as a 100% Ozark American from Nixa, I don’t talk like a hillbilly – thanks to Mr. Copeland who corrected our grammar and pronunciation even in study hall!!!  He was a wonderful teacher and sponsor of the school paper.  Remember his “thought for the day” on the chalk board?

"Mr. Ceglenski taught typing and bookkeeping – tools I have used all my life in different jobs.  He was another excellent teacher.  I was SO afraid of him.  He could just give you 'the look' and you knew you were guilty even if you hadn’t done anything wrong.

"I’m grateful for every one of my elementary teachers, Dixie Woods, June Clark, Freda Campbell, Ruby Foster and Ada Stratton.  Even if they did make me sit on the front row so I wouldn’t whisper in class, they taught me basics that I use every day.

"I am proud that I graduated from a small school. I believe with all my heart that I received an excellent education where my individuality was encouraged and preserved. I was a person, not a number, to my teachers.  I was able to participate in activities that would not have been available to me at a larger school because I would have had to compete with larger numbers of students to be the editor of the school paper or to be in a play or musical program.  The things I didn’t have available, like a chemistry lab or a foreign language, were not insurmountable when I reached the college level.  But the self-confidence, the feeling of specialness, and the feeling of being truly cared-about could only have come from this small school in this small town.

"We all walked or rode a school bus to school and we knew all the kids in our class and the classes around ours.  Our teachers knew us as individuals and knew our parents and siblings and details about our family life.  We were practically brothers and sisters to our classmates, and we still gather together annually to celebrate our high school years. ...

"We were the Trojans, and we loved being the kids from Union Star High School.  For that I’m grateful.... We have been truly blessed to be part of this school and community and to know and love each other.  We are a family!!!  We are the TROJANS!!!! I’m grateful for lifelong friendships forged here at school...."

Your input will be appreciated. Email your recollections.

Our stories | the times | pictures | 50th reunion recap | contact