- The Decades
III - School
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Back to The 70's
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1980 and Beyond*
history of our high school is a perpetual work-in-progress.
Representatives of any and all graduating classes from Shawnee Mission
North are encouraged to send updates to:
Dave Lawrence - Webmaster@SMN-RAB.ORG
- Ms. Nancy Hall took over the responsibilities for
the yearbook and the newspaper.
- A Rifle Squad was added to the Flag Corps.
- Rick Aubin won State in Tennis.
- Keith Sypert was elected Northman. Eldon Wenstrand
would follow him the next year.
- During the spring break new floor tiles, chairs and
tables were added to the cafeteria.
- At the '79 Homecoming two changes were made:
1. Because of the new running track, no
cars were allowed to carry the Queen candidates around the field.
2. The Homecoming Dance was made
"informal" so more students would attend.
- Many students were working for the minimum wage of
$3.10 per hour.
- Lisa Ashner represented North at Kansas Girls'
- The Summer Jam in Arrowhead Stadium featured Ted
Nugent, REO Speedwagon, Led Zeppelin, and the Little River Band.
- Students were assigned seats in assembly. The
protest was silent, yet loud.
- The Pep-Assembly traditions of "presentation of
cakes" and cheerleaders doing "TEAM" continued.
- Favorite movies were "Star Wars,"
"Battle Star Galactica," "Halloween," and "The
- November 20, the Theater department presented a
"Night of One-Acts". The event would be repeated each
year and are today are known as "Original One Acts."
- The previous month had seen the same department
present "The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail''.
- Doug Lytle placed 2nd in the Pole Vault at the
Golden West Invitational Track meet in Sacramento, California.
- 120 boys signed up for intramural basketball.
- During the Winter Olympics Eric Heiden captured the
hearts and imaginations of students.
- The cost of Prom was approximately $3,000.
- And The After Prom Party was held at Pogo's.
- Block scheduling is introduced, creating an alternating schedule
of four 90-minute classes, or 'blocks,' per day. An eighth block is
added to the schedule as 'seminar' and is used as instructional time,
for assemblies or as a study period.
- Mr. John Krueger, a North graduate, became principal.
- Student Services introduces the Domain Counseling program. Instead
of each counselor being assigned a students whose last name begins
with certain letters of the alphabet, each counselor focuses on an
area in which they specialize.
A New Millennium
- Dr. Charles McLean became principal.
It is as difficult to accurately predict the future as it is to capture
the past. Tomorrow has a way of ignoring what seems important today. And
daily evolution is often interrupted by cataclysmic events that
forcefully wrench history in new and untold directions.
However, standing at the 60th Anniversary of Shawnee Mission's High
School, some threads of the future fabric are visible: Almost certainly
total school enrollment will continue to decline. The projections are
for approximately 25,000 students in the whole Shawnee Mission district
by 1990. People having fewer children and the growth of the outlying
areas such as Olathe and Blue Valley work together to lower enrollment.
Secondly, progressive technology will affect teaching methods and
learning areas. For example, the ubiquitous computer will doubtless
become a more important part of the school's curriculum. In this sense,
the school is simply a reflection of the larger society.
Thirdly, education will be less building-specific in the future.
Progress in both technological hardware and software will allow the
growth of home-based education. More students will be able to take
courses either on television or to study on computer terminals plugged
into home phone lines. Needless to say, there will be fewer school
buildings built and more creative use of present facilities will be
According to Mr. David Westbrook, the future holds a public relations
challenge for public schools. As the population ages and fewer people
have children of school age, the school faces the challenge of
explaining the benefits of a school system to the community. The school
will have to sell its process and products to a larger number of people.
A continuing problem will be the age, morale and preparation of
teachers. Now there is a discernible trend of an aging faculty. A few
begin teaching in their early 20's and work until retirement. Yet, many
teach for 8 to 10 years and then move into other areas. For example, now
the teacher who was in college in the late 60's or early 70's and is an
intellectual child of the revolutionary 60's has taught for eight or
nine years, is perhaps disillusioned, or, perhaps is interested in
"growth" or "change". For whatever reason, many of
these teachers are leaving the profession. Also, the question of teacher
preparation mirrors society's own questions. Does the education of the
40's and 50's prepare one to cope with the realities of the 80's and
90's? Do yesterday's "facts" help one deal with tomorrow's
process? Education and many other fields must confront these questions.
This district was formed amid controversy. Disagreement will be a
constant in the future of public education. The battle between visions
will produce heat and some light. Special interests will try to persuade
the common interest and among the particular interests the latter - the
common or public interest - will be harder to see.
Finally, the Shawnee Mission School District, in general, and Shawnee
Mission North, in particular, have been progressive in education. As
reflections of their communities, the schools have looked forward and
have tried to achieve excellence. The basic strength of this school and
its larger district is the families and people who live here. Good
families generally produce good kids and good families and good kids
generally produce and demand good schools. Historically, the great
tradition of Shawnee Mission's schools has lain in the strength and
courage of its people. The land beyond the 1980's will also lie in the
vision and the will of this collective community.
Pictures and Facts >>
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