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School Daze Memories -- 5 High Schools in 4 Years

Updated on March 14, 2014

Reliving the Past -- High School Daze

I have found, people have mixed opinions about their high school days. Some graduated with friends they had since kindergarten, others dreaded the drudgery of math, English and science classes while still others just wanted to be grown and making their own decisions in their lives. We all had things we love to remember and some we'd love to forget when it comes to our high school days.

I had an interesting 4 years in high school. It took place in Washington state, on the island of Guam, the state of Kentucky and finally, in the state of Indiana. It was a very busy 4 years for me.

Photo Credit: Mandee Sears / DecoratingforEvents, all rights reserved

My High School Years

Fall 1979 to Spring 1983

I attended high school from the fall of 1979 until I graduated in May of 1983. Looking back now, I can see that it was some of the best years in my life -- though at the time I couldn't see it.

You see, most teens want to be the same as everyone else, standing out or being different is scary. It's funny, as adults we strive to be different, unique and even stand out as much as possible. We try to teach our kids to embrace their differences and be an individual but high school is a scary place and it's much easier to just be a face in the crowd.

Fall 1979 -- Starting High School - Home of the Arlington Eagles

Arlington High School
Arlington High School

I started my high school years in Arlington, Washington. Actually, we moved there about 18 months prior in 1977. My dad had started a job in the gorgeous, picturesque town. I made friends pretty fast and Arlington became my home.

I loved the theater on the main drag through town, the old fashioned store fronts and the Cascade Mountains as a back drop. It was just a lovely town we all came to think of as home.

In the fall of '79, I started at Arlington High School. I was thrilled to finally be in the last four years of school. I was chosen as a cheerleader for the freshman ball teams, belonged to clubs and all my classmates were my friends. It really was a great group of kids.

That fall, Arlington High School Eagles won the state championship in Football (for their class). It was held at the King Dome and most everyone attended the game. I remember an article that appeared in the Seattle Times on the sports page. The headline read "Last Person to Leave Arlington [for the game], Turn the Lights Out." It was so true!

Photo Credit: Joe Mabel under the CC SA 3.0 License

Arlington High School, Arlington Washington - Home of the Blue and Gold

A marker -
187 South French Street, Arlington, WA 98223
get directions

The Bottom Fell Out in December 1979

Half-way Through my Freshman Year

My problem started when my dad rejoined the U.S. Navy when I was a freshman in high school. I had been at this school since the middle of my 7th grade year and I loved it. I wanted nothing more than to stay with my friends and graduate together. Unfortunately, my dad had different plans.

To say it was a shock to find out I was moving was the understatement of decade. The story of finding out where our first duty station would be is funny now. Then? Not so much.

So, off and running we were -- a newly re-upped enlisted man, his wife and 4 kids were off the the island of Guam and the unknown. It was January 1980 and the middle of my freshman year in high school.

Some of my Favorite Music from 1979

The Stranger
The Stranger

Loved this album and played it incessantly. My favorite song was (ironically) the 1979 Single of the Year -- "Just the Way You Are".


This song was another I played over and over. I had the 45 rpm or single record. "Babe" is one I still sing around the house. Gotta love Styx!

Breakfast In America (Remastered)
Breakfast In America (Remastered)

Supertramp was huge at that time. My favorite track off this vinyl was #6 "Take the Long Way Home".


Freshman Year Fun Facts

* Sony Walkman introduced and the most wanted Christmas gift, 1979

* 1979 Album of the Year was Saturday Night Fever

* 1979 Picture of the Year was "Kramer vs. Kramer

* 1979 Actress of the Year was Sally Field for the Movie Norma Rae

* Rubik's Cube introduced and most popular gift item, 1980

* "The Empire Strikes Back" released May 21, 1980

* The Dallas cliffhanger episode got the catch phrase "Who shot J.R.?" going in May, 1980

* "Escape" (The Pina Colada Song) went #1 Jan 4th, 1980

Off to Guam -- 1980 to 1981 - A. I. Johnston Junior High School

Johnston Junior High
Johnston Junior High

We arrived on Guam in January, 1980. I was pretty upset to find out that the local high schools only housed 10th through 12th grades so my status as a freshman was revoked. I had to go back to a junior high level. I attended Augeda I. Johnston Junior High School from January through May that year.

We were the AIJJHS Pirates. (That was a mouthful!) It was kinda cool to go through a graduation ceremony for 9th grade though. Being a tropical climate, it was held outdoors on the school grounds with trade breezes and swaying palm trees. I pretty much kept to myself during those 5 months. I was relieved when the May finally arrived.

The summer on the base was spectacular. My siblings and I rode our bikes all over the base. We went to the base pool, the beach, baseball games to watch my brother, booney stomps (hiking in the jungle areas), tennis, snorkeling and anything else that could be done outside.

In the evenings, we met up with other military brats at the bowling alley. It's where I played Pac-Man and Galaga for the first time. On Monday nights, the Enlisted Club turned the reigns over to a group of our parents as chaperons and we had our own little dance club. It was call Club Mocambo. We danced (until 10 PM) to the likes of Funky Town, Celebration and You Shook Me All Night Long.

Photo Credit: Guampedia under the CC by 2.0 License

Johnston Junior High School, Ordot, Guam

A marker -
192 Dero Road, Ordot, Guam
get directions

Me on Guam
Me on Guam

Fall 1980 -- George Washington High School, Guam

That fall, I entered George Washington Senior High School as a sophomore.

There were two public high schools on the island. The one I attended was George Washington High School. The rival school was John F. Kennedy High School. I thought it was interesting that the schools were named after two presidents.

The island is 30 miles long and 10 to 12 miles wide. The two schools are middle of the island on the east and west sides -- 8 miles apart.

George Washington High was the school used by dependents on the big Naval base as well as some of the smaller bases. (No base schools at that point, though I understand there are now.) So, we had a very large enrollment.

This meant that GW could field 2 athletic teams for each sport. They each had their own mascot -- the Warriors and the Geckos. The school colors were purple and gold so the Warriors uniforms were predominantly gold and the Geckos were mostly purple.

I was a JV cheerleader that fall and had a blast. The football games were very well attended with lots of people from all the neighboring villages. We went to the Shakey's Pizza after all the home games to hang out and gorge!

Photo Credit: Mandee Sears / DecoratingforEvents, all rights reserved


The teachers went on strike at the beginning of the 2nd semester, 1981. It went on for a while. My parents made a difficult decision. We 4 kids accompanied her back to the states while dad finished his tour on Guam.

We were off and running again -- this time to the hills of Kentucky.

Movies I loved from 1981

Stripes (Extended Cut)
Stripes (Extended Cut)

Wrong branch of the military but a funny movie for sure! I really enjoyed this one and still do occasionally.

Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost ARK
Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost ARK

What girl didn't love Indiana Jones? He was so dreamy! This is one of my all time favorites as well.

On Golden Pond (Special Edition)
On Golden Pond (Special Edition)

A timeless film. I laughed and cried and thought about the future of my own relationship with my dad. A classic.


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Spring 1981 to Summer 1982 - Graham High School

Graham H.S.
Graham H.S.

When we left Guam, we had a long journey. We flew from Guam to Honolulu to LAX to St. Louis to Evansville, Indiana. My grandparents picked us up in Evansville and we drove south into Kentucky.

We were headed to the small, coal mining town of Graham, Kentucky. My grandfather attended Graham schools so we felt like we had some roots. We also found out that through both our grandparents, we were related to half of Muhlenberg County.

The entire school -- kindergarten through 12 -- was housed in two buildings.The four grades of the high school had a total of about 110 students. This was a very big difference from GW on Guam. My sophomore class had about 30 kids. My brother's junior class had 26.

We were welcomed with open arms by relatives (most of whom we had never met) as well as citizens. It was like going home -- but to a home I'd never lived before.

My brother graduated in May of 1982, a couple of days after my dad arrived stateside from his Guam tour. We learned we were being transferred to Camp Le Jeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina. It was bittersweet, again. Only this time, in addition to leaving friends behind, we were leaving lots of family we had gotten to know.

Photo Credit: Graham Elementary/High Schools

Graham High School, Graham Kentucky - Nighthawks -- Red, White & Blue

A marker -
Graham, Kentucky
get directions

Summer of '82

Camp Le Jeune, North Carolina

We arrived at Camp Le Jeune in June. My summer was busy was a cross country trek back to Washington state to visit my aunt, uncle and cousins. Mom and I took advantage of the Greyhound bus special -- coast to coast for $99, round-trip. We arrived back home around the first of August.

Again, we rode bikes, went to the base pool and beach and hung out with neighborhood kids. I think the highlight of that summer was the free concert at the park on the base featuring Peaches and Herb. Remember them? "Reunited and it feels so good..."

Right before school was to start, we found out the U.S. Navy -- in its infinite wisdom -- had decided to move us to Indianapolis, Indiana.

I asked my dad what ocean was in Indiana? He laughed and said he was being attached to a Marine Officer Recruiting Station as the Navy "Doc" (or Corpsman).

So, 3 months after moving to Camp Le Jeune, we packed up and moved to Indiana.

Fall 1982 to Spring 1983 -- Graduation at Last! - Back Home Again, in Indiana...


My parents made an advanced trip to Indiana to locate housing for us and then the Navy packed and moved all six of us again.

We started school about a month late at the end of September. I was a senior (that was the good part) but starting at a school where I knew no one, again (the bad part). It seemed the seniors were not as welcoming as the underclassmen had always been. Plus, I had picked up a southern accent during the year we lived in Kentucky and some of the students liked to kid me about that. I didn't talk much for a couple of months and worked on dropping the accent. I just wanted to fit in.

As the year went on, it got better and better. I was part of the Flag Corps for football season, pom-pom girl for the basketball season and had a small part in the spring play. I had a small but fun group of kids to hang out and do things with. The senior trip to Washington D.C. was the highlight of my year.

At graduation, I walked in to Pomp & Circumstance along with my 292 classmates. I got my diploma and went home to be the VIP of the party my parents threw for the occasion. I kept thinking, "I can't believe it's over." My high school days had come to an end.

I had two younger sisters. One was able to go start to finish at the same high school and my youngest sister went from 3rd grade through graduation at the same school. Sometimes I feel like they missed out on a lot and other times I feel like I did.

Photo Credit: PHHS Performing Arts

Pendleton Heights High School, Pendleton, Indiana - Arabians -- Green & White

A marker -
pendleton, indiana
get directions

Memories Are Made of This...

I guess the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. I wouldn't trade my five high school experience for one and I know my sister wouldn't trade their one high school experience for five.

Memories -- good and bad -- make us who we are. I feel very fortunate that I was able to live in different places and meet lots of different people just as they feel fortunate to graduate with friends they had for years.

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~ DecoratingforEvents ~

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What was your high school experience like? - Love to hear from you. Drop me a line!

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    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Although I went 1 year of junior high (9th grade) and then 3 years to one high school, it was not a fun time in my life. The country kids had a hard time adjusting from a 2-room school to one that had 400 students.

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      It must have been such an adjustment for you. But I'm sure you matured fruitfully from the experience.

    • DecoratingEvents profile image

      DecoratingEvents 3 years ago

      @Diana Wenzel: Glad you liked it Diana! I agree, kids can be cruel. I ran across a lot of that but decided I wouldn't give the the power to hurt me as I am sure you realized too. I have moved a lot since being married as well but love to look back and talk about the places I have lived. I have learned so much from each! :D

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 3 years ago from Colorado

      What a journey you have had! I do find it amazing that I spent all four years at the same high school. My life has been filled with an incredible number of moves. My brother did attend two different high schools (and hated it when my dad got transferred during his senior year of high school). My most difficult adjustment was a move made in the middle of the 8th grade. Kids can be cruel in jr. high school (to newbies like me). I suspect your high school years prepared you for just about anything. Enjoyed learning more about your life.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      I can see how you would fit right into your business with all the people you've met and places you've been. You haven't changed though, still as lovely as you were in HS.

    • DecoratingEvents profile image

      DecoratingEvents 3 years ago

      @Sylvestermouse: Awww, thank you Miss Mouse! I hope I am at least half the person you think. And, yes, for better or worse, I am usually the Pollyana of the group. Can't help it.

    • DecoratingEvents profile image

      DecoratingEvents 3 years ago

      @BuckHawkcenter: It says we would have been friends for sure! I had friends from all walks, still do! I am part geek, athlete, singer, drama queen, book worm, Quantum Leap nut, etc... I think we would have been friends sooner!

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 3 years ago

      Well, this certainly explains lots about you! (she didn't really say that did she???) As always, what a fun read. I certainly enjoyed following you around the country. But, I'm afraid we would have never been friends in high school. You never would have wanted to hang out with one of the "odd kids" that my group was made up of! Yes, I really did start up the Geometry Club at my school. Hm, wonder what that says about me?

    • profile image

      ColettaTeske 3 years ago

      I started at John F. Kennedy High School. Only my school was on the south end of Seattle. I transferred to another high school in my junior year. I've been to Arlington many times and love it there. Great memories! Thank you.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 3 years ago from United States

      Not everyone would have handled all of the school changes with such grace. You have obviously worked toward looking at the bright side of things and found peace with all of the changes. I think you must always have just been a very sweet and thoughtful person.

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 3 years ago from Lakewood New York

      Wow!! That was a lot of moving, Look at all the people you would have never known if you didn't move so much. I love your choice of movies and music :) Thanks

    • DecoratingEvents profile image

      DecoratingEvents 3 years ago

      @Brite-Ideas: Thank Barbara! I was happy. It was a beautiful sunset we were getting ready to watch while sitting at Two Lovers Point on Guam. We watched the sunset over the Philippine Sea. It was gorgeous!

      Still, you changed schools during those hard years, so you do understand!

    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      my goodness you had busy high school years - I felt like I was living it with you while reading - really exciting too, and you're so right, the best years of our lives - we moved from Alberta to Ontario when I was in grade 10, in 1975 so I only had two high schools, not near as many as you! I sure loved the 70's - btw, a really pretty picture of you in the intro, you look happy too :)