Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v04n17)
Broad Ripple High School Class of 57' holds 50 year reunion
posted: Aug. 24, 2007
The Broad Ripple High School class of 1957 recently held their 50th class reunion. The multi-day event included a tour of the newly-renovated high school. About 40 alumni met in the cafeteria at 10 a.m. on a very busy Saturday. The parking lot was filled with the Broad Ripple Farmers' Market and the halls were filled with students registering for fall classes. After a short introduction by Lou Debruicker, the alumni gathered in smaller groups each led by a member of the BRHS girls' golf team. I followed the group led by BRHS golf coach Sandy Fenstermaker. Sandy recalled her days at BRHS.
"What has changed about the cafeteria is the food. I don't know if any of you participated in the canned hamburger strike. I did. If you didn't, it is because of my class that you didn't have to eat those. They came in a big tin can and they sliced them." At this point there were moans and groans from the group.
"For a week we all brought our own food. It just killed the cafeteria. We had no more canned hamburgers! Today, the kids have five different lines they can go through." The selections include the Cactus Corner with Mexican food, a grill for hot sandwiches, a sandwich counter with cold salads and sandwiches and a pizza/Italian food line.
Another stop on the tour was the music department. "These are our music rooms," explained Sandy. "These are where the Golden Singers practice. We still put on a musical every fall. All the kids participate in [music] even though they might not be in the performing arts [magnet program]. They'll have some football players that will come out and be in Little Texas Roadhouse, or whatever they are putting on at the time. It is a lot of fun. Of course, Ripples is still going on each spring, still put on by the kids. In fact, one of the girls that is leading one of the tours wrote one of the plays last year."
One of the alumni asked about the size of the school. "About 1700," replied Sandy. "As of 2009 Broad Ripple will become a complete magnet school for performing arts and humanities. That will bring our student population down to 1200 and they will have to qualify to get in." The magnet programs will expand to replace the small schools approach that was facilitated with grant money from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. "Shortridge is going to become a school for law and English and will be 'attached' to Butler," added Sandy. "Crispus Attucks will become the medical school and will be attached to the [nearby] hospitals. Tech is the math and science magnet school. Some kids have graduated from Tech with 27 college credits.They have almost an entire year of college credit before they graduate from high school. There will be more and more of that going on."
Sandy Fenstermaker led the group to the media center (library) that, for the class of 1957 had been the gymnasium. "Oh my goodness," exclaimed one of the alumni, "This is the gym! Here is where we sat during the games." During the remodeling of the media center, the original basketball court jump circle was revealed. The carpet was redone to leave that section uncovered to show the circle with the Ripple Rocket's logo.
In the computer technology workshop Sandy explained that BRHS computer specialist Terry Carrithers gave away computers to every tenth grader that passed both sections of the GQE on the first try. They gave away 68 computers last year and are already working on the program for this year.
The tours concluded back in the cafeteria where each attendee received a box lunch from Einstein Bros Bagels. Several displays of old photos from the yearbooks had been prepared for the reunion. The 1957 Riparian yearbook included a 45 PRM record of audio from the school year. The reunion organizers transferred it to CD and played it during lunch.
The class of 1957 enjoyed seeing the school renovations and hearing about the successes of the current student body. Each of the 150 reunion attendees received a packet that included a current issue of the Broad Ripple Gazette. We always welcome new readers, especially from the editor's alma mater!
Old jump circle from the basketball gym
Tour Guides: Alyssa Dyar, Kelsey Van Wyk, Natalie Monaghan, Victoria Simmons, Emily Monaghan; all golf club members.
Reunion goers enjoy lunch in the Broad Ripple Cafeteria.