Start to finish: Three generations of family walk the halls of GRCHS
Bonnie Myers, left, and husband Philip Myers, right were in the first graduating class from GRCHS. Their granddaughters, Kendra Wilson-Milliner, second from left, and Cassie Kissick, are in the last class. (Photo submitted / October 12, 2012)
Forty-eight years later, the now-married “cutest couple” is eagerly anticipating the graduation of two of their granddaughters, Cassie Kissick and Kendra Wilson-Milliner. When the girls accept their diplomas in May, they will be part of the last group of students to graduate from the school at its current location.Three generations of the Myers family have walked the halls of the current building that opened in 1964, including Philip and Bonnie’s four children, Diane Myers McKinney, Nancy Myers Milliner, Mark Myers and Christy Myers Kissick.
“We didn’t want to change,” Bonnie Myers said of attending the new school for her senior year.
The official Clark County-Winchester merger occurred before George Rogers Clark High School was completed, so freshmen and sophomores went to the Clark County High School building, and upperclassmen attended the Winchester High School building until the new school opened. For Bonnie and Philip, that meant three schools during their four years of high school.
“It was big, huge, compared to the old Winchester and Clark County high schools. Now it’s not big enough,” Philip Myers said.
Although GRC has gone through several changes and additions over the years, not to mention housing 48 different classes of Clark County students, Bonnie and Philip said they still think of it as the “new school.”
“Things get fixed that way in your mind. It’s been that way all our lives. You walk into it and think, ‘That’s our new school,’ even though it’s been 48 years,” Bonnie said.
The current students, Kissick and Wilson-Milliner, said they are disappointed they won’t get to experience the new school first hand.
“I think the new school is going to be a lot better for everybody,” Kissick said.
The 17-year-old is the daughter of David and Christy Kissick, and has spent her four years at GRC getting involved in the FFA program, like many others in the Myers family.
Wilson-Milliner, the 17-year-old daughter of Darrin and Nancy Milliner, said much of her time is devoted to her AP classes.
Both agree the new school is needed.
“It was time for a new school,” Milliner-Wilson said. “It really was.”
Both seniors have attended GRC¿for their entire high school careers, and have made a lot of friends. They wonder if the new school will afford as many opportunities for students to interact, because it will be significantly bigger, but overall they see change as a positive one.
Philip and Bonnie like to share stories about their high school experiences, and they laugh at the thought that the technology in the current GRC¿building is outdated —¿technology that was state of the art when they were in high school.
Looking through old yearbooks affirms that “it’s just totally different,” Kissick said.
Students are no longer required to take home economics or certain vocational classes to learn skills like basic electricity and auto mechanics. Homecoming once consisted of a week of community events, including a parade. Now it doesn’t even register as one of the biggest events at the school, Kissick and Wilson-Milliner said.
“In 1963, there wasn’t a whole lot to do in Winchester,” Philip said.
He and Bonnie have a scrapbook from their high school days, complete with notes passed to one another during class. Now, Kissick and Wilson-Milliner said students are much more likely to get caught texting one another.
There is affection among the whole family for the school, Bonnie said. She is glad that her children and granddaughter were afforded leadership opportunities through FFA. Christy Kissick recalled that Mark¿Myers was in the first class to graduate in the GRC football stadium in 1987. Between FFA, basketball, football and softball games, the building has been a home away from home for most of the Myers clan.
“It all depends on whether bigger is better,” Bonnie said, when asked her opinion of the new school.
Although she and Philip are nostalgic about their own high school days, they recognize the need for change, as well.
“The whole world has changed in 48 years. Technology has become obsolete,” Philip said.
Contact Rachel Gilliam at firstname.lastname@example.org