Lapel High School Class of 1996

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Ray Tincher

In January 1996, Michael Jackson — the guy who wore a glove on one hand — filed for divorce of his marriage to Lisa Marie Pressley.

In February 1996, Cuba shot down two small airplanes belonging to an exile group Brothers to the Rescue. Cuban officials asserted the planes were trying to invade Cuban airspace. The United States did not confront Cuba for their aggressive actions.

In March 1996, Iraq was still refusing UNSCOM inspection teams access to five sites designated for inspection. The teams entered the sites only after delays of up to 17 hours. What were they trying to hide? It appears we will never know.

On April 3, 1996, the FBI finally arrested Theodore Kaczynski (the Unabomber) at his cabin in Lincoln, Montana. His cabin was located in an area away from any population.

New to Lapel Town Council was Rosilyn Oleksy, the first woman elected to the group. Oleksy succeeded Amy Pearson, who was the first woman to serve on the council when she was appointed to the position three years prior. The other members sworn in that day were Tom Tudor – clerk-treasurer; Scott Hersberger – council member; and Garry Scherer – council member. Garry later became council pesident.

In February 1996, a technology boost came to Lapel High School (LHS). A new computer lab was setup for students in grades seven through 12e. Computer teacher David Barker could teach up to 30 students, each having his or her own computer.

“The students will not be bored in here now,” Barker said.

The annual Lapel Elementary School Science Fair took place in the cafeteria in February 1996. Students in kindergarten through sixth grade were encouraged to participate. In grades 5-6 Ryan Schmollinger was third; Dwayne Daniels was second; and Stephen Cates was first. In grades K-4, Brandon Cloverdale finished third; Carrie Wilson finished second; and Nick Hersberger was first.

In March 1996, the Lapel Lions Club sponsored the Boys League. The White team finished the season undefeated. The teams were third- and fourth-grade boys. The White team players were Drew Brinker, Brian Counselor, Joseph Egly, Andrew Pelsue, Mitch Scherer, Jeremiah Smith, Tyler Smith, Chris Tudor, Eric Vable and Matt Young. They were coached by Dan Brinker.

The high school faculty has undergone many changes during the 1995-96 school year. Two new members joined the staff and and two faculty members were retiring after many years of teaching. Tom Kingery and Amy Clark were added to the faculty. Amy took over after Dallas Hunter retired. She tought biology, Chemistry I and junior science classes. Tom Kingery took over agriculture after the death of Don McDermit. Anne Lowder retired after 30 years of teaching. Bill French had taught school for 41 years. These two teachers were and are surely missed.

The sudden death of Don McDermit left a shocked and saddened student body at the school. He was only 40 when he died during the Thanksgiving school vacation period. He left behind a wife and three young children. He was a caring and dedicated agriculture teacher. He spent many hours after school encouraging students to do their best in agriculture. Don McDermit is reportedly remembered for his sense of humor and the way he made the subject of agriculture fun in his class. A yearbook was placed in his casket, which contained students’ parting messages and signatures.

During my prior career as a supervisor, staff were required to write reports which at times couldbecome documents and forms of evidence. I required staff to sign reports with a clear readable signature. The 1996 LHS yearbook senior photographs have only their signatures beneath them to identify them. Prison inmates have told me, “fancy signatures” are the easiest to duplicate, because some are swirls and do not identify the person signing the document. All prior yearbooks had printed names under the senior photographs.

Joan Everitt published a booklet containing the names of students who graduated from Lapel High School, arranged by class, from 1897 to 1997. With some of the signatures in the 1996 yearbook difficult to decipher, we are able to refer to Everitt’s booklet for the names of the senior class. They are as follows: Aaron Ballard, Adrian Bauer, Rebecca Bollman, Kirby Brown, Abraham Bunnell, Jeremy Castor, Andrea Chadian, Tara Collins, Andrew Crask, Natalie Cripe, Kenneth Dollar, Steven Everman, Bradley Fife, Ana Marie Figueroa, Jody Fitch, Mary Flora, Samantha Flowers, Erick Gernand, Christopher Green, Shane Green, Ivy Harrison, Connie Hinshaw, Macen Hitchens, Michael Hofer, Asher Kinnaman, Bryan Lewis, Rhiannon Lloyd, Joshua Lynch, Juanita Marshall, Jessica Mayfield, Erin Milner, Jeremiah Mullet, Cheri Norman, Matthew Passwater, James Perry, Daniel Plumlee, Dean Pruitt, Rhett Rich, Amber Schildmeier, Casey Schildmeier, Salena Shell, Jonathan Shupe, David Smethers, Kwame Smith, Todd Springfield, Amie Stephenson, Ernest VanHorn III, Kevin VanHorn II, Krista West, Brent White, Brian White, Candeda Wilkey, Alyssa Williams, Lindsey Winkler, Angela Wolf, Brandon Wright and Kelli Zeller.

The Bulldogs had a successful wrestling season in 1995-96. The Bulldogs won the Sheridan Invitational, beating out seven other schools. Steve Everman bounced back from a football injury and finished 21-4 and a trip to the semistate. Asher Kinnaman finished with an outstanding finish with a 27-5 record.

The 1995-96 girls varsity volleyball team finished the season with 16 wins and 11 losses. The team included freshman and it was supposed to be a building season.

According to the 1996 yearbook, “The LHS boys basketball team had controversy overwhelming the season. The team could not come together and let their differences of opinion keep them from developing a team concept. That lack of team spirit and drive kept the Bulldogs from benefitting from their sport. Ultimately, some members left the team because of a disagreement with Coach Jim Baker.”

The 1995-96 girls basketball team had a great year. It finished the year with an awesome 18-3 record. At one point during the year it had a nine-game winning streak. Individual achievers included seniors Lindsay Winkler, Rhi Brooks and Amber Schildmeier, who were all chosen for the All-Conference and All-County teams. The girls also won their second WRAC title. What a great team! It will be remembered as years go by.

Photo – 1995-96 LHS Varsity Basketball Team

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