In 1997, Bill Clinton was sworn in for his second term as President of the United States. Madeleine Albright became the first female Secretary of State after her confirmation by the United States Senate..
In February of that year, in North Hollywood, two guys dressed up with armor plates strapped to their body and armed with AK-47s loaded with armor-piercing bullets, robbed the local bank.
When they came out of the bank, the police were waiting on them. The robbers and police exchanged dozens of bullets in a real gun battle. The robbers walked in open areas with their protective armor defending police bullets. The shooting continued with 17 police officers and one civilian injured. A police officer was able to obtain a rifle from a nearby store and killed the two robbers. The incident led to a change in better firearms issued to police officers.
In March 1997, a cult named Heaven’s Gate committed mass suicide with 39 members found dead in their compound in San Diego, California. In May, the first genetically modified three-parent baby was born.
In June 1997, Timothy McVeigh was convicted in a Denver, Colorado court. He was found guilty of 15 counts of murder and conspiracy of his role in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. A jury sentenced McVeigh to death.
On July 17, 1997, F. W. Woolworth Co. closed its 5 & 10 cent stores after 117 years in business. A lady named Jeanne Calment, the oldest person ever, died at age 122 years and 164 days in Aries, France.
In August 1997, Princess Diana of Wales was involved in a car wreck shortly after midnight, in the Port de I’Almo road tunnel, in Paris. She was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead at 4 a.m. Her funeral took place at Westminster Abbey. Her funeral was televised, and the viewing audience was estimated to be more than two billion people worldwide.
On November 1997, in Des Moines, Iowa, Bobbi McCaughey gave birth to septuplets in the second known case where all seven babies were born alive, and the first in which they all survived infancy.
According to the Indianapolis Monthly magazine, the average annual temperature of the State of Indiana is 51.7. “Sure, it’s hot now. But you factor in our dreadful winter temps, our average month most closely resembles March. This makes us the 26th coldest state. In other words, just about the most average place in the nation,” Now, don’t you feel a lot better living in the Hoosier State?
Feb. 15-22, 1997, was National FFA Week. Throughout the week, the Lapel FFA members participated in many activities to promote the chapter. One of the highlights involved chapter members driving their tractors to school. I bet the parking lot at school was crowded with those big machines?
In March 1997, during the Madison County Choral Festival at Lapel High School, a gathering of 865 students formed together with singers and were broken into groups. They later preformed for the public.
The faculty of LHS not only shares the knowledge that they have of the subjects with students, but they also set an example for each student through their actions.
Many faculty members sponsor clubs and activities that reach beyond the confines of the classroom.
The 1996-97 LHS faculty were Faye Allen, Jim Baker, David Barker, Michelle Bauer, Jean Brige, Kyle Bloom, Mark Boudrot, Judy Brown, Joan Casey, Dorinda Cassiday, Richard Cassiday, Bill Chase, Amy Clark, Diane Clark, Tim Coppess, Bobby Fields, Larry Galliher, Denise Gray, Lois Hallett, Cheryl Hensley, Amy Hoover, Debbie Johnson, Marianne Julius, Jerry Kemerly, Tom Kingery, Art Laker, Krista Loller, Harold Markle, Sharon McDermit, Brenda Mills, Jan Passwater, Polly Pruitt, Greg Scott, Derek Shelton, Cindy Stephenson, Jeannine Terhune, Zoe Terhune and Doug Van Dyke.
Can you imagine only a few years ago, some of these seniors graduating in the in this class, were saying to their parents, “Mommy or Daddy, I don’t want to go to Kindergarten! Don’t make me go! And here they are, entering adulthood, with a great education and ready to face the world.
Here is the roster of the 1996-97 LHS senior class: Jessica Anderson, Anthony Balser, Danna Barnes, Jamya Bauer, Robin Bright, Sarah Bunnell, Tonia Burns, Adrian Chesher, Amanda Estep, Fernanda Ferreira, Carol Filburn, Wayne Fryback, John Hershberger, Vanessa Hewett, Kebra Hiday, Jason Highers, Jalana Baugh, Yuriy Beda, Nathan Blair, Dana Bracken, Melissa Clouse, Michelle Collins, Lora Dailey, Megan Dowden, Aaron Funk, Wesley Gilman, Nicholas Griffin, Shasta Guthrie Jeremy Hinshaw, Kelly Holden, Jennifer Hughbanks, William Hull, Destin Humphrey, Angela Jackson, Joanna James, Billy Jennings, Robert Jennings, Rebecca Johns, Clayton Johnson, LeAndra Johnson, Jennifer King, Ryan Krause, Andy Lenze, Robert Lutz, Cody McClintock, Jerrame McDole, Kyle McMahon, Jennifer Miller, Christopher Milner, Mathew Montgomery, Joshua Mullins, Abby Oyler, Julia Passwater, Vanessa Pearson, Lyndai Randolph, Mollie Ridgeway, Aaron Ring, Tarra Scherer, Todd Sears, Bryan Sharpe, Joseph D. Skiles IV, Jessica Smith, Mark Solid, Melissa Stanley, Kevin Stephenson, Carol Stern, Hannah Taylor, Kyle Thompson, Jessica Tipton, John Upton, Amber Van Horn, Joshua Vermillion, Nicholas Webb, Henry White, Roy Wilkey, Brett Wilson, Kevin Wilson and Benjamin Wrightsman.
In sports for 1996-97, the boys tennis team improved with the best season since tennis began at the school. The team finished 9-8. Coming up Freshman Adam Hall had a 9-2 winning season. The future looked good for the tennis team.
The 1996-97 varsity basketball team had an up and down year finishing the season 11-7. In golf, in his first year as coach of the Bulldogs, Kyle Bloom had rules every team could have. Coach Bloom expected his students to act maturely on and off the golf course. I am sure such rules had to influenced the future of his students.
The Class of 1997 recognized Kevin Stephenson as its valedictorian at the awards and graduation ceremony. Ranking second was Mollie Ridgeway. Stephenson earned a scholarship to the U.S. Military Academy. The scholarship in 1997 was worth $250,000. Kevin chose West Point.
Probably the highlight for the 1997 senior class was its trip to England. After waiting more than 13 months, students packed their bags and took off for Chicago O’Hare Airport. Twenty-eight seniors and nine adult chaperones left on a 10-day excursion to the British Isles.
During the month of March 1997, the LHS band students under the direction of Jeannine Terhune and band director Greg Scott participated in laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington, D.C.
Ray Tincher attended Ball State University and retired from Indiana Department of Correction in 1997. He worked at IDOC for 30 years, serving in a variety of roles, from correctional officer to warden. At retirement, he received the Sagamore of the Wabash Award from Gov. Frank O’Bannon. He wrote several training manuals as part of his employment and is a published author: “Inmate #13225 John Herbert Dillinger (2007).” He and his wife, Marilyn, live in Lapel.