Lapel High School Class of 1998


Ray Tincher

In 1897, when William McKinley was inaugurated as the 25th president of the United States, Lapel High School’s first graduating class — the Class of 1897-98 — began its school year. The class consisted of only four students. Mr. and Mrs. Absolom Knight were the teachers. Their small brick one-room school building was located on Pendleton Pike.

The 1997-98 Lapel High School school year was to “Celebrate 100.” The school building at that time had been constructed in 1957 and remodeled from 1987 to 1989. According to the yearbook, the Class of 1998 celebrated the 100th graduating class at the 102-year-old secondary institution. Lapel High School previously had been housed in a building on School Street just off Main Street in Lapel as well as in the former Fisher Brothers Furniture Store.

The 1997-98 faculty were Faye Allen, Cary Aubrey, Steve Babbitt, Jim Baker, David Barker, Bonnie Barmes, Michelle Bauer, Jean Brige, Mark Boudrot, Judy Brown, Joan Casey, Dorinda Cassidy, Richard Cassidy, Bill Chase, Amy Clark, Diane Clark, Holly Coons, Tim Coppess, Ron Curry, Dallas Curtis, Bobby Fields, Debbie Fife, David Fuqua, Larry Galliher, Denise Gray, Betty Griffin, Lois Hallett, Cheryl Hensley, Diane Hettinga, Linda Hormell, Amanda Huffman, Debbie Johnson, Marianne Julius, Jerry Kemerly, Gayle Kepner, Art Laker, Krista Loller, Harold Markle, Sharon McDermit, Brenda Mills, Priscilla Nation, Fred Newman, Jan Passwater, Polly Pruitt, Shirley Raison, Karen Reed, Larry Schuler, Greg Scott, Derek Shelton, Cindy Stephenson, Jeannine Terhune, Zoe Terhune and Doug Van Dyke.

The Class of 1998 officers were Ann Green, president; Nichole Gregory, vice president; Julie Butler, secretary; and Kristin Wiggins, treasurer. In addition to the celebration of the 100th class to graduate from LHS, the school marked another first: Two students were co-valedictorians. Anna Marie Green and Rachel Ellen Swackhamer share the esteemed title, as both earned an even 4.0 grade-point average. The two students emerged at the top of the class out of 74 students.

The other 1998 graduates were Mary Babbitt, David Baker, Joseph Baugh, Richard Black, Michael Bowman, Carrie Brann, Kelly Buckner, Misty Burns, Dustin Clark, Michael Clark, Brandon Craig, Regan Degitz, Amber Dunham, Amy Egly, Dennis Engberding, Joel Everman, Chad Fife, Christopher Figueroa, Joseph Follmar, Jennifer Gaither, Shanna Galliher, Bryce Gernand, Jessica Halladay, Nichole Hersberger, Andrew Horning, Kalow Huff, Jayma Hull, Nick Hunt, Ami Hunter, Melissa Jannings, Joseph Jennings, Ryan Johnson, John Kepner, Jessica Kindlesparker, Sara King, David Lackey, Christopher Land, Travis Linville, Tana Loy, Trina Lucas, Amanda Martin, Jimmy McDole, Michael Mills, Gregory Moore, Jennifer Myers, Ira Nelson, Alicia O’Connor, Brad Passwater, Anthony Prater, Miranda Prather, Jeremy Richards, Melaine Riffey, Troy Risden, Justin Rusher, Alfred Saguid II, Amanda Smith, John Specht, Julie Storm, Charles Teeters, Amber Thompson, Deborah Vahle, Jeanina Vail, Danielle Walls, Michelle Warren, Daniel Werninger, Erik White, Angela Wilson, Laura Wilson, Mindy Zeller and Karl Zink.

The varsity football team had the program’s best season since 1984. It went 6-5, but it had some great victories against strong teams. Its offensive efforts were very impressive, with seniors Michael Mills and Alfred Saguid combining for a total of 2,310 yards rushing and 28 touchdowns. The defense also was great, which collected two shutouts for the season.

In tennis, the boys team finished 5-10 but placed second in the conference. Nick Passwater and Zack McMahon doubled and had a conference record of 4-0 for the season.

Other news events from 1998: The Drudge Report broke the story about the relationship between President Bill Clinton an Monica Lewinsky, which led to the House of Representatives impeaching him; Google Inc. was founded; and St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Mark McGuire hit his 62nd homerun of the season, thus breaking the single-season record of 61, which had belonged to Roger Maris since 1961.

Please let me leave you with this: “Old age comes at a bad time! When you finally know everything, you start to forget everything you know?”

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.


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