The theme of this year's Alumni Weekend is Paden City High School. Forever Young. . . Forever Wildcats!
Are we forever young? In our minds, at least during this special weekend of gathering, remembering, and reliving memories, we are all transported to the days of our youth. We are transformed back to being 17 and 18 year olds. Some of those memories are awkward, such as asking a girl to prom, while others are some of the more exhilarating moments of our lives like winning a state championship or acing a geometry test.
Whatever the feeling we get from remembering our high school days, it is safe to say the feelings that are dredged up with those memories are personal and yet something we share freely with each other.
In a broader sense, Paden City High School itself is Forever Young. Being a four-year high school for only 60 years doesn't designate the school as being "old" or "young." At the time of its formation in 1950 (as a four-year high school), Paden City was the new kid on the block. Tyler County, Sistersville, and Magnolia High Schools had all been four-year schools for decades, dating back to the 1800's. Likewise, Cameron, St. Marys, and Hundred all had high schools for many years prior to 1950. However, as time marched on, some schools changed names, merged, consolidated, or just disappeared. Reader, Pine Grove, and the Short Line area all joined to form Valley High School in the 1960's and Tyler and Sistersville combined to form Tyler Consolidated High School in the early 1990's. In 1992, at the ripe age of 42 years, the "new kid" had now become the third oldest school in two counties.
Additionally, the new modern school building constructed in 1977 that was once the newest high school building between Wheeling and Point Pleasant had became the oldest building in two counties after bonds were sold to finance reconstruction of Wetzel County's other three high schools and Tyler County's consolidation was completed.
Regardless of these numbers and figures, the school remains Forever Young in another aspect. Recently, the school was converted back to a six-year institution, as it had been configured for many years. The seventh and eighth graders joined and brought youthfulness and energy to the building. With each passing year, as seniors graduate to enter the world of higher education, military service, or the job market, new youngsters enter the doors of PCHS for the first time and the cycle is restarted. Even the tragic burning of the "old" high school building in 1975 could not diminish or extinguish the desire and certainty of the annual renewal of the school. At that time, there were references to the mythical Phoenix rising from the ashes and the school did the same as a new building was erected. Some said, the building burned, but the school did not die.
Pick up a copy of the Wetzel Chronicle to see the special PCHS Alumni insert that includes photos of all the reunion classes, and more!
Therefore, it is easy to see that in a theoretical sense, We are Forever Young, and in a real physical sense, We are Forever Wildcats; the two ideas go hand in hand. No matter where the alumni of PCHS roam throughout the world, they will always look twice when they see the colors green and white placed together on a uniform or on a flag. Whenever we encounter a Wildcat team mascot, our mind's eye will instantly picture a Paden City Wildcat or even hear the school song. Perhaps the same can be said of alumni of any school, but we often wonder if maybe the ties that bind the Wildcats together are a bit stronger because of the history of the school, the struggles, the triumphs, and desire for equality and independence.
Oddly enough, those are same principles and ideals that drove our country's founding fathers' actions over 200 years ago. One could surmise that those who petitioned the West Virginia Department of Education and the Wetzel County Board of Education in 1949 for a four-year high school in Paden City had the same foresight as first leaders of our country.
And now we, the present day Wildcats, have to do our part to ensure the continued success and bright future our schools. It is our duty, responsibility, and legacy to make sure the quality of education of our students exceeds the minimal standards and that our students excel beyond the expectations of others and that our teachers are constantly challenging themselves and our students. This is not a task to only be seen as a struggle or fight, but yet one that should be embraced as a positive way of living, working, and improving the quality of life. We can take a positive approach by becoming involved in constructive ways such as running for public office at the city, county, and state levels; lobbying those in power for funding and working with other agencies to develop "best practices" in education. We can also involve ourselves in the lives of the youth of our town by volunteering with youth groups-becoming mentors to those that need guidance, working in and with our churches, little league organizations, civic and cultural groups and clubs. and working hard, not just being a name on the membership roles. And we can give of our personal financial resources.
Volunteering is as much physical work as it is monetary contribution. We can work with our city government to make positive change in our town and encourage our fellow residents to take pride in their own residences, our town, and schools. We can drive out "bad elements" in our society. We can make Paden City and Paden City schools the shining examples of how positive results can be achieved when everyone works together. By doing that, we can stay Forever Young and will always take pride in knowing we are Forever Wildcats!
|6 p.m.||Parade line up at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church|
|6:30 p.m.||Parade begins|
|7 p.m.||Memorial at PCHS|
|5-7 p.m.||Alumni Volleyball Game at Bob and Sharon Burton Gymnasium|
|7-9 p.m.||Alumni Basketball Game at Bob and Sharon Burton Gymnasium|
|1959||6 p.m.||Paden City Park|
|1962||7 p.m.||Senior Citizens Building|
|1967||6 p.m.||Dos Hermanos|
|1977||8 p.m.||Dos Hermanos|
|1982||9 p.m.||Dance at the Eagles $4, open to all|
|2002||9 p.m.||Dance at the Eagles $4, open to all|
|1992||8 p.m.||Baristas in New Martinsville|
|10 a.m.||1967 brunch at the Senior Citizens Building|
|7:30 a.m.||5 Person Golf Scramble at the Sistersville Country Club. $30 entry fee includes cart, green fee, and prizes, but not mulligans. Individuals welcome. Food and drink will be available. For information call Mike Tallman at 304-337-9164.|
|4:30 p.m.||Distinguished Alumni Association Reception at PCHS|
|6 p.m.||Green and White Banquet at PCHS multi-purpose building. Tickets can be purchased at WesBanco through Thursday or by calling Lark Higginbotham at 304-337-8917or Susan Trowbridge at 304-337-8811 to make a reservation.|