Looking back at high school days

‘Back in the Day’ guest column

Jack Puterbaugh

In a few short weeks, high school seniors will march down the aisle and receive a diploma. That act represents the end of an important phase of one’s life, and the beginning of another. Graduation from high school has always been an important accomplishment.

As I look back, that date for me was June 4, 1943—68 years ago. There were 78 of us who graduated that year from what was then known as Cambridge High School. There were 48 girls and 32 boys who got their diplomas that June evening. Today there are far fewer of us who rise and shine each morning.

As my high school years are recalled, my thoughts return to some of the teachers who made those years rather special. There was Russell Fawver who taught Industrial Arts (it is no longer called that). There was a Woodworking class in the ninth-grade, and Metalworking in tenth-grade. Mr. Fawver was a “no nonsense” teacher, but I learned things in his classes that have stood me well for all these many years. Mr. Edward Nagel taught ninth-grade Science, Gym, and coached football. In his presence you just knew that he represented the highest character and integrity. Another charming teacher was Lillian Foslien who taught tenth-grade World History and directed the school Choir. These three are only a few who made my high school experience rewarding and worthwhile.

The principal at the time was Joseph Monson. When talking about him, students would refer to him as “Happy Joe.” The superintendent was George Kottke, and he was known as “Jolly George.” I wonder if today’s students have similar “pet names?”

At a time when there is a lot of discussion about education and teachers I hope the 2011 Graduates of Cambridge-Isanti High School will still have pleasant memories of their high school days when 2079 rolls around.