50th Year Anniversary

50th+Year+Anniversary

Ganga Subramanian, Junior Editor

If you couldn’t already tell by the expansive cracks in concrete walls, concerningly sticky floor tiles, and the strange brown liquid dripping from ceiling tiles in the band room, Homestead has been around for an incredibly long time. On Friday, Aug. 27, Homestead’s 50th anniversary was celebrated at a Tailgate & Tour Event, as well as a Recognition Ceremony for those involved with the original football team.

“We started out planning this three years ago,” said Alyssa Braman, counselor, graduate of Homestead, and co-organizer, “and we had a really big committee of teachers, admin, and students.” In addition to Braman and Kara Klinker’s tireless efforts in leading the cause, Dr. Park Ginder, former principal and current superintendent, had his own role in this event. According to Braman, “Dr. Ginder was the heart of it,” as he has played a major role in planning. He also collected Homestead artifacts and started an alumni publication during his tenure, showing even more dedication in preserving the past.

Many students may have accurately noticed that 2021 is not the actual 50th anniversary of Homestead, but having the event this year makes it even more special. To Mrs. Braman, this event is “to bring the community together after the year we’ve had,” which makes it “more meaningful to those alumni”. Was it late year?

I personally had the opportunity to talk to said alumni, which I will now recount for you. From the “Class of ‘85 ‘Baby’” (as detailed on his nametag), I met Kent Uhen, a man with a boisterous personality. He was incredibly assertive and introduced himself to me, a stark contrast to the other alumni I talked to. Uhen claims that the class of ‘85 is “the reason for why we have security at graduation”; however, I could find no information to confirm nor deny this claim.

In addition to Uhen, I had the opportunity to talk to Susan Brooks, a class of ‘78 graduate. Most impressively, she is a former congresswoman for Indiana’s fifth district in the U.S. House of Representatives. Brooks has served on many committees during her tenure as a representative. She is currently set to join the Indiana University McKinney School of Law at IUPUI, and will take on several roles there.

One of the last alumni that I talked to was Kathy Dollahan, class of ‘97. Her favorite memory from her years at Homestead was right after the Environmental Center was first built, and to commemorate it, SACS held a field day for grades 7-12. During the field day, students would grab other students’ wrists and ankles and throw them into a mud pit. It was incredibly messy, but it was also incredibly fun.

In addition to alumni from the older side of the spectrum, some alumni graduated relatively recently. Brandon Quick, a class of ‘17 graduate, complained to me about how much worse parking has gotten over the years, and I could not agree more. It is also a testament to how much Homestead has grown even in a short period of time.

Of course, the 50th Year event would not have been what it was if not for the hard work of Homestead’s Student Ambassadors. Several stood outside in the hot and humid sun while handing out name tags and shirts to the alumni. Another group spent their time giving tours, walking alumni from one side of the school to a completely different side of the school, all the while explaining the differences that have happened and those that are yet to come. Yeyoon Song (11) states that “It was definitely interesting when we heard about their experiences in the past and the idea that they were walking these halls before we were born is so interesting and strange.”

High school seems to last forever, especially when stuck in the midst of homework, teenage angst, and interests that you seemingly do not have time for. This event is a reminder that there will be a day that you look back at these years, and when you do, it would be nice to have something worth looking back on. Braman says to “get involved, because that’s where you find your people, that’s where memories are made, and that’s where the relationships are built.”