1980’s YHS Culture and Events
The culture and memorable events of Yelm High School have remained virtually the same over the years. From sports and music to elections and graduation.
Music was popular in the 80’s. In a June 11, 1980 paper, an article was titled, “Music, Music, Music!” It claimed, “Music has been called the universal language of the world. It is a form of communication that exceeds all lingual, racial, and social barriers to bring people together as a common bond: the appreciation of music… Yelm High School has among it’s students some musically talented young people who are capable of sharing some of their “music magic” with the rest of the world.” On March 21, 1980, three band members traveled to W.S.U. to present a concert. This was the third year of the honors band. In 1981, six students were selected to participate in Pacific University School of musical production. In 1982, the select chorus received an excellent score at R.A. Long High School contest. In May of 1988, the YHS band traveled to Disneyland to perform.
Other important YHS events were similar to the ones now. Such as Cispus
counseling, and ASB elections. An April 18,1980 article said, “The students of YHS, for the promotion of good government, good sportsmanship, student activities, and the general welfare of said students of YHS, established the constitution of the student body. The constitution… states that YHS will have it’s new officers elected each May.” A March 6, 1981 article stated, “ASB election time is here again for those worthy underclassmen that would like a crack at school politics.” A different article was called “Camp Cispus Counselors Train To Keep Kids Cool.” It said, “During the week of April 6-10, 30 High School counselors and over 200 5th graders will go to Camp Cispus. A 1986 paper claimed, “With the biggest and possibly toughest group of fifth graders. Camp Cispus proved to be quite a challenge for the 31 High School counselors who attended.”
The typical student issues and problems were also common. An October 31, 1980
article stated, “Fences are going up everywhere, in places we once traveled freely
through. Many may have noticed the new fence between the Moose lodge and the
school… many students react negatively to being fenced in.” Another article was titled “Only Twelve Day Grace Allowed In Attendance Policy.” It said “Any student who has missed 12 days or more of school per trimester, excused or unexcused will be suspended from school.” In 1980, vandalism was also a problem. An article said, “Bulletin boards have been set on fire, windows broken, walls marked up, lockers defaced, vinyl torn off the bathroom walls, the panels by the locker room doors kicked out, drinking fountains ruined, and bathroom fixtures destroyed.” Smoking also became a big problem. Cigarettes were often found in the sinks.
The most popular events seemed to be seniors, graduation, and football. There
were many senior edition papers and highlights. A June 5, 1981 article was titled,
“Speech, Song, And Celebration; Graduation Comes At Last.” Another article was
titled “Star-Studded Seniors To Sing And Speak.” In a Dec. 3, 1987 Senior Spotlight article, a student said,” Winning the Pierce County League football championship is the greatest memory of my senior year so far.”
Overall, YHS culture really hasn’t changed all that much. Although there are always changes being made, the events and issues are still very similar to the past.
By Lindsey Keeslar (2005)
Editor’s Note: Material for this essay was found in school newspaper’s from the era.