First Highlands High School class gathering for 50th reunion this month
The first graduating class of Highlands High School has gathered for a reunion every five years.
This year marks a milestone, as the members of that charter class from 1969 come together for their 50th reunion.
“We have a lot of surprises planned,” said Debbie Cordera, a member of the class. “It’s going to be a big event.”
A golf tournament is planned for Friday, Sept. 20 at River Forest Country Club in Allegheny Township. The formal reunion will be held on Saturday, Sept. 21 at Hill Crest Country Club in Lower Burrell.
The Highlands Class of 1969 had 514 members, Cordera said. They’re expecting just over 100 of them to come for the reunion.
Cordera said they know of 77 members of their class who are now deceased.
Highlands High School resulted from the combination of the former Har-Brack and Tarentum high schools. Har-Brack is today’s Highlands Middle School; Tarentum’s high school is now Highlands Elementary School.
Since the then-new high school, still in use today, wasn’t ready for them, Cordera and her classmates went to classes in the Har-Brack building.
The class’ reunion shirts call back to that union, featuring a Highlands ram in the middle with the Tarentum Redcat and Har-Brack Tiger on the sides over the message “Come Together.”
While some of the class still live in the Alle-Kiski Valley, Cordera said she knows of someone coming from as far as Phoenix for the reunion weekend.
With its members now in their late 60s, Cordera said this may be their last big reunion.
“I’m very excited. I really am,” she said. “There’s people coming I haven’t seen for 50 years.”
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .