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More Monessen '56 memories

| Thursday, June 22, 2006

The recent reference to businesses in Monessen in the mid-1950s brought response from several sources, especially members of the Monessen High School Class of 1956.

A look through The Greyhound 1956 yearbook shows they have many reasons to remember their senior year.

The '56 yearbook was dedicated to Dr. K. Fife Sterrett "in grateful recognition of his leadership and wisdom" during his 20 years as MHS principal.

Acknowledging his departure with "deep regret," the Greyhound staff emphasized that Sterrett had "maintained a direct contact with students and made their welfare his primary interest" and said he provided them with "the most progressive methods of obtaining a better education ... strengthened their capabilities for creating a better place for themselves in the future."

Dr. Michael Duda, superintendent of schools, led an administration team that year that also included Henry Furio, high school principal; Alfred E. Hazelbaker, junior high school principal, and John Duronio, vocational director. Mathilda A. Malmgren, Shirley Matheson and Ruth Hornbake were the secretaries in the superintendent's office; Betty Burdock was the high school secretary, and Carol Spiegelberg and Marion Ronick also were secretaries.

The Board of Education was led by Dr. Joseph Dudas, president, and also included David H. Weiss, John Kossar, Romeo E. Furio, Fred C. Stockus, Nick Cullen, Alex Kachmarik, John Lancas and Perry A. Cozza.

Student leaders of the Class of '56 were George Loulis, president; John Steeple, vice... president; Rose Marie Koval, secretary, and Verne Zoretich, treasurer. Faculty class sponsors were Mary Kordistos and Clifford Jones.

Mary Lou Rowe and Wilma Bass shared the duties of yearbook editor. Barbara Kersnick was advertising manager, Patty Pettko office manager and Susanna Swade subscription manager.

The business staff was comprised of Nancy Kuvinka, Lynda Lee...Stern, Virginia Mussano, Barbara Kersnick, Judy Wilson, Janie Williams, Lillian Duvall, Janet Glasgow, P. Pierotti, Thersa Kamenicky, P. Shire, R. Remish, Robert Cowan, M. McNavage, John Mallino, Bill Read,...Ronald Salvino, E. Gaspich, D. Almasi, Lillian Brzycki, C. Myers, Bea Tobacco, D. Darby, H. Polkabla and P. Swade.

Completing the editorial staff were Donna Bost, F. Komatz, Judy Reed, Gloria Bergstein, Irwin Borof, C. Arcuri, G. Lupoli, Gerald Lane, Vera Bakale, Constance Crawley, Tom Herrala, Nancy Gouger, Susanne Pemberton, Mary Lou Rowe, Mary Katsuleris, Judy Todaro, John Beck, Judy Milinovich, Virginia Mussano, Cathy Parkinson, Shirley Pezek, and Janis Komar.

Meanwhile, The Gazette school newspaper presented "the finest in scholastic news coverage" with a staff led by Tom Herrala, editor in chief; Gerald Lane, associate editor; Lillian Duvall, news editor; Gloria Bergstein, features editor; Virginia Mussano, art editor, and Irwin Borof, sports editor.

Herrala doubled as circulation manager with the business staff, which also was led by Lou Anastandig, advertising... manager, and Judy Milinovich, sales manager. Teacher Paul Ciccarelli was the business sponsor, and Henry Furio the editorial sponsor.

The yearbook and newspaper staffs had a lot to write about during the 1955-56 school year. There were such activities as the Christmas Cantata directed by Reah Seanor; band and orchestra... performances under the baton of Juliua D'Alfonso; the Glee Club; May Day; the Junior Class Play, "Father Knows Best;" the Senior Class Play, "Curtain Going Up;"... student...council; cheerleaders; majorettes; library assistants; Junior Classical League; Future Teachers of America; Forensics; distributive education, and the efficiency, speed typing, tennis, girls ushers, senior dramatic, good grooming, career and...patrol clubs.

Athletics, including the 55-56 basketball team that wrote a special chapter in MHS and...WPIAL playoff history, also provided numerous headlines.

We'll discuss some of those activities next week.

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