Shoreline High School class of 1961 remembers fellow classmates

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

George Saltman, class advisor, Shoreline High School.  Photo by Steven H. Robinson.

By Diane Hettrick

Sharon Dowdy Shannon says that class reunions aren't just buffets and cocktails.

The Edmonds resident said that it's about a shared history and sense of place. It's about the people and their lives.

Sharon has a unique viewpoint. For fifty years, ever since she was elected the Recording Secretary of the Shoreline High School Graduating Class of 1961, she has been organizing class reunions.

"Shoreline High School has no sense of place," she said. "Other graduating classes have a high school to come back to. Our high school has been turned into an administrative and conference center (the Shoreline Center) so successfully that most people don't even realize it was ever a high school. 
"All we have is one small trophy case."

She would like to see more to honor all the classes that graduated from Shoreline High School, from the first graduating class in 1958 until the last graduating class in 1986.

Class of 61 members in the old courtyard.
Photo by Steven H. Robinson
She has her sights on an interior courtyard, used only for large events like the Shoreline Arts Festival. It is just south of the large Shoreline Room, formerly the school lunchroom. There was a fountain, she said, and students would gather there at lunchtime.

Photo by Steven H. Robinson

It was at this courtyard that members of the class of 1961 gathered on Friday, August 26, 2011. As part of their 50 year reunion, they held a memorial tree planting and placed a plaque to honor the 73 class members who have passed on.

Two faculty members joined the 1961 graduates. George Saltman was the advisor for the class and later the principal of Shoreline High School. Mr. Waller was a young teacher at the high school.

Sharon Dowdy Shannon and Bruce Kramer read the names of deceased classmates.
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

Mr. Saltman spoke at the gathering. Sharon and classmate Bruce Kramer read the names of the deceased before a moment of silence.

The class of 1961 had between 530-578 students, depending on the source. They were one of the few classes to enter as freshman and spend four years in high school. Shoreline High School opened in 1955 and was closed in 1986,
Sharon would like to see the courtyard restored and named the Shoreline High School Memorial Terrace. "At least then," she said, "we would have a place to call our own, and a lasting memorial to Shoreline High School."


Terry O August 31, 2011 at 12:51 PM  

Let's not forget Shoreline's "lost" class -- the Class of 1987, which was forced out just prior to our senior year, after spending our first three years as Spartans. I'm pleased to report that our lost class has held 10 and 20 year reunions -- both in the Shoreline Room of the Shoreline Center (where we used to eat lunch and hold our school dances!). We are in the early stages of planning our 25-year reunion to be held next year! Sadly, we too have several class members who are no longer with us.

Jody Burchinal Sherin Shoreline Class of '65,  September 8, 2011 at 11:11 PM  

The class of 1965 fixed the fountain as part of our 30th reunion in 1995. We originally left it as our class gift and it was trashed when we repaired it. Our reunion was at the school that year. Somehow, that fountain has disappeared even though it hasn't been that long since it was completely revamped. I really approve of the idea Sharon has and hope it can come to pass.

What a smile came to my face to see that Mr. Soltman is still looking vibrant, and although his hair is white, he still looks much the same!

Anonymous,  October 10, 2011 at 7:21 AM  

I am looking for a graduate from the Shoreline Class of '61 who wa a close member of our family in the fifties but we have lost contact. Does anyone have info on Elaine Backman's whereabouts?

Greg Asimakoupoulos
630 3378636

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