Saturday, November 14, 2009
Roy J. Wasson 50th Anniversary Celebration - Guess Who is Doing the Invocation?
Tommorow my high school, Roy J. Wasson here in Colorado Springs, CO is having a 50th anniversary celebration. http://www.d11.org/wasson/.
The school opened in 1959, and was at the time the second high school in the city’s biggest district (District 11). The school was well thought of for a long-time, and when I attended we were usually first or second in GPA and test scores.
They are following the same progam as the one from 1959, and that original program had an invocation from the local Unitarian minister at the time. This was 1959, before prayer in school was banned. As this is an event of the Alumni Association, they are including an invocation again this time...and guess who is doing it. I will post tommorow my invocation. It is hard to write a prayer that is both true to my faith (evangelical though with strong Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions) but also acceptable for a larger audience. We shall see how I do on that.
For a nice history of my old school, you can go here: http://www.wassonalumni.com/history.html
Now the school has fallen on hard times, the student body is much less high achieving (and the school that used to be the worst, Palmer High, added the IB progam and is now viewed as the best in the district). This past year the school was almost closed, which would have made me very sad, even though my positive memories of the place are few (I thought I enjoyed my time there when I was in high school, but as the years go by, I realize...I really didn’t like my high school years at all).
On this graphic it shows Wasson’s scores (1st bar) on our state exam compared to the rest of the District (2nd bar) and the state overall score (third bar). As you can see, there are real problems at Wasson High. When I went there I was able to knock out almost my whole first year through AP tests and I had great teachers (though a lot of them were on the verge of retirement at that time). But as I said the student body has also changed as they change the boundaries. The school had a sizeable minority population when I went there (it was one of the best things about attending Wasson, I got an inner-city high school experience, complete with violence and drug deals, but also had access to all the AP courses and athletics I wanted).
If I was to make an unimpassioned decision of Wasson High, it probably should have closed last year. But I know that this old building could still do a great job of creating quality students. Here is hoping that there is 75th anniv. program 25 year from now.