Junction High marks 100th date

Pam Middlemas, left, the librarian at Grand Junction High School, photographs a group of Grand Junction High staff members - past and present - in the school library during a Thursday afternoon celebration of the school’s 100th anniversary.

As a student, Renee Perry enjoyed pep assemblies every Friday, school lunch for 45 cents and a smaller student population at Grand Junction High School.

Plenty has changed since she graduated in 1978. The school added buildings, staff and school-resource officers, which replaced the paddles she said teachers used to use for discipline.

But some things are still there, including Perry, who is in her sixth year working at the school. She is one of an ever-growing group of people who have returned to the school to work.

Other alumni have sent a second or third or fourth generation to the school.

“There are connections everywhere,” she said.

Connections are likely to run deep whenever a school has been open for 100 years. Grand Junction High School staff, past and present, celebrated the school’s 100th anniversary Thursday afternoon during a Christmas Tea in the school library.

Jan Muyskens, who taught physical education at the high school from 1968 to 1989, attended the event and recalled the school’s first days in a new location.

Muyskens began teaching at Grand Junction’s former junior high school on Chipeta Avenue in 1956, the year 10th- through 12th-grades moved out of the building and into their own home at the current high school location at 1400 N. Fifth St.

Muyskens said she enjoyed her time at the junior and senior high schools, especially when she got to coach the school’s first girls tennis team in the early 1970s.

“We got to play schools in Denver and play competitively for the first time,” she said.

Muyskens said she’s one of many teachers who had a long career at Grand Junction High School. She said she always had good classes of kids.

Grand Junction High School Principal Jon Bilbo said the school still has plenty to be proud of.

“It’s been 100 years of excellence in the classroom and on the sports field,” he said.

“There are a lot of things for us to be thankful for in our history.”

Bilbo said the school is considering having a rededication ceremony in May to recognize the school’s century of history.


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