Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District

Alums Tour School, Reminisce

Dec. 5, 2017 -- Seven alumni from the class of ‘59, January*, toured the school recently and were impressed with the new building and the students. 
“It’s just beautiful,” said Linda Newman Davidson, who was visiting from her home in Atlanta.

Members of the Class of ‘59, January: Linda Newman Davidson, Susan Brooks Stone, Marilyn Hollander Goldberg, Karen Hoffman Fields, Linda Sherriff Gottfried, Arlene Likover Schreiber and Linda Steinsapir Felder, (L-R).
For these alumni, walking on the original floor tiles that were preserved during the renovation was meaningful.
“Just think, this is where we walked back then,” said Susan Brooks Stone.

Several members of the group had been in the theater and vocal music program and were interested to see the fourth floor vocal music area.
They wondered how it had changed in the recent construction.

While the group was contemplating climbing to the fourth floor, Assistant Head Custodian Mr. Jackson walked by. “You ladies should take the elevator!” he said. He kindly escorted the group to the nearest elevator and the fourth floor.

After entering the Singers Room, four current students and members of the Barbershoppers greeted the alumni and quickly agreed to sing a song.
“They were amazing!” agreed the alumni. “What a treat.”
A few of the alums even teared up, touched by the youthful talent and generosity.

 Members of the Barbershoppers: Will Davis, Garrett Vandall, Gerald Shazor and Grant Heineman, (L-R)
 who performed a song for the alumni. 
After taking the elevator back to the first floor area and walking to the front hallway near the auditorium, Ms. Stone broke into song, to the tune of The Marine Corps March, which members of their senior class wrote and performed at the final Box Dinner in the Social Hall.

In the front hall of our dear old Heights….
The day begins and ends.
We gather round and gossip
About each one of our friends.
Some kids come to school to read and write,
Others come because of sports,
But the neatest kids at dear old Heights,
Come for “front hall life, of course!"

After the impromptu solo, Ms. Stone said, “We really did meet here early every morning before classes started and met here again at 2:45 p.m., if we weren’t in special help or detention.”

They also remembered a beloved teacher, Dr. Dina Rees Evans who taught English and was the theater director. “Those of us who were fortunate enough to be in an English class or under her direction in Heights Players had a definite advantage in life,” said Ms. Stone.

Dr. “Doc” Evans was the first U.S. woman to receive a doctorate in theatre, in 1932. Her thesis focused on the premise that participation in theater, both on-stage and back-stage, helped improve students’ mental health, grades and overall achievement.

“She made a big impact on so many of us,” continued Ms. Stone, reminding the group that  “Doc” Evans was a co-founder of Cain Park and taught at Heights for four decades.
These seven friends have kept in touch and sustained their friendships for many years, also maintaining a deep love for Heights High.

Members of the Class of ‘59, January, Linda Newman Davidson, Susan Brooks Stone, Marilyn Hollander Goldberg, Karen Hoffman Fields, Linda Sherriff Gottfried, Arlene Likover Schreiber and Linda Steinsapir Felder, (L-R).

*For many years in the CH-UH District students with birthdays between January and June would start kindergarten in September and students with birthdays between June and December started kindergarten in January. The students who started school in September were the KA, 1A, 2A etc. and they graduated from Heights High in June of their senior year. The younger students who started kindergarten in January were the KB, 1B, 2B etc. class and graduated from Heights High in January. The writer does not know when the practice started or ended.

Alumni or former staff members with more information about the practice are invited to contact Julianna Johnston Senturia, Heights Foundation Executive Director.

Thank you to Susan Stone for the above information.

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