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Manchester High School
437 West Nimisila Road
Akron, OH 44319
(330) 882-3291

  Class of '79 Newsletter

Vol. 1 - November 2004

Class of '79 Newsletters are written & edited independently by MHS '79 grads, with no implied endorsement from Manchester Local Schools.

I. 25-Year Reunion Recap: Oct. 1 - 2, 2004

If you were there, you know: this was likely the most fun we've ever had at a Class of '79 Reunion . Craftsmen's Park Lodge on nearby Rex Lake was the ideal location for laid-back, informal socializing. We rented their landmark Dance Hall, and had a great assortment of food & drink, courtesy of Peg's Catering—owned by the mother of our own classmate, Kathleen Jackson. We'd compiled a custom playlist of top 70's-era music, and Suzanne (McKenney) Newman edited together a class DVD/slideshow which also played continually. Outside, friends reminisced around the fireplaces & tiki-torch lit patio; and inside, we created an intimate & elegant/rustic atmosphere. We had just over 100 in attendance, and could've easily doubled that number if more classmates who live locally had joined us. (C'mon, what's with that?) Seeing so many familiar faces after so many years was awesome! And we had friends who came from Florida, California, Missouri, Georgia, Carolina, Tennessee, Pennsylvania and Illinois, to name a few states, as well as from all over Ohio. Everyone who attended also received a lasting souvenir, a custom "reunion mix" CD with 20 hit songs played during the event.

The Reunion Weekend began at the MHS Homecoming Pre-Game Alumni Tent --- which is an ANNUAL event...make plans for Fall '05 and beyond. We had about 50 classmates/spouses attend Friday (as well as a lot of Panthers from other classes!), and with all the catching-up, we didn't see much football.

II. '79 Class Newsletters via 4 times a year!

Update: After our 25-Yr. Reunion , we began sending newsletters every other month to all '79 classmates that we had email-addresses for. We've continually added friends to our e-list, while snail-mailing copies (at our personal expense) to over a dozen classmates who've indicated they don't have email. From Nov. 2004 thru Oct. 2005, we sent seven in-depth newsletters...with, hopefully, ever-increasing quality. Beginning with Jan . 2006, we will be sending newsletters every quarter (Jan. / April / July / Oct.), in addition to posting them on the new MHS Alumni website,

III. After-Work Dinner / Socials at PANCHO' 4 times a year!

Update: We've had SIX of these informal gatherings at Pancho's Southwestern Grille on Massillon Rd . in Green since Dec. 2004, and everyone who attends has a good time. Most return for every get-together. Beginning Feb. 6, 2006 at 6:30pm , the Pancho's events will also be quarterly from this point forward (Feb. / May / Aug. / Nov.) Join us! The class newsletters will give you a reminder about 2 weeks prior.

IV. Cleveland Browns / Class of '79 fund-raising

In the Fall of 2004 , Class of '79 volunteers assisted the Manchester Alumni Association at three Cleveland Browns football games. We supplied up to 10 classmates, friends & family to help run a large concession-stand at the Stadium, and had a lot of fun in the process. Due to some new training requirements, the Alumni did not work the 2005 season; but if you'd be interested in helping out in (possibly) 2006, call or email Eric Stone...330-928-0495 /

V. Around the High School....

Out-of-towners might be interested to know , the MHS football team just finished the 2004 regular-season at 10-0, ranked #3 in the state. Unfortunately, they lost (again) to Youngstown Ursuline in the first round of the playoffs...
Manchester 's 15th appearance in the post-season. Mr. France is now the area's winningest-active coach. Mr. Robinson is still an assistant coach, and Mr. Biss still roams the sidelines, although he's retired from teaching.

This fall ('04), Mr. Petraitis's son, Jordan, will once again star on the basketball team. The kid's quite an all-around athlete, having won league MVP honors as a junior.

Also, Marco Burnette recently retired after 26 years as Superintendent, a remarkable period of stability for the school system. His replacement is Sam Reynolds, our old ISCS Science teacher from the Middle School.

VI. "SPECIAL" Reunion THANKS to:

Suzanne (McKenney) & Ron Newman, for assembling the DVD/slideshow; Brian Benton and Flowers by Dick & Son , for furnishing the flowers, tiki-torches, ficus trees & lights for decorating; Tanya (Eckroad) & Lowell Bailey, for compiling music for the evening & for the souvenir mix-tape; Tammy (Hercules) & Don Dixon, for great help in decorating; Dana (Tomich) & Tony Zaratsian, for signs, name-tags & heater; Beth (Bjerre) Stewart, for designing the invitations & postcard reminders, creating the huge "welcome" banner, furnishing various equipment and the outdoor fireplace; Sue (Guthrie) Snyder, for furnishing all the firewood; Bob Kolar, for getting the dozens of tiki-torches staked securely, filled & burning; Barb (Carmichael) & Jim Wilson--and their four sons--for lending their muscle in pre-reunion prep, and for hooking up the stereo & speaker system; & Peg's Catering (Kathleen Jackson's mom), for great food & bar services. And thanks to Monica ( Jordan ) Wagar, all of the above friends (and others) who helped us locate over 200 classmates to invite!

VII. Post your name on

We found quite a few classmates through the on-line site, . It's FREE to post your name and info there, and makes it easy for us to contact you. Sign-up, if you haven't already...but be sure to put your name in the Manchester High located in " AKRON ," not " Manchester ," Ohio . (Yes, there are 2 Manchester High's, and yes, there are dozens of Panther friends listed in the wrong district.) Remember, there is only a fee involved if you want to initiate emails on the site. But it's always free for others to email you, and for you to reply to them. Sign-up now, and if your email-address ever changes, make sure you update it on, too.

VIII. Contact Us...!

The Class of '79 reunion committee consisted of: class president Monica ( Jordan ) Wagar , Tanya (Eckroad) Bailey, Tammy (Hercules) Dixon , Barb ( Carmichael ) Wilson , Dana (Tomich) Zaratsian, Beth (Bjerre) Stewart, Eric Stone, Bob Kolar, Sue (Guthrie) Snyder, Suzanne (McKenney) Newman, and others who joined periodically. If you want to contact any of us, our email addresses are all listed in the "Email Exchange" section of Newsletter Vol. 7. Or you can call Eric at 330-928-0495, or write: MHS Newsletter, c/o 2411 Tenth St. , Cuyahoga Falls , OH 44221

Editor's Note: Class of '79 Newsletters are written & edited independently by MHS '79 grads , with no authorization or implied endorsement from Manchester Local Schools. Our purpose is to stay in touch with our classmates in the years leading up to our 30-Year Reunion in 2009, with interesting news items and nostalgic memories. We hope this effort will encourage participation in class activities, and make it easier to locate everyone when necessary.