The first class to graduate from Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro celebrated its 50th reunion Saturday, Sept. 21.
From as far away as San Diego, 58 alumni, along with family members and a few teachers, traveled to Union for the event. About 100 people were present altogether. The class had 129 members.
The celebration was at the Union Masonic Lodge No. 31. Two of the alumni, Louise Winchenbach and Carol Zucchi, served as the masters of ceremonies.
In the spirit of the event, Winchenbach sported a Medomak Valley High School varsity jacket and carried pompoms in the school’s colors. She was a cheerleader for four years in high school, including three on the varsity team.
“This is the crazy class of 1969,” Winchenbach said.
According to Zucchi, the event was the class’s third reunion. The class celebrated its 10th reunion at the Samoset Resort in Rockport and its 20th at the Camden Snow Bowl.
State Sen. Dana Dow, R-Waldoboro, the minority leader of the Maine Senate, was president of the class of 1969.
Dow reflected on the evening and the half-century since the people gathered at the Union Masonic Lodge became the first alumni to walk out the doors of the high school.
“It is tremendous. I see a few of them. The ones that live nearby, I run into them, but there are a few people here I haven’t seen since we graduated 50 years ago,” Dow said.
Dow returned to MVHS to work as a science teacher before going into the furniture business and state politics.
Dow was not the only politician or former MVHS teacher in attendance for the reunion. William “Bill” Blodgett, D-Waldoboro, a former state representative who is now serving his seventh consecutive term as a county commissioner, was a history teacher at MVHS in 1969.
Also joining the graduates for their 50th reunion was a convertible from the year they graduated – a 1969 Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia 1500.
As the class got into position for a portrait 50 years after their commencement, when they turned their tassels and tossed their graduation caps into the air, Winchenbach marshaled her classmates into formation waving pompoms and chanting, “Let’s go!”
Reflecting on the evening, Winchenbach said it was a great chance for graduates to reconnect.
“Everybody was feverishly emailing and texting afterwards,” Winchenbach said.
The MVHS Class of 1969 started its senior year at Waldoboro High School, then had half-days at the new Medomak Valley High School before moving in full-time, according to Winchenbach.
As the first seniors at the new school, Winchenbach and her classmates picked the Panther mascot and the school colors of blue and gold.
Winchenbach said a committee met for the past two years to ensure a memorable reunion.
The morning after the reunion, some graduates went to Zucchi’s house for a post-event debrief.
“This group is going to keep in touch. I think the class of 1969 is the best class in the school’s history,” Winchenbach said.