Thunderbirds from 1971 graduating class enjoy reminiscing and visiting in Pratt

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
Taking part in the Skyline Class of 1971 Reunion last week in Pratt were (from left): Debbie Lilliquest Howell, Karen VanNover Vannover, Carolee Starkey Hager, Deb Greenstreet Zang, Brenda Petrowsky Ford, Jean Doan Alexander, and Larry Whitney. Joining later were Jim McMannis, Lyle Dauner, Ron Piester, Dale McFall and Alice Mason.

The Skyline High School graduating class of 1971 met for their 50th class reunion last week in Pratt, taking a tour of their alma matter, visiting, eating at Pratt restaurants and enjoying downtown shopping options.

"We just had so much fun starting at Simply Southwest and working our way around all the nice shops in town," said class member Carolee Hager. "We did so much visiting here and there that we didn't have nearly enough time to get everywhere we wanted to go, so we will have to meet again, much sooner than this last time."

At Skyline School, current Superintendent Becca Flowers gave a special tour to the Thunderbirds who began as freshman at the new consolidated Skyline School in 1967.

"I've lived in the area all my life and had kids and grandkids going to Skyline so I've seen the changes through the years," Hager said. "Some of my classmate had not been back since graduating, so it was fun to see through their eyes what was different 50 years later."

Hager said the reunion participants commented on the added classrooms, additional class options and the fact that was once wide open space both inside and outside the buildings, was now almost filled up.

Those attending the October 12, 2021 Skyline reunion included Debbie Lilliquest Howell, Karen VanNover Vannover, Carolee Starkey Hager, Deb Greenstreet Zang, Brenda Petrowsky Ford, Jean Doan Alexander, Larry Whitney, Jim McMannis, Lyle Dauner, Ron Piester, Dale McFall and Alice Mason.  

"We were a class of 24 and now have 4 who are deceased," Hager said. "We enjoyed many restaurants and local businesses throughout the weekend, all of whom were very gracious to us and helped to make our time together even more special."

The Thunderbirds of 1971 ate lunch and a following-day breakfast at Woody's Bar and Grill, enjoyed Saturday supper at Club D'Est, and took in many of the local sights.

"We are looking forward to meeting again next year when the Pratt Jam is held," Hager said. "We all decided not to wait 10 years, we need to start meeting every 5 years at our age."

Skyline School, located west of Pratt on U.S. 54/400 offers classes for preschool through high school students. They are a 1A district classification based on number of students enrolled.