Thirty years ago under the a clear night sky filled with stars, I joined the class of 1978 and graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in Tumon, Guam. Guam is one of the United States’s few remaining territories and it is as American as Apple Pie….or at least as Pineapple!
Kennedy Alma Mater
Kennedy, Kennedy, we sing to you,
Our alma mater dear,
A home to youth – you gave us knowledge,
You taught the power of truth.
Kennedy, Kennedy we sing thy praise,
You gave us love and friendship,
You showed the ways to paths of learning,
For future days.
Kennedy, Kennedy, we hold thee dear,
Tho’ we may roan and wander,
Tho, we may fail, we’ll long remember thee,
Our Tumon home.
Kennedy, Kennedy, our alma mater,
Kennedy, Kennedy, our Tumon home
I ran across a story on http://www.guampdn.com that the Guam Public School System Health and Safety Task Force closed the school down on June 9th due to numerous health and safety violations. Back in my day, the only serious health violation was what the boys may have been smoking behind the bleachers on the football field.
I was dismayed when I read the report( http://www.guampdn.com/assets/pdf/M011235579.PDF). Here are some of the findings:
The school was built in the 1950’s and started accepting students in 1957-58. It has been around for 50 years and has seen many of Guam’s residents educated through its doors. The repair work is estimated at least to be around $10,000,000. The only hope for the school is to get repairs funded through grants and maybe through some fundraising. The Government of Guam and its public school system are in a financial crisis so there are no funds available internally in the practical sense.
There is much debate whether fixing the existing structure is worth it and that the prudent thing to do is to build an entirely new school. Prudent, it may be, but there is a lump that gathers in my throat to think that JFK High may actually be torn down. I guess if that happens, I still have the memories and the dusty yearbooks.
As our class gathers at the end of the summer for the 30 year reunion, we may want to raise our glasses and toast those old group of buildings where we learned about Algebra and Trig, Chemistry and Biology, flirted with each other, dreamt about our futures and had the world at our feet.
Kennedy “Fight” Song
Come on and fight, fight, fight for Kennedy: High!
Get up and raise your banners to the sky.
We have a school of honor, brave and bold
And with our colors green and gold, So green and gold.
Among the palms we’ll have a jubilee,
For Kennedy’s the best school by the sea.
We have the finest school you’ll all agree, You’ll all agree.