Ripley High School Class of ’71 planning 50th reunion

Suzette Lowe
Sandra Bailey Summers reminisces with the yearbook from 1971.

It may not be occurring till July 3, 2021, but the Ripley High School class of 1971 is already planning its 50th class reunion.

Sandra (Bailey) Summers, chair of the event, said there are many details that go into offering an inviting, successful experience.

While a number of details still need to be ironed out, some plans are in place.

“We will be enjoying the hospitality of Ranson Hollows,” Summers said. “Ceason Ranson has been so gracious in working with us. Her uncle Jerry was one of our classmates who passed away fairly recently. It’s very special to be having the reunion there.”

As part of the Ripley High School Alumni Association, one focus of the gathering will be raising funds for the scholarships awarded annually. Over the years, thousands of dollars in academic scholarships have been given. In 2020, six students received that honor.

According to Summers, the tie to Ripley High School is what leads alumni to donate to this fund.

“The generosity of those who have lived, worked, or raised a family here is what drives these scholarships,” she said. “Even for those who have moved away, the bond they feel for their alma mater is very strong.”

At the reunion, Bailey said there will be various opportunities to donate.

Bailey also hopes to have a class of ’71 memorabilia table, a display to honor veterans, and a memorial ceremony.

Reflecting on the 20th and 30th-year celebrations, Bailey said many things have changed.

“In 1991, a lot of classmates had kids in high school and even younger,” she said. “In 2001, no one brought their children.”

Recalling that two weeks after that 2001 gathering, the September 11 attack occurred. Bailey said it’s important to connect with old friends.

“Take advantage of these opportunities,” she said. “Life-changing events can happen at any time.”

The organizers have established a Facebook group, “Ripley High School Class of 1971,” which will be updated as information is available. Summers will also answer any questions posted to that page.

While social media will be used extensively to reach out to classmates, Bailey realizes that not everyone can be contacted that way.

“We need people who read this article or hear about this upcoming celebration to pass the word,” she said. “Family members and friends, please share the information. Get in touch with me or give me contact details. We want a really big turnout. This is an important milestone.”

Class of 1971

President: Rob Fisher

Vice-Presidents/Student Council Representatives:

Mike Chancey, Trina Riling, Teresa Harpold, Barb Brotherton, Nancy Hurt, Neida Walters, Karen Casto

Secretary: Paul Ayers

Treasurer: Bill Sturgeon

Historian: Keitha Casto

Class Play: “Guys and Ghouls Together”

Class Flag: Designed by Trina Riley’s mom