Here is an excerpt from the Archives with Mr. Spatafora I thought you might find interesting.
REMEMBERING YOU FROM MY SIDE OF THE DESK
Keith Anderson suggested I write something for the Niles HS '61 blog and your upcoming reunion. I'm not sure if you remember me -- teaching social studies up on the second floor -- but I sure remember you!
Oh, not individually; but collectively. My memory, like that of my colleague teachers, looks back on your class as a time of calm just before the storm of the 60's. Niles was a charming, yellow-bricked road to good learning and healthy fun. The principal was Keith Cavanaugh and some of my social studies peers included Donn Wright, Karl DeJonge, John Betts, George Scherb, Mel Pirok, Dave Jackson, Everett Colton and Bernie Zagorin.
More important than our names, Niles back then was perhaps the last whisper of the same age in America I grew up in. An age of relative peace, prosperity, and a confidence that has been battered a lot ever since. My memory floats back to a time when there were no metal detectors at the door, only a zest for learning...no demonstrations on the campus, only rallies before the games....no PCs and Internet, only the innocence of optimism that made you feel this was a good time to be alive and it would just keep getting better.
You were growing up in a pretty happy campus where guys still wore ties and gals still liked wearing skirts. And we all liked a young man in the White House who seemed for too little a time to mean we were on the road to greatness. Student monitors called the SSO patrolled the hallways...concerned counselors like Bob Botthof listened to your problems....and the style of discipline from Marvin Ihne and John Houghton was more friendly reminder than tough confrontation. Oh, and your parents weren't in the habit of always suing the school like some of them are today!
My memories of you were that of a generation still a lot like my generation at your age. You came to Niles from families who wanted you to learn, and you pretty much agreed with that mission. You were bright, eager, questioning, and goal-oriented. In my own social studies classes I tended to circle the chairs...stroll the room...try to engage you in give-and-take....and with few exceptions, you never disappointed me. You were a great bunch to teach!
Now I can't say I never disappointed you, but I can say this. Generally, those years were good years for me...for the community... for the nation. Today you -- and certainly I -- are much older. But reunions like this have a felicitous way of stirring old remembrances and energizing old enthusiasms. I hope that's exactly what yours does for you. I know it does for me.