West Junior High in 1960
The school was finished on February 16, 1960. When the school opened that fall there were more than 7th, 8th, and 9th graders; we were joined by the 4th, 5th, and 6th graders from Sunset Hill Elementary. That arrangement would last for two years until Sunset Hill could be enlarged.
The first year we had a Future Farmers of America Club, and an elective class which covered farm type topics. Four languages were taught at West: Latin, French, Spanish and German. We also had a course in Driver's Education.
Early on we had a strict dress code. Girls wore skirts and blouses, or dresses. No jeans, shorts, or culottes were allowed. The hem of the dresses was expected to be beneath the knee. The boys wore clean jeans or slacks with shirts tucked in and a belt on. Absolutely no lettering was allowed on the shirts. The hair was to be above the collar.
The school year 1967-68 found West bursting at the seams. We had over 800 students and many of our students had to share lockers. There were four portables parked around the school to try to help with the overflow.
The 9th grade class of 1968 made arrangements for the new cornerstone to be put in place and one of the many leaders in that class, Steve Maturo, designed the Warhawk tile for the commons.
During the 1972-73 school year the newest thing at West was "Stepping Stones". One day a week, all hours were shortened and they finished regular classes by 1pm. Then for one hour the students learned how to knit, square dance, pitch a tent, make candles, make candy, and build model planes. It was hectic, but fun.
Mr. Dee Hargadine, our first principal retired at the end of the 1975-76 school year. As he prepared to leave that year our school district finally got around to enlarging the library, something that he had wanted for West from the very beginning. The Hargadine Media Center is an ongoing monument to the one who challenged everyone to be the best they could.
In the fall of 1976, Mr. Hull became our new principal. He had been here as a counselor and vice-principal since West opened and soon gained the nickname of Papa Warhawk from the kids.
During the late 70's, West did away with common learnings at the 7/8th grade level. Boys and girls began to share gym, shop, and home economics. Sports became more available and important to all our students. We even got our track paved and the field fenced in. The building of our auditorium came during the 1979-80 school year.