Winnfield’s 50th High/Senior High School Reunion!

“We can, we will, we DID!” was a common refrain heard Saturday evening, June 24, at the Winnfield Civic Center, the site of the 63rd annual Winnfield High/Winnfield Senior High School reunion. The class of 1973 was the first class with the high school motto “We can, we will,” and the school crest, and served as the host of the annual event on the 50th anniversary of their graduation from WSHS. The local tradition began in 1958 on the 50th anniversary of the graduation of the very first graduating class of Winnfield High School in 1908. The reunion has been held every year since 1958, except 2020 and 2021 when the COVID—19 pandemic inhibited the in-door gathering of large groups. Thus, this year’s reunion was only the 63rd rather than the 65th. Anyone who attended Winnfield High School or Winnfield Senior High School is eligible to attend the annual reunion. Many people don’t get on the mailing list until the year of their 50th reunion, as that class traditionally hosts the event.

The celebration this year began with the call for several “students” to report to the office of the Principal Tommy Bankston, which was replicated on the stage of the Civic Center, where those attending the event could be photographed. After opening ceremonies, around 200 people ranging in age from approximately 30 to 92 enjoyed a meal, following which Jan Shell Beville, the president of the WSHS the student body in 1973, explained how the school motto and crest were developed under the direction of Principal Bankston. The program also included a roll call of graduates by decade, a roll call of the graduating class of 1973, a video display of photographs of the deceased among the graduates of 1973 accompanied by the theme song of the television movie “Brian’s Song,” a video recounting the significant events of 1973 nationwide, within the State of Louisiana, in Winnfield, and at WSHS.

Many thanks go to members of the reunion committee chaired by Jan Shell Beville, Kiah Beville, Karen Collins Garrett, Mary Lou Coon Blackley, Debbie Smith Henry, Connie Turner Sullivan, Steve Adams, Tammy Adams, Linda Clardy Smith, Lionell Johnson, James Johnson and Sharon Leeper Waxley.