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posted: 9/13/2012 10:52 AM

Larkin High School celebrates its golden jubilee

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  • A collection of memorabilia at Larkin High School will be on display as the Elgin school celebrates its 50th anniversary.

      A collection of memorabilia at Larkin High School will be on display as the Elgin school celebrates its 50th anniversary.
    Courtesy of Julie Ball

  • Larkin High School will be celebrating 50 years during homecoming week.

       Larkin High School will be celebrating 50 years during homecoming week.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Brian Hill/bhill@dailyherald.comLarkin High School will be celebrating 50 years during homecoming week.

      Brian Hill/bhill@dailyherald.comLarkin High School will be celebrating 50 years during homecoming week.

 

The Queen of England celebrated her diamond jubilee -- recognizing her 60th anniversary -- earlier this year, and now some local Royals are preparing to usher in a 50th anniversary.

Larkin High School in Elgin will host an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday to commemorate 50 years since the school opened in September 1962.

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More than 24,000 students have passed through its halls.

"So many things have changed," said Julie Ball, a 1974 graduate who is now a guidance counselor at the school and an organizer of the celebration. "We just want people to come and see the school and catch up with old friends and teachers. We really have educated the west side of Elgin, so they should come out and see how it has changed."

Among the changes are the physical additions and renovations to the school. Judy Leith, a former English teacher and principal secretary, said the students also have changed through the decades.

"The town has grown and the demographics of the community have changed," Leith said. "There is a lot more diversity than there was back in the '60s and '70s. And the kids have changed. We were looking through old photographs, and girls were wearing skirts and the guys were in slacks. It's fun to see how much has changed in the school."

During the open house, which will kick off the high school's Homecoming Week, memorabilia from each of the five decades will be on display in the commons area. Former teachers will be on hand to catch up with former students and visitors can take a tour of the campus, which now includes a swimming pool, auditorium and an academy wing.

"We hope people have a good time reminiscing," Leith said.

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