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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Butler Senior High School ~

The school on the hill.
1965

98 comments:

Anonymous said...

How can there be no comments when this place churned out a thousand or so grads a year (late 60's early 70's anyway)? Not to mention the fuss it raised when it was first built. I remember it being called the "Taj Mahal on the hill". Imagine 3500 students, and sharing a locker was a punishable offense!

Walker said...

Think way back. This property was once the home the Butler Fair and Butler Speedway. It's been 44 years since I graduated and I can still remember the time spent there and may of the classes and teachers.

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you why there's no comments --- because the majority of recollections of high school are traumatic and painful and no one has the slightest desire to relive those terrible memories

Anonymous said...

Looking at the photo causes my stomach to churn, just as the real place did back then. The reason no one is commenting, I suppose, is because the place conjures too many bad memories: chaotic hallways, bullies, crappy teachers, drugs, cafeteria food fights, boring classes that held no relevance to life, adolescent insecurities, peer slights, acne... you name it, that photo brings it all back like bile gushing north through your throat. Those giant schools with giant student populations, extra-large classrooms and factory-style production processes have proven a giant failure in American education. The folks who decided to build such schools might still be patting themselves on the back for their vision, which supposedly saved taxpayers a few shekels, but at what price? Those of us who lived it, and continue to, might have a different story to tell. As for me, having graduated in the early 1970s, I still find myself turning away from the photo.

Anonymous said...

and guess what??? nothing has changed in 30 years!!!. still the same old place with the same old teachers and the same old crap being taught,the same old football team with the same losing record and the same people in charge.....gotta love Butler, nothing here changes.

Anonymous said...

Some good, some bad. Best of times, worst of times. Good classes, bad classes. Do not know why I remenber but remember basketball try-outs one year(1965). I'm sure I was not good enough to make the team but I'm sure I thought I was. No matter, I did not have a chance because Ed Hepe (a little man with a complex was coach) He never came out of his office the entire time but after try-outs came out of his office with a list of those on the team. Surprise! Ed had conducted another sham try-out. His legacy is probably why Butler still can't produce a winner in football or basketball. Oh well. Can't say Ed did not leave a legacy.

Anonymous said...

...and do you know what the worst part is? There was, and still is, too much of an emphasis put on sports --- that's all you ever hear about: you don't hear about the smartest students or the most creative students or even the biggest hearted students, the only ones that seem to matter are the athletic students. Tell if I'm wrong: if you weren't an athlete at Butler High School, then you weren't anything, you might as well be invisible because nothing you have to offer will even be remotely recognized and --- trust me on this one --- that fact was rubbed into your face every single day that you were there. All of the "jocks" , regardless of which sport they participated in, got preferencial treatment: they could do nothing wrong, they walked on water and, if you weren't in that clique, you took all of their blame and bore all of their shame and that's why looking at this picture conjures up a multitude of hurtful recollections.

Anonymous said...

One really good thing about this photo. It's where the buses pulled up after school to take us home. It meant we were getting the hell out of there, at least for awhile, overnight.

Anonymous said...

i guess you all are still losers!!! maybe the Obama will take care of you now!

Anonymous said...

There must be something wrong with me.....I have many great memories of high school. My senior year was the best. I wasn't a "jock" or involved in any clubs or anything else, just attended school and had several friends in all my classes. I look back at my senior year as one of the best years of my life. I graduated in 1979. Maybe
the earlier years weren't so good?? I don't know. I do remember that our football team back then was practically undefeated for about 3 or 4 years in a row. This picture of the school takes me back to some really wonderful memories.

Anonymous said...

As I look back through memories evoked by this picture, I have to say my high school years weren't all that pleasant, but frankly I'm struck by all the anger I've seen in these posts. Yeah, I had a lot of issues as a student at Butler Hi in the 1960's and early 70's, but the truth is, now, 30 plus years later, I'm over them. Gratitude has replaced all that resentment; I'm lucky to have attended a school that was way more than competent in its instruction and absolutely luxurious in it's surroundings, i.e. we all had our own books; there was lots to do outside the classroom; the place was clean and relatively safe...so, yes, I was fortunate to get a good education at Butler Hi; I wouldn't be where I am today had I not be there, then.

Anonymous said...

I agree, I was surprised with all the sad memories people have. I myself hated the Intermediate School. It was full of rednecks. Each day as you walked into the school, you didn't know if the day would end with someone feeling like beating someone up and it just might be you! I attended around 76, 77, and it was a school full of bloodthirsty redneck druggies just looking for trouble, although nobody brought guns to school like they do today. I was happy to get out of there and attend the Senior High, where somehow, over that summer, all those rednecks grew up and became adults. Everything was different in the Senior High School. Such a nice, happy atmosphere.

Anonymous said...

I am astounded by the divergent views in this item. I graduated from Butker High in 1965.I suppose I got out of the education process what I put in which was regretfully darn little.At the time though a lot of activity centered around the school and it's activities.Athletics was for everyone,players,band,cheerleaders,sequinettes and fans.I didn't feel left out because I wasn't a jock,just seemed we all melded. I don't remember a big drug problem then,just a war in Vietnam and facing the draft.I know from personnal experience,a dauhgter hooked on methamphetimines,what a drug enviornment can do.Maybe a lot of negatives have changed things because of drugs which I understand are rife in Butler now.It is easy for me to think back with fond memories not having to face what later students had to.I hope for my old home town and it's school.For me,it was a good experience.

Anonymous said...

A combined student population of nearly 3000 will certainly afford a smorgasboard of anthropomorpha personality types,and a natural event, relative to these types of bonding occured. Like it or not we all were members of this collection. How we coped was up to us and the various related stimuli that we chose to experience.

Anonymous said...

I have great memories of that place.I graduated in 72 but was only there for two years.I was a new kid my junior year and was surprised at how friendly such a large school could be.I had some of the best friends I have ever had there and still in touch with a few though I left the area shortly after and have only been back for visits.Does anyone remember Autoburger or Dans dinner? I am sad to hear that everybodys memories weren't so great.

Anonymous said...

To the few very negative people here posting miserable comments about how "terrible" their high school days were, and how "mistreated" and they were, and how they "didn't learn a thing".....well.....I'm willing to bet you folks are just as miserable today! Only the complaints today are how "terrible" your job, spouse, position in life, etc are. Everything is what you make of it! Believe it or not, Butler was a good place to grow up, and a fine place to be educated, especially compared to the hardships others have to endure.

Anonymous said...

Butler was a fine place to be educated? That is the funniest thing I have ever heard in my life --- Butler was only "a fine place to be educated" if you already had a silver spoon in your mouth or you were an athlete, then Butler was definitely a fine place to be educated because your every whim was catered to and you could do no wrong --- the rest of us who weren't so fortunate had to scrape along as the unseen and unheard, struggling in vain for any scrap we could get, only to have each one snatched from our grasps at the last second by the aforementioned privileged and pampered.

As for my life today, I couldn't be happier with it. Maybe I don't have everything I ever wanted, but I do have everything I need.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you. These Polyannas musta been born with silver spoons in their mouths. Everything for them was beautiful back in high school, perfect now in every way, and folks who don't share their rose colored glasses are losers. Must be nice to live such blessed lives.

Anonymous said...

Oh how very, very sorry I am for all of you that had such an awful experience at Butler High. You obviously missed the best of Butler. From the time the new school opened in 1960 until I graduated in 1963, we all got along - black/white, Island kids/kids from the Boulevard, farm kids/mill-family kids, christian/jew, fat/skinny....you get the picture. Sure we had wonderful athlete's (some of the best), but the school was also very proud of their artists, our fantastic band/orchestra/actors/national honor society...and the list goes on. Every school, having found out after raising my own kids, has some good and bad teachers. Butler had their good and bad too, but as someone else said ... you get out of school what you put into it. Trust me, I'm no Polyanna and wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth nor was I an athlete, but I do know this: Butler High School was one of the best and I am very proud to say I graduated in 1963.

Anonymous said...

My friends and I would start an average day by smoking a joint in the parking lot. The views from the back windows were very impressive. That’s mostly what I remember...oh and there were some really hot chicks as well. I graduated near the bottom of my class and loved every minute of it. The funny thing is that we all went on to get good educations and were quite successful in spite of ourselves. I am so proud of the misfits who I was among, some of whom became Doctors, buisness owners, writers, college professors, military officers. I think it speaks volumes for the education we received without even knowing it.

Anonymous said...

****Surprise! Ed had conducted another sham try-out. His legacy is probably why Butler still can't produce a winner in football or basketball. Oh well. Can't say Ed did not leave a legacy.******
From a post above

This sorry comment from an admittedly unqualified basketball "player" is plain insulting. Ed Hepe came to BHS in 1962 after winning the Pennsylvania B Championship at Ft Cherry High. He immediately turned around the bball program from a perennial loser to win the Section 1 championship, and was subsequently named Coach of the Year when BHS moved to Section 3 which included basketball powers Sharon, Farrell, Ambridge and Aliquippa. More importantly, Ed insisted on teamwork, loyalty, and high character from his players. Nothing other than his family meant more to Ed than his students, both male and female, and he helped many of them get into higher education.

He served as coach and later AD for a long time, and his legacy was helping a lot of people.

Butler High's problems stem from a lot of factors, but don't tag it to a man who served the school and students with unrelenting enthusiasm and determination.

MM, BHS '63

Anonymous said...

Incredible as it may seem, I personally cannot believe the whinings posted here. Complaints of not making the team thirty years ago, being shunned by the popular or other such silliness amazes me. That building (along with the Intermediate, and Jr High) is what shaped all us Butlerites, good or bad. If your teen years were so horrible, I find it odd that you would visit such a site at all. Why bring up such unplesant memories? I certainly dont call my ex-wife to recall "old times". The hag upsets me. I leave her alone. Makes sense, doesn't it? Nothing but fond memories after 25 yrs away.

Anonymous said...

The anger here of those who wish others had only fond memories is astounding. If you bother to read the first comment, the person wonders why no one is commenting. The next couple of comments suggest WHY no one is commenting. I read those two comments tongue in cheek, while the angry folks here read it as negative memories that people have no right to have. Why a few here have decided to turn this blog into a war of happy vs. disgruntled people is beyond me, but does reflect the divided country in which we now live. I'm glad one fellow has nothing but fond memories 25 years after graduating from Butler High, just as I'm happy some folks can joke about teenage acne and bullies after 25 years. One point of view is just as valid as the other. Can't we all just get along?

Anonymous said...

cant we all just get along....boo hoo green weenie. i bet you voted for hope and change too!

Anonymous said...

I did vote for hope and change.
I also went to Butler .

The times there were bitter sweet. I have fond memories...I have bad.

Butler is a place of " Big fish in a small pond"

Seems that will never change.

But I will never forget the people and places that make us kids of our Home Town.

Butler gave me the love of friends, sounds, sights of things that will always be with me.

I'm glad to move on...but, I'll always be glad to visit the place
I'll always love.

The great freinds I had in Butler will always be with me...always.

Dave Kiskadden

Anonymous said...

Green Weenie?! Bet you voted against your own best interests, again, for more corruption, holy wars, theft, high gas prices, Halliburton, economic collapse, job losses, incompetence, just print more money. There's no end to this ugly failure. Keep getting your news from Rush Limpballs. No wonder you're so angry, dumba*%.

Anonymous said...

Watch out. Angry dumba*% will want to meet you behind the Hogie Shop after school. LOL

pacificoasthwy said...

Dave Kiskadden, you kicked a mean set of drums dude!

Anonymous said...

typical loser!! just because dumba*%'s life is miserable.. he thinks everyone else is! keep thinking the world is falling apart loser !

Anonymous said...

Wow! Move on people!! Move on! I made it big (not bragging) and Butler or Butler High had nothing to do with it. Just move on with your lives! Live for today and tomorrow and not yesterday.

G.W.

Anonymous said...

if the people of butler only knew what REALLY goes on at butler high, the things that are kept out of the paper......

Anonymous said...

Class of 88. Don't know why . . .but reading these blogs caused me to wonder. Peppered throughout our campus was the graffiti tag: B.O.T.H. Plenty of urban legends we spoke about, but can anybody confirm its real meaning? A pic of the graffiti even made our yearbook. I guess unless the party responsible "confesses" we may never really know.

Anonymous said...

I'm not certain but, if I had to wager a guess, I would say that "B.O.T.H." stands for "Butler's On The Heroin" which, I'm sad to say, is true --- Butler has a very serious heroin problem that was already prevalent in 1988, although not as much as it is today.

Anonymous said...

I am a '66 graduate. I don't have the worst memories as some of these people do.Course, I spent my time with the art department and doing the musicals. William Lehnerd kept us all safe, taught us both skills and values that last today and taught us team work and fellowship. Of course, he had his favorites (I wasn't one)but I consider the time I spent doing Masquers quality time.In the art department,I learned commercial art skills from Tom Crane and fine arts skills from Anthony DeFurio. I had good and bad teachers (and there were some real winners)during my time there but, on the whole,it was a good education. It must have been a good influence....I became a teacher myself-for 31 yrs. so far.You get from it what you put in it.

Anonymous said...

You know, experiencing highschool in Butler was basically like experiencing highschool anywhere else. Good and bad teachers, jocks, burnouts, bandies, popular kids. Why do you think people relate so well to movies like The Breakfast Club? We were all just teenagers trying to transition into adulthood. I actually enjoyed my teenage years and highschool but would I want to go back? No. Do I still live in Butler? No. But I'm not bitter nor can I change the past and where I grew up.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to get kind of random here, a little off the topic, but does anyoe know the story behind the stage phantom in the Senior High Auditorium? I have currently been there after-school for a musical multiple times a week, and have heard stories that a child fell off the stage and got stabbed in the neck with a clarinet, and died (bogus!) But, there have been odd reports about lights shaking and clicking noises, and I am curious. if anyone could answer me, that would be great! Thanks!

-BK

Anonymous said...

The stage phantom was determined by Pa. State Police investigators to be the ghost of Ed Hepe trying to find the gymnasium

Mel Miller

Anonymous said...

As someone who attends the highschool right now, i can say that i understand people not wanting to even look at a photo of it. Personally, i like the senior high, but i still get the nasty "punched in the gut" feeling when i look at the Junior high and Intermediate. Its true also, to whomever said they put way to much on sports. They shouldn't place so much on our crappy football team that can't even win a game because most of the kids are burnouts. How about helping out the art and music departments, or get language books that aren't from the 80's? I'm really enjoying my stay at the BSHS but, i know how bad it sucks. I get mad when i look at my crappy art supplys and then go see the shinny new football stadium. Oh and by the way, butler is still B.O.T.H. we are known as herion high after all. Another problem is that we have way to many kids. crowded hall ways and classes are a big problem. And, kids still do as many druges as the can handle and they bring booze into the school, spitting chew on everything. Many kids are brash and angery all the time, but some are kind. It all depends which group you end up with. According to my Mum, who graduate in 78' its pretty much the same. Of course everyone is subjected to bad and good things, and will be different for everyone, but overall, i just want to leave :)

Mel Miller said...

Please, if you don't have honesty to use your own name, make something up. Just don't attribute to me something so inappropriate and well, stupid. I'll make my own comments thanks and will sign my own name....Mel Miller, San Diego, CA BHS 1963

PS: Regards and best wishes to all good hearted friends from "home", wherever you are now.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the faculty at Butler High School could access this web site and review the BHS forum. Then allow open a powerpoint type discussion in the auditorium for any and all interested current class members. Think of the impact. Here we have a smattering of societal impacts resultant of past and present day school life experiences.This could promote a benchmark opportunity in the way educators are actually perceived.

Kevin O'Brien said...

I hated Junior High, but I thought Senior high was great. Sure there was the thing about the Jocks and the Freaks. It's hard to believe that I got away with some of the things that I did.
I was a "Song Bird" and spent a lot of my time singing and playing piano
in the music department. I thought that it was a nice school. I don't understand why people are complaining.

Anonymous said...

The Butler School District will never, ever admit that there's a problem, past or present. As far as the faculty accessing this web site, they only would if they could time sheet it.

Anonymous said...

in response to "mel miller" ill gladly sgin my name. I wrote the comment about being a current student of butler.

Angie Giuliano.

and to whomever said the staff wont admit theres a problem your right.

and for those of you who attended in the 60's, come to the school now, have a look see.

Film Pastor said...

My experience at Butler High School was great. Even with the fights, the freaks, the drugs, the acne, the teachers that were just as stoned as the kids, and the horrible cafeteria food.

Guess what folks? THAT'S HIGH SCHOOL! I don't care if you went to Butler High or Bolivia High, high school is a difficult time of transition that is fraught with change, heartache, and frustration. But it's part of the path to adulthood, and for that I am very grateful. The difference maker in my case was a good group of friends and finding my "niche" in the music department. If you didn't make the effort to stretch and grow, don't blame the school.

Kevin O'Brien said...

I agree with you. That is that if I could find a niche, anyone could. Plus the education wasn't bad.
If I would have applied myself I would have done better academically.
I had no problems qualifying with my ASVAB score to qualify for just about any job in the military.
Here in Hawaii the education system is so bad that they have to run ads on TV to ask for donations for books.
As far as the drug problem, they can do what the military did in the 80's and start a random drug test. This has had an excellent effect and is a deterrent against drug use.

Kevin O'Brien said...

While everyone is debating the pros and cons of attending Butler High. There is something that I wanted to point out. I come from a family of ten and we all went to Butler High.
The person that I want to talk about is my older brother Tom.
Tom was a year older and was born handicapped.
All throughout his time in school he had been involved in sports in one way or another. While he couldn't play he did other things to help the team out. It didn't matter weather it was Basketball of Football my brother would be on the sideline urging the team on to victory.
The people who ran the sports programs at Butler High had a hell of a lot of respect for my brother.
Now I don't know what he did, but I do know that he was very proud to
be apart of everything.
He graduated in 1976 and got his Bachelor's Degree and is now working for the IRS.
The point is that the Coaches and Players were extraordinary to let him play such as an important role as a manager.
If Butler High was so bad. This would not had happened. My brother Tom never wanted people to feel sorry for him. He just wanted a chance to be involved in sports. So
they gave him the ball and he ran and made a touch down.
I just wanted to say thank you to all of the Coaches and Players

Anonymous said...

BHS, well, it was there. I found things, peers and teachers I liked and didn't like. Not much different than anywhere else really.

I do agree that the place was a jock-ocracy, but so what?

My education was fine and I don't remember near the drug issues I hear about in later years.

I turned out fine from the Class of '69. I had no desire to remain in Butler and didn't. What happens there now doesn't really matter to me.

Anonymous said...

Obviously it still matters to you or you wouldn't be reading or responding to any of this. And of course the jocks are going to say how wonderful school was and of course the band kids are going to say the same. Unfortunately, there were/are hundreds of kids who don't fall into either of those categories. And like I said before, no one at Butler is going to admit there is or was any kind of problem here. We will forever stick our heads in the sand and say "not here".

Anonymous said...

dave kiskaden i remember jammin with king kong in the basment,do u?

jim natili

Anonymous said...

Hey Jimmy Natili!
I remember jammin with you on the bass, playing "Stairway To Heaven".
We were the Freaks of BHS. Our Sr. High days were fun...

Dave Kiskadden

Anonymous said...

i went to BHS in late 70s, even if the school had a lot of problems,My daughters high school in the chicago area some 30years later have some of the same things going on. Its high school. but buter did offer a lot of things i don't see much any more like the print shop, auto shop and all the other tech classes, I was from the farm side of butler, was not in sport or clubs but did have a small group of good friends that i still talk to. pam skelly class of 1978

Anonymous said...

class of 1978 - FYU...19 are dead

Anonymous said...

Butler's an odd place, for sure. Someone(s) here note the exaggerated emphasis on athletics @ BHS. While there were some fantastic individual athletes ...as there should be @ a school the chronic size of BHS ...not nearly as many as one might think. And it's been sad watching an historically mediocre athletic program (yea football had its Golden Girl and the Sparklettes ...and the pagentry was impressive compared to SR or Moniteau or Knoch or the other smaller outlyers ...and swimming and gymnastics had spectacular results) but the teams generally were not well coached or prepared as records showed. I seem to recall Terry Thompson, a great HS coach every place he ever went, was able to get the hoop program righted for a few years before he moved on. But as I started to say, it's sad watching this ship sailing into its sunset. Even when BHS teams weren't so hot, there was lots of hype and smoke. Now even that's pretty much history. Certainly part of the lustre was participating in the Midwestern Conference and Section 3 when there were many great teams in both ...none Butler much though.

Visions of grandeur that never quite crystallized, it seems.

And now you see it in the silliness of the Butler Athletic Hall of Fame, a perpetuation of the community's delusional history of its athletic prowess. Look at the people who go into that ...it's like the alumni association of the Butler Cubs. All the while there are really monumental, big time athletes who've played at all the County's satellite schools. And Butlerites sniffle and turn up their noses ...all the while wondering who that guy was that bowled a 300 game in duckpins back in '47. "Yea, he sure belongs."

The dream dies for lack of vision.

Anonymous said...

the sports program at butler is just the tip of the huge iceburg of butler's "smoke and mirrors" illusions for the public. If the public only knew about what's kept out of the media......

Anonymous said...

No doubt. It's all about a few small minded persons clinging to the remnants of what many would and do see as a fading, perhaps lost community that was once a thriving, prosperous place of such potential. These folks who could have enabled the dove to fly have gripped it so tightly, it's dead, it seems. Small minds make for small places, and switching metaphorical ponies, Butler's a vivid illustration that no place can exceed the vision of her leaders. Or maybe all boats rise ... and sink ... on the same tide? Me fears the tornado has blown down its namesake and moved on ...

Anonymous said...

doesn't anyone want to know what's kept out of the media???

Anonymous said...

media??? who gives a shit about the media

Anonymous said...

Photo musta been taken around 1970. Notice the road in place on the hill above the school where the Middle School would be built in 1971-72, if memory serves.

Anonymous said...

So whats the correct count here 58 messages or what used to be 60 with 2 cencored?

Anonymous said...

Intermediate school built in 1973 I believe. I know it was after '71because thet's the year I graduated and it wasn't there then.

I posted the first comment and never thoght it would generate the responses it did. A few more and this can move into 2nd place. Nothin's gonna touch the Hot Dog Shop though!

Anonymous said...

Come on people its got to be an old picture! Whats missing besides the middle school? The Dairy Queen at the entrance. When was it built?

Peachy. Just Peachy. said...

I recall my mother, Mary Turner, arguing for the new high school on the hill. There were those who felt it to be extravagant at a cool $8 million of 1960 dollars. After a long hard fought debate, Butler Area Joint Senior High School came into being. I graduated 1961 in a class of about 832 or so and enjoyed it. (I even had a couple of teachers my dad had in the old high school.) I was a choir geek, so-so student, pudgier than most, had a gorgeous girl friend or two, and was a hanger on to the bright, talented, personality plussed, and confident, city kids.
Russ Turner

Lisa_S. said...

Wow, I've reconnected with other "freaks" from the class of '89 on Facebook and am thrilled to have connections again to Butler. I put HS behind me and moved on and so have my friends and we have a great time on Facebook across the miles.

Lisa Swager - class of '89

Anonymous said...

Looking at that photo of Butler H.S. gives me the willies! Is there still a big drug problem like there was in the 1970s?

Anonymous said...

As I understand it, the drug problem is worse, now, in the sense that there is so much heroin use. In the 1970s, the drugs of choice included marijuana, hash, LSD, mescaline, THC, downers (sopers, reds, etc.) and speed (black beauties, robin eggs, etc.). Add cocaine to the list in the 1980s. Over the past couple decades, heroine has come into more widespread use in Butler. Teachers, parents and the community still turn a blind eye to it all, for the most part, leaving the problem to law enforcement. Sad, really.

Anonymous said...

Butler Sports should do drug testing and alchohol testing. Many of the "athletes" are drunks and druggies. Look at the Klutinoty boy who was arrested for beating the crap out of his girlfriend. Everyone in school new he was a drunk, but because he played on the football team he got away with it. Probably got left off my the O'Donnell District Judge who is part of the Butler "I am was an athlete" group.

Anonymous said...

I had a teacher that would tell us stories about the school having a bomb shelter built underneath of it. He said he went to the shelter and found some crackers and if we would answer questions correctly we would get a "Ralph Cracker." He named them after the janitor.

~Missy

Anonymous said...

Class of 1965. Not a "city" kid. Not all that far into the country either. Just bussed in from Lick Hill. (Remember Hilltop Drive-in?). VERY shy. Not especially popular . Didn't move in the inner circle of society. BUT...I had a fantastic high school experience. (Not that I didn't have fears and tears and ups and downs. ALL teens get those!). I had a school that offered SIX foreign languages! Spanish, French, German, Russian, CHINESE, and Latin. We had Physics and Chemistry and Biology, both I and II, with well equipped labs with up to date equipment. Math? We had Shop, Business, Applied, Senior,Algebra, Geometry (solid and plane), and Calculus. Aim to be a secretary? There was typing and shorthand. We had shops and technical classes...from auto repair to auto paint shop, metal shop, woodshop, electric shop, home ec. Merchandising with actual store experience part of the day. Name it , we had it! Lots of kids graduated right into good jobs!It wasn't Language Arts then. It was English. It was Drama. It was Speech. We performed plays and a full Broadway musical every year! We had Sociology and Economics and History. Music? Take your pick from band (marching, concert, stage), orchestra, choral groups, ORGAN LESSONS! Sports? Why yes! We had winning teams in the AAA circuit. Athletes who went on to pro teams! But also an olympic size pool and gorgeous gym for all of us to use in our required phys ed classes. We had a stadium. We had cheerleaders. A drill team. We EVEN had intramural sports that ANY of us could particiapte in. I personally joined the intramural RIFLE team on a dare!! (We actually had REAL rifles and firing range under the music building.) We had clubs for every concievable pursuit you can imagine. Future nurses, future farmers, art, spanish, Junior Achievement, library aides, girl's athletic, BOY's athletic, and on and on. We had driver training at no cost. We were offered summer classes just so we could fit in all the great subjects that we couldn't fit into the regular school calendar! We had a cafeteria that offered three different meals..full menu, soup and sandwich, or a salad. ALL cooked on premises and all fairly tasty. WE had a PRIDE in our school. We had pep rallys and assemblies. We had a cohesivness that appears to be lacking in today's life! Of course, there were some who felt they couldn't belong. That is just common to the human species, I think. But there were SO many opportunities for ANY body who WANTED to find a niche, to find it. People found their circle of friends and influence. They always do!! Drugs, as they are known today weren't common. WE had those who abused beer and smokes. A few girls "got in trouble". But rules were still enforced and rebellion was not allowed to get the upper hand. This was all prior to the New Age of hippies and war protests and free thinking and personal rights!!! If you notice the rants and slurs about BHS, its mostly from students AFTER the late 60's. We who experienced the culture and attitude of the 1960's seem to have MUCH fonder memories. MUCH less angst!! Could the clue to fixing the current problem lie our past. Hmmm?

Anonymous said...

I have a very happy life now, but i'm going to have to agree that unless your last name was bernardi or you were a sequinette or chearleader, as a young girl trying to figure out life, you pretty much didn't matter.

I graduated in 1979 and that school caused damage that took me years to repair. Praise God i was able to realize how unimportant those "popular people" were and are today.

Keith said...

The June 23, 2010 post sums up my experience of Butler High. I was fortunate indeed to go to a high school that had advance placement math, physics, and chemistry, but especially, computer programming... 10 PRINT "Hello World!" 20 END. What a rare opportunity in the early 70s. (Thanks Bill Ellis and Al Stewart!) I lived in that computer room. That was my niche. For this little nerd / engineer want-a-be, Butler High was a great place. Keith Henry - '75.

Anonymous said...

Wow reading through these responses makes me feel like even the older generations had the same feelings about Butler High. Good and Bad.
I graduated in 2001. My 10 year reunion is coming up next year.
I love listening to other generations talk about their experiences in Butler.
Personally I have sought out a smaller school district to live in. I felt lost in the shuffle attending Butler. The one good thing that I can say is that everyone had someone to identify with attending Butler. There was no singling out 1 or 2 students to bully like in many smaller schools. My husband graduated with 99 students and he can't even begin to fathom the sheer size of our school.
I believe that you take with you what you want from high school. Over time that teenage angst fades and you come to appreciate those things that you had in common with your graduating class.
I was full of angst as a teen and was not very popular but I still had friends to identify with. Those people I am thankful for. We've gone our separate ways in life but forever our ties will be that bond from years ago. I had a history teacher in 10th grade that advised my class on this. I will forever remember his words.
My father (from a much older generation at Butler) advised me that you will only live life with a few true friends, many acquaintances. He has actually connected with many from his class that he was never friends with in high school. Good words to live by. I am hoping for my classmates that one day those hurt emotions will dissipate and we can all find things in our lives to relate on.

S.D.C.

Anonymous said...

The first year the palace on the hill opened, I was a kid from a single parent home. Mom had a low level job at Deshon. I was walking down the hill and a rich kid, a senior, and two of his goofy buddies grabbed me and pulled me off in the weeds and I had the crap beat out of me (had to go to a dr that we couldn't afford). They were wops, and to this very day I can't stand many folks from an Italian heritage. Anyway, life goes on. I did two tours in Vietnam, went to asnd worked my way through college and earned a graduate degree, had a successful career, now have about a million bucks in the bank--but you know what, I have never forgiven Butler High for the way I was treated in three miserable years, and at age 66 still remember those three jerks. You know what? Now I have the resources and one of these days, knowing who they are, there is gonna be some payback, even if it means dragging the a**holes out of their wheelchairs to "wop" them.

Ravenbutterfly said...

I had a Good time, Marching Band, The smith Brothers. Pretty decent football team under Bernardi I believe. Loved not taking real English classes but things like intro to acting and Radio and TV production, Golden Tornadoes, Class of 75, Good Bye Yellow Brick Road

Eric (Bap) said...

Life is short and life is rough but don't blame your down falls on Butler High. I didn't like school but thank God some of it sank in. I served my country in the USMC for ten years and made a great living working on Aircraft. If it wasn't for the great treachers at BHS in my life were would I be? Sometimes you need to focus on the good not the bad. I will always have great memories of Butler high school and its teachers.

Anonymous said...

February 26, 2011

I somehow stumbled upon this site. Wow! I graduated in 1977 and I have to agree with the post about the Sequinettes. I left Butler when I was 19, but my family still lives there and it will always be my home. I became an accomplished musician, mother, and now nurse. I'm not sure if it was the size of the school that caused so many "clicks" or the financial diversity that existed then. My father worked at Armco and it was hillarious to me that someone once said I was from a wealthy family. They lived on Institute Hill. I didn't shop at McCarren's although I loved their clothes, and I certainly wasn't built like a Sequinette or cheerleader. One had to have certain qualifications to get into such a group. It horrified me daily to walk down the hall. I only felt open when I was drunk or stoned. I think that was a sign of the times. I'm sorry to hear that heroin is around. My little sister, graduated in the 80's and I think she enjoyed cocaine. If I passed away on this day, which I won't, I would leave my high school experience out of all the great stuff that I have encountered and have become. Except for my art teacher. I cannot remember her name, but she was very cool. I have never gone to a reunion and there probably aren't anymore, but if there is another, I will go and I would like to talk to some of you. Don't be hard on the people that felt high school difficult. We just came from a very segregated community. Butler, itself, is and was a very charming town. I am grateful to have lived in it when Troutman's, Woolworth's, GC Murpheys, Penney's etc. occupied Main Street. HS 1977

Anonymous said...

Wow - I just found this website, and cannot believe the range of emotions exhibited here. Yes, there were many cliques at BHS when I went there ('74 grad., and I was not a Fortunate Son), but it was no different then, as it was in the past, or will be in the future. Like it or not, that is how high school in the U.S. has perpetuated, since the dawn of the industrial revolution. If you think BHS is/was different from any other U.S. high school (in my case, the first half of the '70's), suggest you pick up a copy and watch closely any of the following (among many others), spanning the 1950's-1980's:
"High School Confidential", "Fast Times at Ridgemont High", "Dazed And Confused", or "Ferris Buehler's Day Off";
I don't know who coined the phrases, however, they are true -whether we like it or not - "The more things change, the more they stay the same", and "There is nothing new under the sun."

Anonymous said...

I believe that if you had such a miserable time in this school it was your own fault. I was not of the "better student" crowd but I don't blame the teachers. I was not a member of any clique but I had friends. If you didn't learn - your fault. Don't put down the school and its teachers for the your lack of memories.

Bill Bookhamer said...

C'mon...The best days of our youth...Watching them build the Intermediate,Going to Purple Underground,or the herman dance..Moonlite swims at alameda..Swimming at cupex,or slippery rock...Loved it and cherish it to this day...

Anonymous said...

The Purple Underground - Oh Yeah - Now That's What I'm Talkin' About !
;)

Anonymous said...

Some local school boards are starting to require an activity fee for students. This is to help them meet the budget without raising taxes. Kudos to those responsible school boards.

This is NOT happening with the Butler School Board. They won't enact an activity fee. Could it be because at BHS the students who are allowed to participate in activities have relatives who are either on the school board, or who work within the school system, or who are prominent business people within the area, or who live in the "right" neighborhood?

It is unfortunate that it never changes at BHS. ALL students should be involved in activities. Schools should do more than educate. The activities help to build confidence in students, teach them team building skills, helps them to make lasting friendships, and helps them as they transition to college or to the working world.

If it is only to be the select few, as mentioned above, then let them pay for their activities. Give the rest of the property owners a well deserved break in taxes.

Anonymous said...

I'd be interested in knowing what ever happened to the mural of 80's album covers that Doug Rivers made (Class of '81?). I know that Doug (perhaps others?) created that mural on some unused blackboards in the Science wing using colored chalk.

I remember going by the room, which was next to Mr. William Ellis' classroom quite often to check out the progress. I would occasionally catch Doug in there chalking away. I had the chance to see regular progress since I pretty much lived in the computer room across the hall.

I heard they moved the boards and put them on the wall near the principal's office after his death. Ironically, they did not want to move or preserve the boards due to $$$ until his death.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I stumbled upon this website trying to find the name of my horrible Algebra teacher from 9th grade!

Hmm, I consider my Butler High School years to be the very worst of my life. I had a sense of the generally small-minded, insular and bigoted nature of Butler, PA; redneck city of my birth even before I left it for college and life, but getting out into the world to attend college, work and live all over the country, and traveling to and studying in Europe really drove that sad truth home to me.

It is true that all anybody cared about was sports in high school. ...and the T&A of the Sequinettes. I remember a friend of mine got a perfect 1600 on the SAT, but there was no special recognition or award or even any sort of recognition. Oh, yes, the drug use. It was everywhere. I had some good teachers but also some really awful ones.

When I go back to Butler to visit family who never left, the difference in perspective is marked. My impression is that it is like many small towns and cities in rural US; lots of relatively uneducated, ignorant people who fear difference and anything they don't understand (which is a great deal), and (and this is the kicker) they seem to like it that way.

I am so incredibly glad to have gotten out as fast as I could.

Class of '86

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading all the comments! Like many of you, I have no nostalgia for Butler High or the people of Butler. My family is an old family from the Butler area, but I never felt like I fit in. I graduated 35th in my class of 900 in 1974 because I spent most of my time studying. My interests were academic clubs, especially foreign languages. Since leaving Butler, I have traveled abroad and completed two master's degrees and a doctoral degree in linguistics.

Anonymous said...

I tried!

Anonymous said...

I attended BHS. I had good times and not good times. Butler, PA possesses as much/many positive qualities and characteristics as any Smalltown or Largetown for that matter. We should never discount our role in life experiences. Looking back never helps one move forward. Go Tornadoes!

Anonymous said...

Smokin' in The Boys' Room, Platform Shoes, Bell-Bottoms, the Exile Off Main Street Record Store, the Spirit Shop, Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein" blaring from the 8-Track in your car, and a Total Sense of Freedom, which hasn't existed since around the late 1980's - What was not to like?

Anonymous said...

I started to read the comment but had to stop..... To all of you who had "horrible" comments about the school and the town. SHUT UP. I moved away for a couple of years and guess what. The schools and all the nasty comments about the school were there also. It was what "you" made it

Anonymous said...

the school of hard knocks, the gravity of the town drains our hearts and souls, the colors of the streets turning from black to white, the drugs have infected every class now. open your eyes to a town gone mad from within the very mind of each and everyone. it will get no better there is no salvation it isnt butler it isnt the man it is eachother and the cancer we all carry inside our very words and minds, stop and we will trample u pray and we will silence u hope and we will smash u fall inline and fade away, now theres a good little boy or girl. out of sight and out of our minds in every head i spin i am here in your town and i am spreading my wings casting the largest shadow to ever consume the light in the dark we all hide and smile at fate and the future that is not bright at all we know we destroy we consume were all drug addicts villans liers cheats fakers slaves and hermits. change what weve come so far now. let the flames burn bright let our hearts be perverse its human to destroy. this town knows its roots well trust that. it reaps what its sewn

Anonymous said...

I agree with all of the negative comments about the school. I was there again just recently and all the bad memories came flooding back. I kept thinking I was so glad I was an adult and away from the cliques and hall passes that never ended. Talk about a ridiculous class--slide rule. Boy that helps us today. I am an artist and no thanks to any of the art teachers at Butler High. I think I would've pursued it sooner had I gotten one bit of encouragement from any of them. The only real positive about my senior year was I was forced to take Major British Poets with Miss Cunningham. Although I was not a favorite of hers, it did instill in me a love of poetry.

Anonymous said...

I gradutated from this school in the mid-seventies. Quite frankly, I was an honor role student every semester. I simply could not believe that I made it through both the Jr. High and Sr. High experience without ever making acquaintance with a single teacher who instilled in me any more curiosity about any subject matter that went beyond: Just study to get an A on the next test.
There were those of us who desired an earnest education, who would have appreciated some adult reparte, and would have loved to have seen some enthusiasm that exended beyond overt favoritism from his/her teachers. Maybe I just managed to be scheduled with the complacent, mediocre teachers but I have to say, I entered college relatively unprepared for the experience,and rather impressed with many of my peers' knowledge and excitement over their future endeavors.

Anonymous said...

This question is for all the negative commentators: if you could go back to highschool now with all the wisdom you may have gained thru life, would you be able to enjoy it? I think you would and you would realize that adolescents minds are many times incapable of seizing the moment and are fogged up by non realities.I live in florida now and believe me, the Butler Highschool experience is not by any means inferior to most others.

Anonymous said...

This is a comment about the building:
I LOVED this building! The architecture beautifully sits atop a knoll and is reminiscent of collegiate structures. I loved the courtyards especially during the warm seasons when one could sit and study; the natural light in the cafeteria and the state-of-the-art auditorium, gymnasium and pool facilities. We also had the best stadium in the area. The classrooms were rooms full of desk-chairs, but I don't see anything better in more recent school buildings.
Yes, BHS brings back some really good memories...even for a graduating class of 977 in the year 1979.

Anonymous said...

I loved my Butler High School time, grad in 1970, yeah jr high had some bully issues, but all went away at Senior high! Teachers back then didn't nurture, I had no problem, they were very professional, from my Spanish teacher to English to physics, thanks mr Ellis . I went on to college barely , and grad with teacher degree in physics, we had an intramural basketball team, I was on intramural RIFLE team, Football was cool and the cheerleaders awesome . School and life is what u make of it. You can be cheerful or grumpy, what do u prefer? Tell stories on here. For example Driver Ed teachers in his cool convertible Dodge Charger, ends up with 18 year Cindy and friends driving out to Moraine State Oark, we saw u that summer Cindy !! lol. Good times Thanks Butler

Duane Wetick said...

Still remember Herb Elias (driving instructor)...sideswiped his car (no damage, however, first time out. Was not part of varsity teams..had our own football team (lower Highfield).
Spent lots of time hunting, fishing & trapping rather than on school sports. Looking back, I can say some teachers were awful and should not have been teaching...where did they get these people? My favs. were Sarah Burnheart (French), Virginia Hutchinson (English) and Mr. Reimold (Biology)

Anonymous said...

as a grad from 1979, i remember this hill of schools too well.
i will say for the time, these schools offered more specialty classes than the others in the area.
but on the downside, that was a heck of a hill to walk up. did it many times. lots of memories on these sidewalks up the hills.
very little or hardly anybody will remember the student strike at the intermediate high school in which i participated, lack of nothing else to do. still was a fun day. got my pic in the year book that year

Anonymous said...

I thought I'd hate Sr. High after Jr. high. But, I grew to like it. I guess my arts classes with Tom Crane and Anthony DeFurio(esp) helped a lot. Then I found the theater family (Masquers)and had a home. Back then, I think teachers weren't encouraged to 'help' students but there were a few. So, I guess I had a good experience. After H.S., I worked at Bobbie Brooks for 4 yrs. the went off to college and then spent 34 yrs. teaching in the BASD. 30 of them at Jr. High. go figure

Anonymous said...

I wasn't popular. I wasn't a brianiac. I wasn't aware of a large drug problem. I graduated in 1975.

I didn't appreciate the quality of the education that was offered to me at BHS until I had to deal with my children and their truly crappy high schools.

Looking back, most of my teen issues didn't stem from my hours spent at BHS but from my crappy home life. No one has a perfect childhood, but a school doesn't create teen angst. Hormones create that. What ever problems we had as teenagers we would have had no matter where we attended high school.

I made some friends at BHS that are still my friends today even though none of us have lived in Butler for 40 years.

Butler has issues. Lack of decent paying jobs at the root of them all. High school is high school no matter where you go and from what I hear, they are all the same.

Deborah Stevenson Neupert said...

I can't believe all the negativity toward BHS. I graduated in '72 and feel I had a good high school experience. I wasn't rich or popular, or wasn't a cheerleader or a Sequinette. I was in FNA, on Stage Crew, & worked on the school newspaper. I never felt bullied[like today's kids] & overall was very happy. I felt I was well prepared for my nursing school & my adult life.

As in life, nothing is perfect.