(Rick Hickman / American Press)
Last Modified: Monday, April 22, 2013 8:20 PM
They came back this past weekend to a place held warmly in their hearts.
The occasion? The 100th year anniversary celebration for Sulphur High School and those students who proudly called themselves Golden Tornadoes.
They returned, these sons and daughters of Sulphur High, in their beloved blue and gold, some in letter jackets and T-shirts of yesteryear, to find old friends, acquaintances and classmates, to peer over old yearbooks and photographs, to wonder at the innocent faces staring back at them, and to recall the days of their youth and the teachers, coaches and administrators that helped shape their destiny.
For some it was a short drive across town, for others a pilgrimage from out of state. Nevertheless, they came to celebrate their alma mater’s milestone and their small part in it.
As a teenager four decades ago, Mike Danahay roamed the Sulphur High halls. He likely never envisioned that he would come to represent the school and the city in the Louisiana Legislature.
He alluded to that Saturday when he said he and his fellow students ‘‘were pretty much oblivious to what was going to take place in our lives in the future.’’
‘‘But we were making decisions at that time that were going to affect us for the rest of our lives,’’ Danahay said. ‘‘Fortunately, we had a group of dedicated, passionate, caring educators that knew what we could count on and what we would be facing.’’
High school years can be intimidating and exhilarating, awkward and soaring, confusing and rewarding. It’s often the time of a first date, first dance, first kiss — none of which factors into the formal education process other than to be, at times, terribly stimulating and distracting.
It’s also an ignition point when students begin to find their passion, their pursuit, their path. For 100 years at Sulphur High, just like younger and older secondary schools throughout Southwest Louisiana, those discoveries have been inspired, guided and molded by educators who genuinely cared about the learning and maturation of their pupils.
Sulphur High School’s impact on the community cannot be discounted, either. It’s one of those rare, single high schools in a city of 20,000. Sulphur High has been the rallying point, many times through athletic events, that’s been the reason for the community to gather, the glue that has bound together neighbors and individuals with disparate interests.
But Sulphur High’s biggest contribution has been its learned and proud graduates who have become leaders in business, medicine, law, industry, education, agriculture, art, music and a myriad of other avocations in Sulphur, Southwest Louisiana, the state and the world.
Those Sulphur High Tors’ efforts to make their families, communities and this earth a better place have, appropriately, been golden.
And that’s cause for celebration.
This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Jim Beam, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.