By CLAIRE ST. JOHN
Sonora High School will turn 100 on Sept. 23, and the party planning is already well under way.
A committee, formed mostly of Sonora High alumni, is meeting twice a month in anticipation of the event.
"Ninety-five percent of the people (at the meetings) are grads," said Sonora High School Superintendent Rob Gaskill, one of the few non-Sonora High graduates on the committee. "They do two minutes of business and then they start in on stories. It's a kick."
Those two minutes have been adding up over the five times the committee has met most recently last night.
Plans for celebrating the school's anniversary include a kick-off ceremony in March or April featuring a student assembly and a student fashion show modeling letter sweaters, cheerleading uniforms and choir robes throughout the decades.
Staff who are also alumni will be introduced "so students know a lot of us come back," said Assistant Principal Roger Francis, a member of Sonora High class of '61.
At this year's Mother Lode Roundup Parade, the committee will have a float and follow it with 10 vehicles, one from every decade. The committee hopes to fill each car except the horse and buggy, representing the 1910s with an alumni who graduated in the same decade as the car was manufactured.
An alumni day barbecue is in the initial stages of planning.
If the financial sub-committee can raise enough money, a permanent display will be installed on campus, detailing the history of the county's largest school, originally named Tuolumne County High School in 1903.
Digital videographist Frank Diggle has offered to make a multi-media presentation for free.
Angela Brown, class of '66 and chair of the financial sub-committee, doesn't think raising money will be a problem.
"I'm not worried about it," she said. "I think when everyone knows what's going, they're all going to come out. They're going to want to help."
Given the number of business card advertisements already for the Alumni Book and the advertising on the Sonora High Centennial T-shirts that have already been sold, "this looks like a really growing business here, so we'll be fine," Brown said.