“Shaker ‘69 Reunion - Saturday Panels”

As spring finally arrives in Shaker Heights, we hope you are all making plans to attend our 50th reunion on September 13-15, 2019.  


Apparently we aren’t the only ones thinking fondly of our time at Shaker.  The rankings web site Niche recently listed Shaker Heights as the #1 place to live in the Cleveland area, #2 in Ohio and #12 in US suburbs.  https://www.niche.com/places-to-live/shaker-heights-cuyahoga-oh/.  So come to the reunion and find out what all the buzz is about.


Several of our committee members are busy planning panel discussions for Saturday morning and afternoon that focus on our stage of life, and on our experiences at Shaker.  Below is a summary of the topics we have selected.  We hope to populate these panels with experts from our class and from our faculty.  Our beloved government teacher, Jerry Graham, has committed to speak on the third panel listed below.  Other panels are starting to fill up, but we want your input.  So, if you or someone you know could provide expertise on any these panels, please contact me at annrowland77@gmail.com.  Looking forward to seeing all of you in September!


1.  Reflections on Integrating Shaker Heights in the 50's and 60's. 

How did living through the integration of Shaker Heights influence us then and now?   A small number of us went to integrated elementary schools, half of us went to an integrated junior high school, and we all attended an integrated high school.   How do we as white and black classmates reflect back on our experiences, and how have these experiences shaped our attitudes as adults?   How would we rate our country's progress, and Shaker’s progress,  in race relations and equal opportunity over the past 50 years? 


2.  High School Education Then and Now 

This panel of experts--some from our generation and some teaching now--will discuss how the high school experience of 1969 differs from that of 2019.   How have educational theories changed?  How has the participation of girls and students of color changed?  Have their achievement gaps decreased or increased? What is different about the stresses high school students face now?   How do students and schools deal with issues of power and inequality, and potential abuse?   Is the class of 2019 better prepared than we were for a life of learning and engagement? 


3. Planning for Aging and Death 

Most of us have cared for parents, spouses, partners, or siblings in the final stages of life.  We have already lost many of our classmates.  It is incumbent on us to give careful thought to our own plans for the end of life, and to put in place a network to support us. This panel will discuss building a team of relatives, friends, and medical and legal professionals to make sure the process of aging and death is the one we want. 

4.  How Can We Still Make a Difference and/or Where Did Our Generation Go Right and Where Did We Go Wrong? 

Many of us are still working. Others are active in the volunteer community.   How can we use our time and resources to help our communities, and what is our responsibility to the next generation?  Put another way, our parents provided us a better world than they experienced.  Can we do the same? 


Our generation benefitted greatly from the efforts our parents’ generation made to increase opportunity for women and people of color.  But these opportunities came at a price.  This panel will discuss these tradeoffs.