Edgewood High School's 50th Reunion
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History of Edgewood High School
Thursday, April 23, 2015, 11:48 a.m.
With its family-like setting, the former Edgewood School District was a place where students considered their classmates to be anyone attending school at the same time, regardless of grade level, an alumnus said.
“You really learned from the people older than you and respected them and you really sought to model the right behavior ... and you passed it along to younger people,” said Dallas Frey, 63, who graduated from the Edgewood High School in 1970.
That atmosphere was forever altered with the court-ordered merger of the district with four nearby school systems to form the Woodland Hills School District in 1981, he said.
Seeking to spotlight the spirit, academic achievement and history of the former Edgewood district, Frey is among a group of alumni on a planning committee that is organizing the first Edgewood High School All-class Reunion. All alumni and former staff are invited to the event scheduled on July 17 and 18.
“The school was the heart of Edgewood. As far as our generations go, it always will be,” said Roswell, Ga., resident Jeff Boucek, 55, a 1978 Edgewood graduate and member of the planning committee.
Edgewood's merger with four other school districts into Woodland Hills was the settlement of a racial discrimination lawsuit filed in 1971 by black parents of General Braddock School District students, who alleged their children were being racially segregated by the state's consolidation of various school districts in Allegheny County.
In 1981, U.S. District Judge Gerald Weber ordered that General Braddock be merged with four predominantly white school districts in the eastern suburbs — the Churchill Area, Edgewood, Swissvale Area and Turtle Creek Area school districts.
Twelve towns, including Rankin, Forest Hills and Wilkins, now comprise the Woodland Hills School District, where 3,846 students were enrolled in the 2013-14 school year, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
In the 1980-81 school year, 731 students were enrolled in the Edgewood School District.
“Edgewood was a highly academic school….It was a great school to raise your kids in,” said Penn Township resident Joseph Marasti, who was an Edgewood High School business teacher and coach from 1968 to 1977 and principal from 1977 to 1978.
There are no Edgewood alumni younger than 50, and many of the alumni he knew are deceased, Boucek said.
In 2005, a reunion for the Edgewood classes of 1965 to 1975 drew a crowd of about 300 alumni and guests to The Edgewood Club, where the high school used to have its dances, so alumni decided to expand upon that success with the all-class reunion, Frey said.
Events during the all-class reunion in July will include a party, Rock the Square, in Regent Square; a tour of the former Edgewood schools, which now are housed in the Woodland Hills School District's Edgewood Elementary School; and a reunion party at the Sen. John Heinz History Center in the Strip District.
Expectations and interest in the all-class reunion are high — 237 people had RSVP'd online as of Thursday afternoon — but organizers don't yet have an estimate of how many people will attend, Frey said.