Memories from High School

We are connected to each other by our experiences at Central Dauphin High School. We invite you to write a story about an experience, about someone or something that touched your life at CD, and to submit it for posting on this Memory Page.

Here are the guidelines:

· We want touching stories, humorous stories, about teachers, staff, students, events, programs, sports, incidents, etc, at Central Dauphin during our time there. Positive stories. Include a byline.

· Specific information is best. Give some detail. Nothing really negative and nothing demeaning to anyone. Nothing inappropriate. Maybe a story about a controversy, couched in a positive light.

· You can submit one story, or multiple, separate stories, each with a byline perhaps. The story can be very short. If longer, try to limit each story to 300 words.

· You can write a story about a classmate who is deceased. Details might include what he or she was like in high school, and also positive details about that person’s life after high school. Your relationship.

· Please provide your name and email address.

Send your story directly to classmate Dave Knauss at (email) .

My favorite teacher at Central Dauphin High School was Mrs. Nancy Hanmer. I was in her Advanced English class my senior year. She was a gifted teacher who guided us through very good works of literature such as the play “J.B.” written by Archibald MacLeish. Beyond her teaching ability, I especially remember her as a kind, loving person who loved all her students. And I think they all loved her. Occasionally I was late for class, but she never made a big deal out of it. One time I was making a slide show presentation before the whole class, and I got disorganized and had to stop in the middle; I felt so foolish. Typical of her, Mrs. Hanmer responded in a gentle, positive manner. One of my best memories of her class is what she did when the first issue of the school newspaper, “Rampage,” came out on December 20, 1971. Andy Zimmerman and I, both in her class, were the co-editors of the newspaper, which had been dormant for two years at the school. Throwing aside her plans for that day, Mrs. Hanmer devoted the entire class to the students talking about the newspaper. That was a very special day for me. In her career at CD, Mrs. Hanmer put into practice some wisdom about teaching I read about in a book I bought a few years ago: Love your students for what they are, and for what they are not.

Dave Knauss


Dave Knauss’s story about the school newspaper reminds me of one issue that Dave and I published that year where the theme was that everyone was bored. I think the headline was “Eyelids Make Final Curtain Call at C.D.” and we had pictures of students sleeping at their desks. I don’t know if we were unimaginative editors or we just reflected the ennui that teenagers tend to feel right before they are let loose upon the world.

I feel blessed to have had Jane Caum as my guidance counselor at CD. In her quiet way, she opened up my eyes to what was possible and encouraged me to dream and aspire to being the best person I could believe. Central Dauphin and her students were her priority in life. Jane, you were the first angel to appear in my life. I am filled with gratitude and pray that you sit among the angels today.

Andy Zimmerman


Thank You, Central Dauphin High School

I first saw Pixie Wenrich in a group of Lower Paxton Junior High School (LP) girls at CD trying out for next year’s cheerleading squad -- Pixie was the only one I could see among a dozen cute girls, she was the prettiest girl I’d ever seen and I fell instantly and I fell hard. I didn’t normally go to the dances at Rusty Owens, but hearing that Pixie did I went that weekend. Coming up the steps to the dance floor, I could see glimpses of Pixie, through all the shifting bodies of teenagers dancing, sitting by herself on a rolled-up floor mat. I walked through the crowd, directly to her, and sat down beside her -- I’ve been beside Pixie Wenrich for over 50 years now. What a treasure to, in those 50 years, come to discover that Pixie is not only the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, but is the kindest, the smartest, the strongest, and the sweetest person I’ve ever met. After 50 years, after 6 kids and 17 grandkids, after being beside her every day, I love Pixie Wenrich more today than ever. The straight ‘A’ girl who wanted to be a cheerleader met a no-account hippie -- at Central Dauphin High School.

Mickey Haist


They Remain With Me

I had three great friends I met at CD: Frank Grottola, Jon VanDerslice, and Spencer Hinerman ... Frank is the only one left. The adventures Jon and I had were epic; they left me an old man who’s content with a very simple home life -- as in, ‘I’ve had enough outlandish adventures in my life thank you very much’. Jon was a tough guy with a heart of gold, an angel with a dirty face . . . both my mom and my wife Pixie didn’t like all my friends, but they both loved Jon. Since his death 25 years ago, Jon’s three sisters have tenderly counted and assigned me their “other brother” . . . together we keep Jon forever with us.

Spencer and I actually met at LP and he wasn’t actually at CD for very long at all, before running off to Texas. We were among the very first hippies at LP and CD, like back when the threat of

getting beat-up after school because you had long hair was issued in the halls between nearly every period. Again, Spencer and I shared adventures no 15-year-olds should be having, and enjoying. While Spencer was in Texas I began reading the Bible, only because I found it interesting. I wasn’t searching for truth or meaning to my life or anything, I just thought it fascinating -- I experienced a dramatic conversion and found myself to suddenly be a Christian. When Spencer returned from Texas I was delighted to discover that he too had become a Christian. Our lives and families were happily intertwined from then on. As much as with my mother and my Pixie, I would not be the man I am without the lifelong companionship of Spencer Hinerman. Thank you, Central Dauphin High School.

Mickey Haist


Everyone gets wake-up calls in their life. I was going through the motions as a Senior at CD in Fall ‘71 and Spring ‘72. Everything was more important than class, and my level of work in any area other than play was not high. I had been accepted at Penn State and that made me even less concerned about class. But having been elected to Senior Class President, I soon realized Mr. Brightbill, the high school principal, had other expectations for me. One day he calls me into his office and tells me that I need to start doing the work expected of me by the Class. And that I need to be a more responsible person. He did not mince words and never backed off from noting I needed to make an immediate change.

Mr. Brightbill did a large favor for me that day. I can’t say I completely changed but I started taking my responsibilities more seriously and made it through to Graduation without any more meetings with Mr. Brightbill. He got me pointed in the right direction. I still needed guidance but he certainly provided the leadership I needed. Thank you, Mr. Brightbill!

Bob Knight.


One can hardly speak of high school without looking back on our formative years. My most vivid memories of school days occurred in Mr. Christ's science class in seventh grade. We were young and restless and looking forward to having fun, at any cost. I remember Kathi Gardner, Gail Heist, Bill Clipman, Bill Duffy and I laughing our way through class most days. Alan Bowers was always on the periphery with a smile on his face, not sure if he was laughing with us or at us. And I'm not sure what was so funny but I am grateful for such a delicious memory and hope we didn't grieve Mr. Christ too much with our inability to control our childish behavior.

On a more serious and complimentary note, my favorite teacher was Shirley Naugle at Central Dauphin High School. She taught Spanish and instilled a love for language that has stayed with me throughout my life. I had taken Latin for three years and while I excelled at it, I never thought of actually speaking it. When I recited my first dialogue in Mrs. Naugle's class, something clicked. Her spunky positive manner of teaching was such a pleasant diversion in my school day and I just loved that class and her too! I ended up majoring in Spanish in college and while I didn't do much with it on a professional level, I was always challenged and thrilled to use it when traveling.

When I returned from a trip to Spain many years ago, I decided to get in touch with Mrs. Naugle to tell her what an impact she and her class had on me. She remembered me and was very grateful. I encourage anyone who has had such a mentor in their lives to make sure the person is told and appreciated before it is too late...we aren't getting any younger and neither are they.

Lynne Daugherty King