When Tracy Schnell Tervin and her classmates first walked through the doors of in 1976, they didn’t realize they were making history.
But that fact may sink in later this month when members of the Class of 1981 reconvene to celebrate their 30th high school reunion.
The Class of ’81 was the first group of students to attend the brand new facility. The paint barely dry, housed freshman and sophomore students—less than 600 in all—and was built to accommodate the quickly growing and Orland Park communities.
My, how things have changed.
Today the school is home to more than 2,400 freshman to senior year students and there are many changes that would confuse even the most die-hard alumnus. A state-of-the-art theater has been built in place of former students' beloved "cafetorium," Tervin noted, and a new "S Wing" hosts a slew of new technology classes.
While use of social media, laptops and high-powered calculators are ubiquitous in today's high school curriculum, they weren't even part of the academic landscape three decades ago, officials said.
Not to mention the fact that T-bolt Man, Andrew’s mascot, wasn’t even born yet.
Despite the school’s physical changes and culture shifts, present-day students still share similar interests and concerns as students in the 1980s, said Dawn Rueter-Cox, curriculum director for District 230 and Andrew's Class of ’81 alumni.
“Students still have the same types of relationships with other classmates and their teachers," she said. "District 230 held the bar high and had huge expectations for its students then, and they still do today."
Reunion festivities will coincide with Andrew's homecoming weekend, including an alumni versus staff "powder puff" football game and a tour of the school. An Oct. 1 dinner dance is also in the works.
Tervin and other event coordinators have been busy planning the weekend and finding classmates via old mailing lists and Facebook.
What: Victor J Andrew Class of 1981, 30th Reunion
When: Saturday, Oct. 1; 6:30 p.m. to midnight.
Where: , 18501 S Harlem Avenue, Tinley Park.