From start to finish: they have been with us all the way

The Panther Prowler is celebrating its 50th year of being published. Let’s take a look back ten years into the school’s existence.

The year is 1978. The Camp David Accords were signed between Israel and Egypt, the New York Yankees won the World Series and the first Garfield comic strip was put into newspapers in June. Also, there were two NPHS students who will later become influential in Newbury Park’s history. Their names: Steve Johnson, senior, and Christine Hodson, junior.

Johnson, now a history teacher for 34 years, has dedicated his life to the school. He is an assistant varsity basketball coach, Department Chair of Social Science and the adviser of the NPHS Ambassadors and the Amnesty International Club.

Including his days as a student, Johnson has been at Newbury Park High School for 28 years. When Johnson was in high school he was active throughout Newbury Park. He worked a part time job at the Carl’s Junior in the Oaks Mall and played on the basketball and tennis teams.

His best experiences in high school were with “the friends I made and going through the various classes we took together,” Johnson said. “Other great experiences that I had in high school revolved around playing on the basketball team.”  

The school in 1978 had less of an emphasis on college preparedness, according to Johnson. “When I was in high school we had about 600 more students than the school has now and we had one section of (AP U.S. History). There weren’t as many AP classes and there wasn’t any IB classes and it just wasn’t something people talked about or emphasized,” Johnson said.

The theme of Johnson’s senior yearbook was “Newberries.” Everything, from the graphics to the headings, was related to berries. These headings included “School Berries,” “Busy Berries” and “Sports Berries.”

Christine Hodson, English and Theory of Knowledge teacher, has been at Newbury Park High School for 12 years. During high school she participated in extracurriculars such as choir and ASG.

Hodson attended NPHS from 1975 to 1979. Her best memory “would be the friends that I cultivated, here on this campus.”

As well, during the school year, Hodson was taking a year-long photography class and had her art portfolio stolen from the office. Two of the pictures that were in that portfolio ended up in the 1978 yearbook.

“By the time this yearbook was published at the end of my junior year in June, I found, mysteriously, two of the pictures from my binder were published,” Hodson said. “Clearly, it was someone who was in the yearbook class that needed credit for doing this and they got it from my book.”

Hodson gets excited when she can connect with her old friends, and she invites them onto the campus. “We try to rack our memories of whether or not we took a class in (B-33) and I actually did take an English class in here. So, friends that I have had from high school will take a walk around campus and just go down memory lane,” Hodson said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *