By Marsha Shomidie
Vice President and Pleasant Plains Branch Manager
NMLS # 662908
At 88 years old, it was just time for the old Pleasant Plains High School building to meet the wrecking ball. But the building’s demise can’t do way with the years of memories.
Both of my children, Nick and Andrea, graduated from PPHS. It is bittersweet to see the transformation of the school. I remember attending school functions for my children and spent a lot of time at volleyball games in the old gym. I know how many memories and friendships were made in that building, but glad to see such a wonderful school gain a new building to create new memories. Our school is the staple of our community, and I am glad to see them thriving here. My staff and I look forward to attending events in the new building. Congratulations to the students, teachers, and administration.
Cayla Keyes works with me as Pleasant Plains assistant branch manager. She didn’t attend PPHS, but has two boys in the district and another upcoming student in just a few short years. She says, “I have also been given the opportunity to proudly serve on the school district’s Board of Education. It is great to see Plains gain a state-of-the-art building that will house many great opportunities for our future generations. I am excited to know that my children will be housed in a modern, safe, and welcoming learning environment. Being from Virginia, IL, I know what it is like to lose the building you graduated from, but I embrace the change for the better!”
Communications Coordinator Lindsay Van Zele, has many ties to PPHS as her sister, brother and dad are all graduates. “Dad and his brothers – Tom, Dick and Harry Shull — all are all grads.” And so is Lindsay’s husband, Nathan, assistant operations officer, who says he fondly remembers “Senior Hall.” Senior Hall was the original main entrance to the school when it opened its doors in 1927. The original student lockers were used by the seniors when Nate was a student.
Nathan tells this story: “What I remember most about Senior Hall is that it was apart from the rest of the lockers and the underclassmen. Before I was a senior, it was one of the things I was looking forward to when becoming a senior. The way the main hall was setup is with everyone going from class to class and others trying to get in their lockers it was difficult to navigate, chaotic and loud. Senior Hall was like a dream in comparison — not much traffic since most of the classrooms were down the main aisle, quiet (as quiet as could be expected) and right next to the original exit making it easy to get to the parking lot after school. During lunch times, a few seniors would always be hanging out in the hallway. One classmate would usually have his guitar and be playing. It’s like it was an unwritten rule that if you weren’t a senior, you didn’t go down Senior Hall. Teachers seemed to leave you alone, unlike the main hall.”
Do you have memories to share? Post them below. We’d love to hear from you.
For more details on the demolition, read this article from the State Journal-Register.