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Thanks for the Memories Fremont: When Public Schools Were Celebrated

December 7, 2010

Old Entrance to Fremont High 1945

Many of us are feeling shell-shocked at the way public education is being vilified from every corner. How quickly we forget that public schools used to be centers of the community, with everyone attending sporting events and actual real food being cooked on campus.

While typing in “fremont” to see my old websites I inadvertently typed in “high” instead of “hs” and came to this amazing time capsule that is still being created by the Fremont classes of 1945 and 1955. Yep. 1945. Obviously Fremont has been very special to many graduates and teachers for a long, long time.

FREMONT HIGH REUNION SITE

Scroll down and click on reunions. There are some pink buttons to the left. Click on any of them and be transported to another time and world.

Fremont High 1945

It makes what the shortsighted minions of the district did to our beloved school even more heartbreaking. But as you look at these pictures, you also may come to realize that others in power throughout the years, maybe in the 1960’s or so, lost sight of history, for most of the beautiful brick buildings and many trees are no longer standing.

Music Hall Steps 1949

Yes, Fremont had a music department, not a music teacher but an entire department!
It made me wonder: when did the gate go up and the bars? When were the ornate brick and iron staircases destroyed for a more shall we say, institutional look? And how perhaps, did that affect how those inside the walls viewed education and their part in it? When did the hallways begin to fill with trash? When was driver’s education canceled, along with geography, most of the music program and woodshop? That brought to my mind more questions: How did Fremont manage to rise and continue to be that special place even when it wasn’t serving all the needs of students? When did Humanitas come about? How long did Mr. Lowe teach on the 3rd floor with all of those beautiful masks created by his students? When did the bungalows go up? What teachers on their way to retirement did Mr. Niebergall cross paths with when he began his long career at the Mont back in 1966 when Lyndon Johnson was President? What stories did he hear from them about Fremont during WWII or during the 1950’s? Did Fremont have Japanese -American students interned like Roosevelt did? Certainly you couldn’t tell by the old yearbooks. Perhaps history as it is happening is too controversial. And more and more questions just keep flowing.

Around Fremont 1945

Fremont grads 1945 It looks so familiar yet so distant. Was it really 1945?

Girls Volleyball 1955

Fremont grads 1955

Multicultural Fremont 1955

Fremont campus 1955 surrounded by 1955 graduates from their reunion

Amazing view of Fremont's campus 1945

Yea Fremont 1955

And why is it that Fremont somehow psychically keeps on trying to maintain a history, with people who keep coming back to serve it after graduating like Ramon Mendez, Maria Gaspar, Nichole Dodds and Harold Gramajo and so many more. Why are there so many connections like Mr. Olynyk who taught Mr. Mendez, or Deadra Bouligny, Fremont’s school psychologist who during her prior career as an elementary teacher had Jackie Gonzales as a student. I know there are more links that I am not aware of, more connections. I wonder if that history can ever be recreated or restored. I notice the ever-present fountain which seemed so central to the school. It used to make me sad when I saw tagging on it. If our students had seen this history would they still have desecrated it? I like to think they would not have. But it seems that those in power seem intent on destroying history, on hiding it but yet, here we have those in the Fremont class of 1945 who have created this website. They don’t want to forget. Fremont lives on.

Thanks for the Memories

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. a sad sight permalink
    December 8, 2010 10:15 am

    WOw. JUSt found out that according to data, fremont has more failing students THAN EVER BEFORE. No, not compared to last year, EVER. and take a guess who the admin blame? YOu guessed it! The teachers!! BUt I thought we got rid of all the bad ones and now have the best team!? CAn’t wait to get out of here! THanks balderas, your the best!

  2. Barbara permalink
    December 8, 2010 12:40 pm

    I’m sorry to hear that. We were improving quite a bit. There are no quick fixes and obviously demonizing teachers does not work. I just talked to a former student and they put him in a trig class because there was nowhere else to put him- he is failing. The needs of the students are not considered. Real schools have a full menu of classes, both academic and vocational.
    I talked to a 1955 graduate of Fremont last night and she told me that there was so much pride in the school during those days.

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