Apex High Goes Back to the Future

Co-written by Amelia Borger and Emily Caroline Sartin

Great Scott! Apex High School hosted the Back to the Future Celebration on Sunday, April 30th to commemorate the past, present, and future of Apex with over 1,000 attendees. There was chatter, there was music, there was laughter, but most importantly, there were lots of memories. The event invited back many former students and employees as well as current students to tour the campus and see it one more time before the school gets torn down for renovation in June. It was a unique phenomenon with all generations of Apex High coming together to reminisce over yearbooks dating back to 1938 and explore the plans for the future. There were mixed emotions about the fate of the current Apex High; some people were sad to see it go while others said to “tear it down.”

The event featured cookies from the culinary students, choral performances, and student artwork. Current spirit wear and vintage sports gear were on sale as well as the opportunity to pre-order bricks. There were many opportunities for pictures–the senior display in the courtyard was popular as it features every graduation year–in addition to the photobooth in the media center.

The Apex Cougar Club offered current students a unique opportunity this spring of allowing to reflect and paint a mural that represented their time at Apex High. Visitors were able to see the student murals around the school. Dr. Kearney told the News and Observer that “the project exceeded expectations” and “perhaps in a bad way. The murals turned out so beautifully that students and staff are sad to know they will be reduced to heaps of concrete and brick in a few months.”

Excited screams, hugs, and camera shutters filled the air as former classmates, students, and teachers reunited. Mr. Trezona, an Apex teacher for over twenty-five years, confidently told an alumni that he had taught him even when the alumni was unsure. Coach Thomas was never alone as he moved through the courtyard. Numerous Apex alums were shocked by the main staircase in the courtyard as they missed the “Senior Ramp” that had zig-zagged many times (especially after they tried to climb the stairs). Ellen Byers, a 1997 graduate and a former yearbook staff member, talked about how “the seniors would all crowd onto the ramp on the first day of school and it would be this huge party.”  “There is a lot more concrete here, even though the ramp was taken down,” 1988 graduate Todd Shearion said.

Nancy Lawrence and Denise Case, graduates of 1979 and 1978, remembered their fun times spent in the courtyard. “It makes me feel old coming back, but I still remember how the courtyard was the place to be. Everything happened there,” Denise said.

Some couples at the event actually met here at Apex High School. Chris and Lisa Ryles, members of the 1989 and 1988 graduating classes, talked about the “good butterflies” that being back at the school brought. The two were married right out of high school.

Richard Morgan, another 1997 graduate and former member of Apex High’s Epilogue, compared coming back to Apex High as “coming back to your old bedroom when you get home from college for the first time.”

Through the searing heat of the day and the short timespan they had, the town of Apex and the current and former students of Apex High got together under one roof and experienced blasts from the past. For many, Back to the Future was the last time they will walk the halls of the current Apex High School. The memories made in the buildings that make up our school will never go away, even if the building does.

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