Jerry McVay didn’t start out to be a high school counselor.
“After being in the business world for 5 years in downtown Dallas, I began work at LHHS in the fall of 1963 as a business teacher. (At that time, the high school was located in the present LHJH building.) I taught shorthand, bookkeeping and typing for two years.
“During the summer of 1965, I was at home eating lunch with my husband when [then principal] Mr. Anderson called and told me our counselor had been moved to the administration building and asked if I would like to have the job. I told him I did not have a counseling certificate and hadn’t taken any counseling courses. He said that was no problem, and that he could get me a temporary certificate and I could go to work on my accreditation. (This would not happen today!)
“So, I took advantage of this opportunity and embarked on a very rewarding and happy 31 more years as a counselor, retiring in 1996 with a total of 33 years. Taking the job as a counselor turned out to be one of the best decisions I have made. I realized what a gift I had been given to be placed at LHHS with such a community feel, such great parental support and the most fantastic teachers and students anywhere.
“In those days, the seniors took a senior trip to Lake Murray in Oklahoma. They and the chaperones, including me, rode the train to get there. In one car, there was music, and the students engaged in a relatively new craze, ‘the dirty bop.’ I remember the basketball coach observing their gyrations and saying, ‘They do get married, don’t they?’ Today, this would all seem so mild, but it turned the heads of many of the adults on board.”
McVay also remembers terrible events.
“I recall being in bookkeeping class the day President Kennedy died; so many student dying in automobile accidents or taking their own lives; the shooting on our campus of the head of the school cafeteria; the imprisonment of a number of students for crimes ranging from drugs to murder and everything in between; the increasing need for school security from the days when I started; and on, and on, and on.”
Overall, though, McVay’s recollections are positive, and she is encouraged by the influx of young families moving into Lake Highlands and the achievements of LH graduates.
“Over the years, there are so many big, wonderful memories: the state championships by athletic teams; the lofty heights reached by many students in their careers: high court justices, astronauts, success in medicine, law, entertainment, professional sports and many other fields; the pride I would feel when my friends noticed in the paper the achievements our school had compared with others.”
If you’d like to reconnect with Jerry McVay and/or the many former students, teachers and parents from the 50 year history of Lake Highlands High School, you are invited to the LHHS 50th Anniversary on March 23 from 1:30 to 5 p.m. at LHHS. Young families are also encouraged to attend and check out what LHHS has to offer their children. Vintage photos and memorabilia will be on display and LHHS groups will perform.
You can get more info on the LHHS 50th Facebook page here.