FHS Class of 1976 prepares for 40-year reunion

Organizers reach out to alumni

Farragut High School 1976 Class Reunion Committee is reaching out to alumni as it plans FHS’ 40th class reunion.

The reunion is scheduled to take place from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m., Saturday, June 11, at Cal-houn’s at the Marina, 455 City Park Drive, Lenoir City. Cost to attend is $30 per person.

Alumni members can pay using the PayPal friends and family option online at slackett@gmail.com or by mailing a check to: Dean Cruise, 504 W. Main St., Sevierville, TN 37962.

“We would love to get the word out,” Jay Beeler, a member of the organizing committee, said. The committee also includes Stephanie Cole Jordan, Terri Tribble Slack, Cruise, chairman, and Rocky Harmon.

“We are just trying to get everyone to come,” he said. “We wanted something a little more casual, and we have some people who wanted to come by boat. They can get together, reconnect and see some friends.”

Beeler said the 1976 class was the largest to graduate and it was the last class to graduate from the old school site before the high school was turned into a middle school.

“Three hundred seventy-four students graduated from the old UT Alumni Coliseum on The University of Tennessee campus,” he said. “I still have a copy of the graduation program.”

The old school, built in 1904, was located on the corner of the south side of Kingston Pike and Concord Road. A new school building was erected on the old site in the 1950s, alumni member Mona Smith said. Then FHS was relocated to its current site at 11237 Kingston Pike in 1976.

“We have a lot of old pictures from the old high school in 1976,” Beeler said. “The 1977 class graduated from the new school.

“When [officials] decided to move the school, they were going to throw away a lot of negatives in the school. Gary Gill, a photographer for the school annual and newspaper, grabbed those [negatives].”

Beeler said one of the highlights of 1976 was the country’s bicentennial celebration.

“We were doing a lot of stuff around the celebration,” he said. “Everything was red, white and blue.”

The school also participated in a pilot program with UT that year that allowed students to graduate sooner.

“I could come in at 8:30 a.m. and leave at 10:30 a.m. so I could play football,” Beeler said.

Since some people graduated early because of the pilot program, he said many students who graduated in 1975 attended 1976 class reunions.

Beeler also remembered serving as a lifeguard at Concord Pool while his dad operated it from 1973 through 1980, and David Jenkins.

“I think he we all called him Sarge,” Beeler said. “He taught government or sociology classes.”

“We won the championship 12 to 13 years in a row even though we never had a track to run on,” Beeler said. “It was two years into our new school before we had a track.”

He also remembered the cross country team won the KIL meet, the swim team ranked highly in the state and the baseball team was District 7 champions.