Alumni Remember Old Wando

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Lucy Johnson

Ansley Gill, Staff Writer

Wando High School is known widely as the largest school in the state of South Carolina. With over 4100 kids and tens of thousands of alumni, Wando is bursting at the seams. It is finally time for Mount Pleasant to share high schools.

 

Ironically, this new school was chosen to be in the exact same location of the original Wando. The old school was established in 1973 and holds an immense amount of memories, good and bad — it’s Mount Pleasant history in it’s rawest form.

 

Dede Kennedy (class of ‘87) expresses a very popular local opinion, “I am a native of Mount Pleasant and it is hard for me to accept the changes that have taken place to accommodate the influx of people in my town.”

 

“When I heard that the old Wando was being torn down, I felt a bit heavy in my heart… For me, coming down Mathis Ferry road and seeing that sign in front of the school was a bit iconic,” Kennedy confessed.

 

Many other Wando alumni were saddened by the news. Audrey Cole (class of ‘86) explains that “[it’s] sad because it holds so many memories. At one time it was the only high school. How many years does it go back? It’s sad, but I understand. It’s not made for the times.”

 

“During lunch, me and my friends would sneak into the boy’s gym locker rooms and hide behind the mats to watch the wrestling team practice,” Cole reminisces. This is something we could never get away with at current Wando, especially during lunch.

 

“We also would go into the bathrooms at lunch time and sing country songs. We would just be in there standing on the toilets, in the bathroom, singing at the top of our lungs,” Cole remembers fondly.

 

Kennedy has very contrasting memories from his high school career. “I remember seeing a boy get a horrible wedgie from bigger boys that were athletes,” he explains. “They actually ripped his underwear off him.” This is something else that we would never see happen at Wando now.

 

Present day Wando may be more strict than it was in the 80’s, but one thing that hasn’t changed is its students’ exceptional school spirit. Deborah Farrell (class of ‘85) said, “My favorite Wando memories revolve around the wonderful people who surrounded us: students, teachers, and staff. The pep rallies were filled, courtyard yelling, battles that engaged every class.”

 

“To this day, I am still a proud to be a Warrior,” she adds.

 

“I am thankful that I am not the same person that I was in high school,” Kennedy admits. “Not the same nervous, self-conscious kid. Change is necessary and inevitable and I’m sure it was way past time to replace the old high school building.”
Though the old building lays a heap of rubble, the Warrior spirit will continue to thrive in our town and in our hearts.