Posts Tagged ‘John Marshall High School’

With the recent school year of the Milwaukee Public Schools System had ended in March, the educational community like many had to rebound. Instead of the traditional route of going back to the classrooms seemed to be out of reach due to the coronavirus. But in a sense of that, another element that has been mostly talked about and many know this in the earlier college days, and of course myself was one of them: I’m talking about Distance Education. However for the MPS Board and leaders, it has become uncharted waters of not knowing enough of how to to utilize this option to proceed for all levels to conquers. This however also raised the irie of the community in which it has failed to deliver the Chromebooks to the students and an host of others. However for those whom have experience with Online Class Learning has this on lock. Which is by chance is a few out of many. For this letter is addresed to the current Administration plus the Teachers that is facing the Virtual Problem that can be a solution to the kids of the district. And oh, if you’re an MPS Alum like myself and have experience of Virtural Learning this maybe a good time to be an advisior.

Dear Milwaukee Public Schools Administration/Teachers:

It’s me Stephen. You know, I’m an citizen of the city, plus a proud alum of the Milwaukee Public Schools. You know the main reason why I am writing this letter because, you have a problem. An Online Virtual Learning Problem. Now many of you already know that we’re still facing the problem of the Coronavirus, and yet many of the schools had to close early by the Governor, Tony Evers. Also, according to your notes and also the notes of MICAH, it seems that they criticized you for not being well equipped in regarding of the laptops and also keeping up the analyst of virtual learning or distance learning or in this case, distance education. Now many of you whom are teachers, the younger folks in the classrooms know technology really well. By which of means is getting their parents phones and play games. This generation on the kids is mostly in tuned with the techs. However, this is not what I’m getting at. What I am getting at is Virtual Learning in a sense of logging into the system, so you can keep up with your students at home. And yet for those whom are older teachers, this is uncharted territory. And the same can be said for the current administration.

First experience of Teleconferencing. John Marshall High School, 1995.
Picture courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal .

Well, as an alum of the district I have a story to share with you. I have experience from an earlier standpoint that goes back to 1995. The very same year that I graduated from John Marshall High School. In February of that year, I along with my classmates went to a Ameritech Building in which at the time was a first. Marshall High School was invited to communicate with a British Tech School that was a sister school we connected. But this was no ordinary field trip to Brookfield, this was a field trip based on Telecommunications in which was very interesting. Us and Hugh Christie Technology School collaborated about Amateur Radios, Ancient Instruments, Music, Scuba Diving, testing lead levels in the environment, and many others. And many at the time that this style of communication would be later be added to Video Desktop Telecommunication Hook Up. Keep in mind, this was 1995. Several years later in college, I enrolled in a program with UW-Stout as a Distance Education Student studying Industrial Management. I studied the degree between 2002-2006 by connecting on Online Portals, Audio Conferencing and Video Conferencing all in Milwaukee. Yes, it was legal to do this. Milwaukee was not the only city doing this, but along with Madison, Waukesha, Racine, and Menomonie were all connected virtually in terms of coming together in checking our class work, quizzes, discussions and keep up with a schedule that we had to follow. We were given that. And we also maintained contact with our teachers and advisors just in case we need help. Plus also other classmates. Like many who don’t know, I encountered uncertainty, harsh commentary, and the reaction of how I did this without going to class. Plus when many job prospects and organizations questioned my educational progress, partially it was ignored and disrespected. I felt in my own right to address the reasons why I did this because it was choice of me to pursue my education while working in the city of Milwaukee. I earned scholarships and grants along the way, plus taking additional courses of General Education to support my degree at the Milwaukee Area Technical College. I graduated from UW-Stout in 2006 and I was very happy to do this. Consider me a first in my family on the male side of things to do this as a Distance Education Student. And now I interact with the same mentality of learning in other areas to support my church of Audio Conference Meetings, and community for helping out higher education students for college. All in all, 25 years combined.

Why do I say this? I had to work my butt off to prove a point that distance education does in fact work! It can work to a point that it needs to be observed, summarized and actually following the directions that it provides. For the Teachers/Administrators, part of this lies in planning everything from the lesson plans, to assignments, discussions and the networking/keeping up with the students to see how they are doing, group work, and many others. And like before, it worked.

UW-Stout on rare occasions does surveys to us in the Alumni to see what can we provide to help or advise additional ways for Distance Education can be better and efficient for the future. Even though now that Distance Education changed from going to Remote Sites like MATC to our homes, and also jobs, the theory of learning this way still remains the same.

Which brings me to you: what will this experience of Online/Virtual Learning would do for you as administrators or teachers that is just now getting into this? Online Learning or Virtual Learning in a teaching sense, can really give the instructors an extra step in their professions. Like many it is a change in the planning, but it does not take away the traditional side that many are accustomed. I mean, in a sense it’s a Hybrid style of learning and teaching. We know for many it’s new. But the theory is, you all know that if you don’t have these basic skills, consider yourself locked out! However, since many of you admit this, it’s time to get some training!

1) Go to the universities or workshops to take certified or degree related classes to help increase this side of learning. You know where they are. Get all the information and ask certain questions in which you might get into. They have them online also. Look at UW-Stout’s Online Teaching Program here.

2) Another thing you know is needed: NETWORK with other professionals. In this case, you’ll need to network with other teachers, administrators and other staff workers that know the game of Online Learning very well in order to maintain the objectives. Network on LinkedIn if possible.

3) Also when or if you get certified as an Online Instructor, usually you might have to be retested every year to maintain your status. And on top of that, you might have to add that to your Master’s Degree. If you pursue it!

4) In addition: For those of us whom are Alumni of Distance Education, I need to say this. We need to be in the conversation to help out those who are doing this for the first time. When we started out, we were the same way and had little or no help. With the times are changing, even facing the coronavirus, “the un-distance education folks” NEED US! No more attacking either! So I would suggest that, we need to be in contact with those to give advice and suggestive information based on our backgrounds, skills, experience and others to give those in need this boost of confidence that can be conquered. This is a GREAT TIME to use that to help those who aren’t aware. I would also suggest that we need to be consultants to get hired, trained to be certified and to be ready to provide that knowledge. And if we need to be called on from MPS or the University of Wisconsin-Stout or Milwaukee, or Oshkosh or whatever, we need to be there.

And the 5th thing, Every College and University MUST HAVE an Alumni Distance Education Group! An example to keep all Distance Education Alums to continue to network, assist with students and working professionals, and many other community like minded groups alike. Some colleges have this like UW-Platteville. But what about Stout? Milwaukee? Or even UW-Madison? Others like the HBCU’s, and many missed schools?

So finally, MPS if you reach out and get feedback, you will have folks who have been there in Online Learning to help out. No matter what year, school, university, job, volunteer community center, or whatever, guess what? They got you. So you need to comb through the businesses, and organizations that you know very well that can help provide the information to solve. After all, we’re all in this together.

And by the way, you’ll be better!



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I know that the DNC and the RNC had their Conventions, but guess what: It’s time to talk about what’s up in Milwaukee: In relation to the first MPS Alumni Summit.

Coming off the heels of the first All-Alumni Reunion, the summit was gathered at Bradley Tech High School on July 22nd, and yes: IDEAS were flowed about how can we the MPS Alumni can combine our forces to be one voice and one experience to give our ears, our EXPERIENCED ALUMNI EARS to give out to the current district of our schools. I know I’m a Marshall guy. But others were King, Hamiltion, Tech, Vincent, Lincoln High School, South Division, West Division (or Milwaukee High School for the Arts), and many others all under the MPS Alumni Umbrella.

This Summit was all about our Alumni Associations. Our Alumni Groups. Us being combined with many talents, ideas, truthful comments, and a host of collaborative ideas to remain ACTIVELY INVOLVED! – You will see this again towards the end.

When we gathered at Bradley Tech’s Entrance way, we were greeted by members of the Milwaukee Public Schools. They directed us to check in which we were given packets with information about volunteering, upcoming events, an overview how the 2015-16 provided the successes of the academic performances, an overview of Universal Drivers Education, a program that was missing from MPS for a while, is now making a comeback into the high schools. Plus an overview of what Milwaukee Public Schools is doing now to improve the outcomes of students: from White House Turnaround Arts, Community Schools, Partnership Schools, Trauma Sensitive Schools, College and Readiness, and M3 – Collaborating with MPS, Milwaukee Area Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

However: that was just the first wave of info. We were later divided into groups and were in discussing about the experiences of our Alma Maters. We talked about various experiences of Alumni Associations being an influence and a liaison. We also talked about why those in the Alumni don’t always contribute or gain interests in joining the Alumni Associations. From the lack of interest, to not revealing so much about the past. Even breaking the ice of the saying “Alumni Associations are for old people” commentary. REALLY?! One of the directors, of the committee is a 1997 HS Graduate of the Milwaukee Public Schools and currently active with Milwaukee Public Schools’ Central Services areas. Plus also many might realize that Alumni Groups are in need of the young folks. Those whom are late 80’s – 00’s that are alive and active. We also learned that there were commentary about not enough knowledge about Alumni Associations in terms of not hearing of one, not being knowledgeable about their purpose. Some of us commented about haven’t got started on joining Alumni Associations due to job starts or raising families. Many of us joined Alumni Associations well after 15 -20 years after graduating from High School. Me for example, I joined the John Marshall High School Alumni Association as a board member in 2011 which was about 16 years after my 1995 graduation. We also talked about collaborating with other high schools in the district. As many know here in Milwaukee, Rufus King and Riverside for example have Alumni Competitions in Flag Football, and year after they compete in raising scholarships and charitable causes. With other schools, Bradley Tech has the Turkey Bowl Alumni Classic on Thanksgiving Weekend and usually other schools of Bay View, King, Hamilton, and Riverside all compete under sportsmanship. Plus also, besides the trophy, it’s also about the value of education to the current students, with scholarships and career opportunities.

Also in the first part, we talked about that ALL Schools should have an All-Alumni Reunions every year. This needs to happen. For example: Rufus King has their annual Alumfest on the school grounds each year during late July. Bradley Tech has an All School Cookout and they have been doing it since early 80’s. There was two points that Marshall had an All-Alumni event in which the school celebrated 50 years in 2011. Plus along with the Soccer Game which was organized by a former Marshall High School Coach, the school also had a mini open house in which brought back some Eagles Alumni to view the merchandise and the soccer game as well. Even though there were some of the interests that was successful, but many should have came out or donated to the school for fundraisers. We also talked about the naming of the schools. In keeping the names of the schools to have that connection on the Alumni level. For example: this portrays about in one school in particular, my Alma Mater, John Marshall High School. Just recently the school got it’s original name back.

But what took to long get it going again?

Back around 2011 as most know, I blogged about the name of Samuel Morse*John Marshall School for the Gifted and Talented. Why was it again? Two things – Low Enrollment and also MPS was viewing the Gifted and Talented Program on the Middle School level in which everyone know that Morse was known for, but there was not one on the High School Level. Henceforth, that’s how Morse was fed into Marshall based on the Gifted and Talented program. And the school was going back to it’s 6-12 Grade roots. Just as a reminder who don’t know, Marshall started out as a 6-12 grade school, or a Middle and High School that was established in 1961. Furthermore, according to the history, the thought of Marshall being a Middle School/High School goes back to 1929, when then MPS Superindent Harold S. Vincent was in charge of the school district. Yes, the same Harold S. Vincent that has a school in his honor of Vincent High School here in Milwaukee. The school was placed on a land once owned by the Archdioces of Milwaukee at the time in which it was vacant space. There was no Dominos, no Citgo, no Wendy’s, not even a Mautz Paint Store that was placed. The School itself was state of the art, and once had over 3,000 students enrolled. Even some of the students had to go to the 65th Street School (now the Milwaukee Envriomental Sciences Academy) just across Capitol Drive.

Marshall has gone through it’s naming transformation over the course of the 55 years. It started out with “John Marshall Junior-Senior High School”.  Then around in the early 1980’s, it became “John Marshall Senior High School”. Around the Mid 80’s to the late 90’s, it was “John Marshall High School”. For the early 2000’s, the name and the school was split in three sections with W.E.B. Dubois High School, The Milwaukee Academy of Aviation and Technology or MAAT. Which the building was named “John Marshall Campus”. Thank former MPS Superintendent William Anderkopolus, a Marshall Grad for that. And most recently between 2010 and 2016, “Samuel Morse*John Marshall School for the Gifted and Talented”. Yes, John Marshall has been on the building for 55 years. The Gifted and Talented thing with Morse really had worked. The enrollment was building, the academic of Project Lead the Way, STEM, and many others really clicked. It was budding.

A point for the Alumni was asked in a sense from the staff, regarding the Alumni Association. I remember one of the former board members getting word in a question that asked “The Alumni Association: All they do is come to graduations thanking the graduates, with speeches and having their pictures on the wall. What have the done for us?!”

Ooooh! We were called out.

The Alumni Association had been called out and woken up by the then Morse*Marshall staff. They wanted to see us. They wanted to talk to us. They called us out. For the record, we visited their open houses, their Homecoming Games, Basketball Games, Marched on parade, visited their art galleries, musicals, and partake in their concerts of Winter and Spring. Even represented at their Graduation Ceremonies. So yes, we were “called out” and responded. And supported the students of their gifts and talents. Around last summer, there a flyer going around in regarding the “Morse” side of “Morse*Marshall”.  Early on,  I was approached by a former Parent Coordinator that MPS might pull the Morse Students out of Marshall sometime in the 2015-16 School Semester. I asked is the school going back to the 9th – 12th Grade, and the answer was yes. Later on in the year, the notice was approached to the Alumni Association in regarding a public meeting at the old Burroughs Middle School. Some representatives from MPS showed up at the meeting and talked about the pros and cons of Morse. There was some positive pointers, but the negative pointers of the stats and data was a concern. A concern that had to be examined based on academics and overall performance. One of the parents in the Public Meeting that her children wanted the “Middle School Experience”, in which she wanted a stand alone Middle School. Just 6th – 8th Grade. The data and notes of the meeting were later passed on to the district board for review. Last October, MPS reviewed the notes of the meeting, and it was approved that the district will move the Middle School of Morse out of Marshall to the Burroughs Middle School Building in the 2016-17 year, while Marshall will grow as once again as a 9th – 12th Grade High School. My Alma Mater will also reopen some classrooms and get new textbooks just to name a few upgrades. Later on, the school got another visit from MPS, this time from the Alumni Student Engagement area. Plus this was with the Alumni Association. One of the highlighted reasons I got from meeting was a new way to help strengthen the Alumni through their schools. And the featured part of the meeting what I got out of was the name of “Morse*Marshall”. Personally there was a disconnect between the name of Morse and Marshall. And partially it was due to the identity of the school. Many of feedback, partially from the Alumni wanted the school’s name to return to John Marshall to have that connection not only of the school’s history, but also with connection with the Alumni. When the school name of “Morse*Marshall” came out, not many in the Alumni was not too pleased with it. NOT MANY!  Majority wanted the old name back to reconnect as in once again a sense of identity that many know.

Furthermore, as of now, a new school year is coming, and the name of “John Marshall High School For the Gifted and Talented” is coming to open another chapter in the school’s history. I shared this link on Facebook on my private page, and later on two Milwaukee Marshall Alumni related group pages, and the results HAVE EXPLODED! And currently the word is spreading. So for you Marshall Alumni that wanted the name back, you got it! But I asked this question: Should we back this up? And make it stick? This portion of the news just came in time before the MPS Alumni Summit.

Other parts from the first meeting came about with some ideas to flow to all MPS Alumni:

  • Discussions about Go Fund Me, a page that could use in assisting in fundraising, etc.
  • Questions that might arise of “How can I help” Mixed also with being proactive.

Highlights of three versions of Small groups – These are the small groups that are very common as we know:

  1. Gung Ho – Those whom are always doing the work. Mostly the grunts.
  2. Actively involved or still involved
  3. Waiting List – those who waiting to assist or work with Alumni Associations.

Suggestive Ideas. And all should know:

Again: Have All School reunions every year. Host them during a week or month. Mostly during the summer months as an example.  (King Alumfest, Tech Annual Cookout every summer)

Help marketing to gain interests.

Have highly motivated people.

Help the system/help the school.

Use parent engagement.

Have 2 schools to collaborate: (i.e. – Marshall/Washington)An example raised about the Alumni Games of King and Riverside.

MPS Mentoring Program – Mentoring students while in school. Keep track on their progress, goals, objectives, etc.

Have businesses/trade colleges fairs and career fairs in the schools. This would be excellent for the Alumni to collaborate.


The second part of the meeting was more of what could be about our ideas to reach out as a MPS Alumni Member. One the things I said in the part of the meeting was these two words: “Actively Involved.” That is what EVERY MPS ALUMNI Member must do to be paying attention of what’s going on in our Alma Maters. Mainly some just come for party and glory which is fine, but many of us want to work! That should send signals to those that we want this to happen.

Reach out to businesses – mainly around the schools. Many of the businesses that the schools know, should support. For example, if a small business or well know business knows Marshall High School or Washington High School very well, that business needs to be reached out. This is where sponsors and support needs to happen! The same for those whom are well known Alums that work for a business that the schools really need to reach out.

Adopt a school. Some alumni can get together and form a group to adopt a school in the district. It could be a Elementary, Middle, or High School.

Identify the products of MPS: Add High School and year on business cards. (As in with Colleges and Universities) EVERY ALUMNI NEEDS TO DO THIS! Even though its not wanted, but still everyone in the MPS ALUMNI needs to add the their MPS ALUMNI to help connect and advertise. As an example: Milwaukee Public Schools Alumni: 1995; Milwaukee Area Technical College Alumni: 2000; University of Wisconsin-Stout Alumni: 2006. And matter of fact, that needs to be added on LinkedIn. Just saying.

Put a “good news” newsletter for the MPS Alumni Hub. Over the course of the year, we hear about all the scandals of Milwaukee Public Schools. Fights, suspensions, bringing a gun, racism etc. No matter the scandal, it seems to say “NO MPS FOR MY CHILD!” Or “Oh, it’s a fight at Marshall with all the gangs, or Bradley Tech got some word of N*GGER on the front of a locker”. “Or Riverside High School had some crazy fights on Facebook Live or Periscope. And Vincent joined in with King.”

Stop me if you heard this before. Why is it that when stuff like this happens it’s bad for the district and everyone goes hysterical about one MPS Fight strikes everyone to fear?! We ALUMNI need to talk about the good side of MPS, and what we the ALUMNI need to talk about that is positive, uplifting, inspiring, and a good opening reach to get us going for our kids that are currently in MPS and doing great things.

Speaking of that, I kept scratching my head on this, and it’s for us music folks. I know that MPS has an Alumni Choir, is there space for making an MPS Alumni Band? Think about it, MPS! An Alumni Band with horns, keyboards, drummers, guitar players, a DJ if you mind that can play instrumental music. And the idea can be formed with those who want to play for concerts with the Alumni Choir, have you Alma Mater Colors in full force, and even play at the MPS Music Festival. Or Summerfest. THINK ABOUT IT! Even an MPS Alumni Orchestra needs to be formed. I’m just saying. Who’s in?

And the last point: Strengthen all of our schools. All of our neighborhood, charter, special, and many other schools in Milwaukee Public Schools need to have strength to carry on. Never forget, we have to do this for the kids. We Alums had our day way back when, and yet we need to have that power to support. For many years, it was the parents, tax payers, staff, and neighborhoods that stood up. Now adding the Alumni to the mix is really going to generate new ideas to thrive. Think about this: many tax payers, educators, business owner, worker, parent, veteran, ambassador, or other title might have gone on to better things, but MANY started at Milwaukee Public Schools, and this would be a great time to support this new energy!

The last part of the Summit was more like a summary. In which what was discussed and what was learned. I think part of my summary was described above when I said the words “ACTIVELY INVOLVED”. That is what we need to do as MPS ALUMNI the most. I mean already we got the tools and talents. We need to put them to work.

Also, for anyone is a MPS Alumni Member, a website on the website has been created for us who want to be further engaged. The Milwaukee Public Schools has created the MPS Alumni Hub  for us Alums who want to know about any upcoming events, news, reunions, activities and many other we can keep track. There is a sign up sheet online in which you can register and the info will be delivered to your inbox. And for the record, this new areas of Alumni and Student Engagement been active since last September. And it took off since.

Overall, I’ve gained some insight about this. And I’m glad that I got the chance to get this info. What I have learned that we Alums can be valuable in the district based on what we do. I think also the idea of creating an Alumni Hub or an Alumni Area per se, is not to forget about us. But also realize that there is more we can gain. Of course we got our schools to upkeep, but combined with our stenghts and ideas, we can say that we are so MPS PROUD!

So MPS Alumni, its time to be real, be legit, and be giving. Our ideas must work to gain new ideas and to continue to spread “NEW ENERGY!” in the district that many of us grew out.

Oh, ask the MPS Alumni Office for a MPS Alumni pin to add to your collection!


It’s been awhile since the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had anything fun and nostalgic since the Green Sheet left us in 1994. Yes, I’ll admit, I was a fanatic of the Journal’s Green Journal of fun things of puzzles and horoscopes. But on Memorial Day when many of us were paying respects to those who have lost their lives in battle for the country, an old school favorite of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had returned. No it wasn’t the ghost of Solomon Juneau from the old Milwaukee Sentinel! It was a sheet. A Green Sheet.

For those who don’t know the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Green Sheet started in 1927 by the editor of the time Larry Lawrence. He started to edit the section from it’s (according to the Article) scandal-seeking ways to the then, and “family friendly fare.” In which you read about the horoscopes, the Dear Abby Advice Columns, and many many others. It was a nostalgic feel of those things that you see every week Monday through Saturday. However, as I indicated, the Journal discontinued the Green Sheet back in 1994, and at that time, I was still in my third year in High School. Years went by of course and many others who were long time fans of the paper wanted it back so badly. Well that wish, and those proposals were on the table and it’s complete. For the first time in 21 years, the JS brought back the old Green Sheet Classic with new twists for this era of blogs, smart-phones, websites, social media, and the era First black President. (Yeah I said it!) Expect the Green Sheet to feature alot of Throwback Thursdays. ALOT of them! 

Many of us in Milwaukee who are between the Baby-Boomers and Generation X/Y we remember the Green Sheet Biblically! Many of you probably got that on your Facebook Time pages of Alumni, Classics or many others that you want to informed about the classic resurrecting. But for me, as a member of Generation X, this picture below is so linked to me. Very much linked!

Courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal. 1993.

Source: Courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal’s The Green Sheet. 1993. 

This picture was taken back by the then Milwaukee Journal in 1993 when I was still a student at John Marshall High School. We were practicing for a halftime show appearance (on our part) with the Special Education Students. The event that was held in the month of October was for the Very Special Arts. This halftime show was for the special ed students that had the opportunity to perform the show along with other bands, and especially: The UW-Band. And yes, I had the chance to shake the hand of UW-Band director Mike Leckrone (who is still the director to this day). Anyway, being able to perform in Madison with my old high school, and the special eds, and the UW-Band was really something. And it just hit me, that game with the Badgers was against Michigan in 1993 (which the Badgers won), and it also had the infamous “Camp Randall Crush”, in which many of the fans tried to get onto the field to celebrate the Badgers victory, and so many of the students got hurt. Lucky for us, we left way before that happened!

So that was a real throwback that will never be forgotten! But other than that, we had a good time just being at the game, and help perform with the Special Education Students, whom also like me are now Marshall grads. And I’m glad even 21 years later, the John Marshall High School Band was featured in one of best sections the Milwaukee Journal had was with the Green Sheet. Not the obits!

So for all you now MPS students and teachers that are doing well thus far, don’t be surprised that this could happen to be published. Even if it’s now the revamped version of the Green Sheet!

To see the Green Sheet via the Internet: Click here –

Usually I don’t do this, but I have to call out my city right now. And if anyone feels that that what I am about to say based on a “governmental sensitive attitude” mainly it’s the truth. And I know from past experience.

I have a message Milwaukee: I am a PROUD ALUM of John Marshall High School. BAR NONE!

I am 1995 graduate of the school and PROUDLY I instill the Columbia Blue and Scarlet in me wherever I go.  I am the first and youngest member of the Alumni Board of the Directors and serve as Treasurer of the organization from the 1990’s decade.

I graduated from the same school where George Tillman Jr, Emily Pollard, Mike Gousha, Barbara Duffy and even a well known columnist here in the city also earned their stripes of achievement. Even well knowns like Mona Sutphen who worked under administrations of President Clinton and Obama.

Those right there, are proud things per say. But that is not the real story.

The real story is this. Apparently my Alma Mater 90’s folks had been accused and I dare say “thwarted” about a potential all class reunion that would have taken place, but in the eyes of those of a neighborhood association, the Milwaukee County Sheriff Department, Milwaukee Police Department and the Milwaukee County Parks had a concern about my alma mater’s gathering which would have been on a Second Saturday in August. Not to go into detail, the sensitive folks of these groups had it wrong about what kind of “reunion” was it supposed to be. The event was advertised on Facebook, and the sensitive folks had to react negatively about the words of “getting the hook up” in all with illegal alcohol  and many other concerns. The legality of this was and is NOT TRUE! Since then, the event was taken down on Facebook and there was an option of getting additional permits of presence of law enforcement and others.

This was supposed to be an Family Friendly event, bring your food, water and many others. And I really wanted to get the Alumni Association involved with this event. YES, the Alumni Association. And I was supposed to take pictures of the alums and guests to take place. Apparently, that was a non-factor to those of the parks, the neighborhood association, police or the sheriff. How do these folks know that the so-called illegal activity was supposed to happen?!!! Oh, I get it.  I really do.

Here it is!

This is one example of Milwaukee’s issues of addressing the concern of Segregation. I’m calling it what it is. Milwaukee is one of the major Segregated Cities in the United States and those individuals who threw a darn monkey wrench in a positive event just to save their own hides and jobs. REALLY?!!!

And don’t get me started about: “Oh, we pay our taxes, and we want to be safe from all the crime and drama.” SHUT UP!

Just Shut Up!

First, as a Black Resident, I pay taxes too. And I was brought up to help to keep neighborhoods safe. I hope the “Cooper Park Neighborhood Folks” can understand that. So technically as a native of Milwaukee and Wisconsin, I pay my fair share! Don’t get me started. And as far as the Milwaukee Police and Sheriff Department is concerned: I think they should have done a better job of finding out the real situation behind this. I don’t fault my Alma Mater folks on this. And I’m keeping cool on this. My advice to the Sheriff and Police, this “investigation” of my Alma Mater’s potential High School Reunion Picnic was out of bounds. I’m not on the planning committee, but I can say I knew the real deal support  of this event! It is appalling of what happened. And partially, I fault bad judgment. I don’t fault the deputies or officers as bad folks overall. It’s the bad judgment and miscommunication how it was interpreted. It’s sort of like gossip, or he say, she say, or they say. EVERYONE knows this! Even the folks who you go to work with encounters the same thing. And yes, the church knows as well. And we also know that words can get twisted or misused. My pastor once said you have to correct folks. Even if they have a badge.

It’s real sad there are folks, who feel that black people or any type of folks can’t have a good time these days. Always got to be negative. A real good time with all the negativity going on that might be making the 9:00pm news slot. That I call a thing that goes like this: Shameful.

Many in my 90’s Alumni Marshall Eagles are very productive in the areas of occupation, entrepreneurship, give back to the city in various ways of volunteering, owning their organizations, members of well known groups of service, financial, and many other occupations and jobs that they grasps since leaving Marshall well over and almost 20 years ago combined! And not only that, we were raised with family values!

So what’s the problem?

In regarding this in all: it is not over. My folks from High School will rise up and show out. And yes, those who don’t like it, will face the music of the truth. No matter what! Milwaukee, don’t underestimate the Alumni that soars with excellence! Even if you are a hater of the Mighty Eagles, don’t front on excellence!



John Marshall HIgh School Library Mural

In the past, I have written about Alumni Associations, and yes I written about why I think Alumni folks of the now per say, should give back to the schools. No matter if they are High School, College or University. And that goes for anyone!

But recently, my Alma Mater John Marshall High School in Milwaukee has been highlighted and featured in a news story that deals with MPS Alumni as an Untapped Resource. It’s there. But not many aren’t using it. Why is that? Not enough knowledge, financial stability, no interest, or just focused on just keeping it in the past. To continue My Alma Mater’s High School Alumni Group, is not just a memory lane or keep it in the past Alumni Association. It’s also focused on the present students, and the students yet to be. Even though it’s called “Morse-Marshall” currently, the Alumni Association still donates it’s time and effort of appreciation of academic work and summary of Alumni work.

Now if those are asking in Milwaukee, why did the name John Marshall High School, became Morse-Marshall School for the Gifted and Talented? I’ll explain this in a small summary detail.

1) In the last couple of years before the “name change” there was low enrollment in the school. And at the time, Marshall was separate with three different mini schools. Forgot the names, sorry. And in the papers back then, and I remember reading this, there were talks about what’s going to happen next in all. Partially this was that “closing rumor” that John Marshall High School was going to close up shop. BUT HOLD ON: there were Alumni from the 1970’s that went to the Milwaukee Public School Board and kept fighting that they should not close Marshall! It was those former students that should earn the “Real Alumni Award” for getting that done. Not to knock anyone who hasn’t done it, but that is how you stand up for your alma mater. Hear that North Division? Just saying. And for the record, I got this info from a current Marshall Instructor back in 2010.

2) The second part of that was the Gifted and Talented Program. Many don’t know that the school, Samuel Morse had a 20+ year partnership with John Marshall High School. Maybe through students connections, teacher connections or others. When the district was reviewing the “Gifted and Talented” program through the middle schools and/or elementary schools, there wasn’t one on the high school level. And with that, the Morse Gifted and Talented Program fed into Marshall and henceforth, the school was renamed as Samuel Morse-John Marshall School For The Gifted And Talented. And for the record, if those were wondering like and I heard this before: “I thought Marshall was just a high school……” Not very so. For the histrionics of all things, it was opened in 1961 as a Middle School/High School. The idea was thought about back in the late 1920’s that a future building that would do that. By the way, the MPS Superintendent at the time was the name of Harold S. Vincent. Which should resonate the ideal climax of Milwaukee’s Vincent High School. Yeah Vincent folks, the late great Harold S. Vincent gave birth to John Marshall High School! Check the books. Plus the school, was built near the land where the Archdioceses of Milwaukee once owned, which expanded more of Milwaukee. And it was built in the area that is a long rectangular shape around the areas of N.64th & 66th Streets and West Fiebrantz Avenue/Marion Streets. So yes Marshall neighbors, students, and Alumni who don’t know, Marshall has gone under name changes in the last 50+ years. It started of with John Marshall Junior-Senior High School, then it was John Marshall Senior High School, then John Marshall High School, then the John Marshall Campus, and now it’s Samuel Morse-John Marshall School for the Gifted and Talented. Got it? Good. Plus the school was named after John Marshall, the 8th Supreme Court Judge, the mascot is the American Eagle and the colors were and still are Columbia Blue and Scarlet. Plus Marshall was in line of names of prominent American figures in history named for schools. Sort of like Casimir Pulaski, Harold Vincent, Rufus King, Ronald Reagan, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, and Solomon Juneau. Know the history, Milwaukee!

The news was summarized by WUWM, which is Milwaukee Public Radio in which three of the Alumni Association Members, who I do take time to work with, expressed their commentary in this story. Feel free to listen and summarize exactly why and how an Alumni Association works. My HS Alumni Association has been in business since the year 2000, and still going strong with scholarships, and Alumni Memberships alike. The cost of Memberships is $25.00 and it is helpful for the organization. Plus also it’s very VITAL for the Morse-Marshall Students that would be graduating in the future. So yes, it’s just not about the past, it’s about the present and the future!

So for those who are proud High School Grads, College Grads in all. No matter what you school you did your time in, GIVE BACK!  And even that, the Alumni Associations of being untapped, should not be overlooked. So yes recognize and help your Alumni in terms of education and community!

For the John Marshall Alumni Eagles still reppin’ the Columbia Blue and Scarlet: One event have been slated for August.  A Co-Ed Soccer Game is slated for August 23rd in Milwaukee. If you use Facebook, do a search for both events. 


Seriously, Americans. What is wrong with the country? Correct me if I’m wrong, I was watching the news this morning about a High School Valedictorian out of Oklahoma who worked hard for her four years in school, and is NOT getting her High School Diploma, all because of the words uttered  of the phrase “How the hell do I know?” Look at that phrase again, “How the hell do I know?” And the thing is, that comment is nothing to be well, I’ll go ahead and say it: EXTREMELY SENSITIVE of everything that goes on! When I looked at the news, I’m like seriously. The folks in Oklahoma must be embrassed all because of this. So, in my estimation the school district that the student graduated from, is not getting her diploma unless she,  Kaitlin Nootbaar gives an apology to the school’s directors in exchange of her well deserved high school diploma. And the line, “How the hell do I know?” came from the TV show The Twlight Saga: In which it was mirrored in terms of “Who in the hell knows?” Yep, you read that right. A  teens TV show!

This reminds me of a Valedictorian that graduated from my old high school back in 2006 here in Milwaukee. Only this time it wasn’t a quote of “who in the hell cares?”. At the time, Class of 2006 Valedictorian Matt Umstot was in “danger” of not getting his high school diploma  in regards to what he expressed on his MySpace page before he addressed the 2006 class. I remember commenting this 6 years ago hard to believe, but for those who missed it, this is what I wrote:

“In America, we as citizens have a right to say whatever we want and back it up. Surely, for some it is a challenge, but others may be questionable. Take for instance, at my Alma Mater, John Marshall High School on June 6, (6-6-6) Class Valecdictorian Matt Umstot was to give a speech to his senior class. I went on his myspace site and appears that Matt wanted to say the “extreme” version of his speech than the “edited” version. In the speech, Matt talks about  how the City of Milwaukee’s leaders, school system, racism, and others have been a letdown for the Brewcity’s image.  He even revealed that a friend of his was killed because of a t-shirt. He stated in his graduation speech on how it would not be an easy speech to review. And also in punishment, if the speech would have been given, he would have been yanked off stage and not graduate.

 Let me say this as a 1995 Grad of Marshall, that I believe he earned the right and privilege to say what was on his mind. I know that it not easy these days, but again everyone has a right, even we don’t want to hear it. I would also believe that Matt probably stood up for what he believed in, although he was 18. Yo, age ain’t nothing but a number (to quote Aaliyah). Instead of turning off of what people like Matt have to say, we need to listen. Instead of pulling people off their big moments in life. And maybe if we just listen, we would probably  get the message. I know I feel the same way of changing the city for the better.”
So in contrast, Matt almost lost his diploma all because of telling the truth about Milwaukee’s problems at that time. And some of those problems are still a dilemma today! Did we listen, Milwaukee? Not really. Technically, I think the Milwaukee Public Schools Board Members at the time made a stupid, dumb move of this “warning” of Mr. Umstot making the truth blown in the faces of reality. This was 6 years ago, and both parties had moved forward. Peacefully.
Technically this is one of the reasons why I think most in the world laughs at Americans because of things like this. I never thought I would say this, but even though America has all these freedoms to endure, but we’re still sweating the small stuff of EVERYTHING! Somebody said a word, display something in public that is not demeaning, or making a point to tell the truth and we get all upset. Black History Month is celebrated or saying anything that relates to African-American is racist, but it’s not. Tell me this is real talk?  Oh, I know what those are thinking that , “Well, when I was a Valedictorian, I didn’t use the word hell or demanding change that my city be better in all.” Well that’s just you. Yes, times have changed. Those who lead their classes as Valedictorians (my High School Class had Co-Valedictorians in 1995) had to lead by positive example and to reflect that example upon leaving the school. BUT, I think they have the right to say something as long as it’s not a problem! Matt Umstot’s speech from 2006 and this comment out of Kaitlin Nootbaar were not violent, or offensive! You know, I hear the word “hell” alot in various terms. That’s why we go to church! We have many problems in the world ranging from jobs, housing, health care, social/economic status, international relations, human relations, racism, sexism, Women’s choice, Men’s choice, where to send our children for education, what to watch, what not to watch, what to listen, what not to listen, what to display, supporting our troops in battle, what not to display, when and how to support local talent and businesses, knowing when or not to keep President Obama in office, trying to get the folks to come to the polls and vote, and explaining the real reasons why voting does matter. Not because of where you stand or feel! Some of these things in which are problematic for a few, but not offensive to many. If it’s a problem for a few for a “pre-mature, extremely sensitive”  for whatever, then we do have a problem. Apparently those who have that problem in my estimation, that must lead to common sense!  Or in this case: learn to coexist. Bill Maher, earlier this year made the quote from his show that most should understand: “I don’t want to live in a country where no one ever says anything that offends anyone.” Like Bill Maher, I’m tired of walking on egg shells that might cause those to vomit, bleed or made a run for the hills!
Technically, yet again this is a non-issue that will die out. Long forgotten. DEAD ISSUE!  But if I were a real person though, instead of yanking diplomas off the students like Kaitlin, who from my understand earned with straight A’s, ask this question: What did she meant by that? Was that her question of who knows? Or I don’t know? A maybe? Basically that’s what I want to know. Sometimes in life, we don’t know what the future holds. The only way to make the future happen is to work on the things now. Sounds like to me, Kaitlin is a smart young lady that wants to make it happen even better in her next endeavors of life.
This is why we Americans need to be like Bishop TD Jakes, in terms of letting go. Let go and let God take care of it!

It seems to be a war on Teachers lately. Matter of fact, awhile. I had to stumble onto an article that I read from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, my hometown newspaper, in which a retired instructor of 32 years was defending his viewpoints of the thought of being a teacher. Check out this article, What happened to respect for teachers? on the site. The person who wrote the article, John Schissler, Jr. really examines his philosophy of knowledge of the educational game. By the way, he taught at my old high school, John Marshall in Milwaukee. The same high school, that gave well known alums like George Tillman, Jr, Barbara Duffy, Mike Gousha, John Fricke, Emily Pollard, Mona Sutphen and others their countless starts in the classrooms before going into their professions.

In his article, he wrote several points that really should be taken to advice in questioning:

How many of you realize that MPS teachers do not get paid vacations (which Charlie Sykes of WTMJ-AM (620) would have you believe)? Each summer, teachers are unemployed for 10 weeks yet are not eligible for unemployment benefits.

How many of you realize that MPS teachers receive only nine-day biweekly checks after working 10 days so that they have some money to carry them over for the holidays and spring breaks? Teachers do notget paid for holiday layoffs.

How many of you know that MPS teachers get only four paid holidays, no Christmas bonuses and not even a lousy turkey for the holidays? Teachers don’t get overtime pay, either – just the lower substitute teacher rate.

How many of you care that, as professionals, MPS educators do not get paid for internships? In addition, after teachers graduate and get a job at MPS, they have to renew their teaching licenses every five years. In order to do that, they must pay for six college credits each time.

Since when have teachers become a drain on the economy? The very people who complain about “those overpaid teachers” and high taxes have no problem dropping $6 for a beer at the ballpark to support millionaires who just play games. Some of these fiscally conservative individuals don’t even mind paying higher taxes to help pay for Miller Park. The only conclusion I can arrive at is that these fans believe ballpark celebrities (far from being heroes) are more deserving than the people who work with and for their children. Let’s level the playing field and give education the same break.

How often have I heard, “These young people are our future”? If that’s the case, when are we going to invest in them? I can’t count how many times I’ve heard this line: “Teachers just don’t get paid enough.” What has changed that our kids have become so unimportant that the first place we cut funding is education?

Finally, what has become of our value system that entertainers and celebrities, who make the big money, are held in higher esteem than teachers, who make the bigger difference?

After reading this with thought, this is real talk! Whether you like it or not. As a son, grandson, grand-nephew and cousin of Milwaukee Public Schools teachers, I hear this story alot. I hear what they go through by talking about it through experience. And to those who say that “logic kills liberals” per say is really misleading the fact that if you can read this, or play that, you better be thanking the man upstairs for teachers that can instruct those to do things. You ought to thank teachers now for getting on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s comments section and say what you feel. But however, those who constantly bash teachers like a bad habit saying that they’re overpaid and get cut less is nothing more than a hypocrite. Oh, yes, I’m about to vent now! I’m not a teacher in the Milwaukee Public Schools, but I feel their pain punching in the clock for the class rooms in all trying to make it through the day!  It’s also appalling that those constantly bash probably had experiences in the classrooms, or just want to jump on Scott Walker’s Bandwagon or the Republican Side mostly of slashing education. I find that disgraceful. I find that un-American, and truly find that those who repeat the “logic kills liberals” crap is nothing more than a mere troll that wants attention on the playground! I went there. Absolutely Pathetic! Currently, I know teachers that are making it, and they might admit that it wasn’t easy getting there. But they are in the classrooms everyday. And I dare ask what happened to us who used to be in the classrooms all those times, did we really listen or react with the teachers?  Do we ever tell them thank you for those times of give us a chance to shine? REALLY?! Those that don’t care now, better care when the casket drops. And it shouldn’t matter which side of the aisle you support. If the so called quote “logic kills liberals” is a so-called moniker nowadays, what kills conservatives? That’s exactly my point. The stone cold truth of keeping it real.

And again for those of you who are teachers in Milwaukee Public Schools,or anywhere else and making it in the struggle, I feel your pain!


I’ll say this. I’m glad that Milwaukee’s African World Festival is back in August. Or should I say, yet again. And it maybe only for one day, but I’m glad it’s back again. Now we all know why that is because of past financial issues with debts. I know by reading the history, I’m thinking why this Festival since 1982, was having it’s problems previously. Was it mismanagement? Probably. I know I shouldn’t front, but that can be for any company or any organization. We know. So there is nothing wrong of rebuilding. That is what African World Festival is doing. With all the acts of Charlie Wilson or Fred Hammond and the acts that are for the” over 40 crowd” (which I have no problem with) maybe this could be a way for the product to be built again. Last year, I saw some of my High School Friends rocking the Potowanomi Area, with rap music and spit poetry, which catered to my generation. (No disrepect Old School Milwaukee folks, but we need some of us to represent)

Now those who think that having a One Day thing is a stupid idea: I want to address this to those who think this: Where were you?!!!! You are the ones going around complaining about nothing to do in all. Are you the same ones that are making fools of yourselves on the 9:00pm news like at Riverwest and stuff back on July 3rd? Following those who think like you and do things like you to get attention? I’m talking to those who sit on their rear ends, always whining and complaining about nothing on Facebook, complaining about this, and complaining about that. If you really “care” about African World Festival so much, then why don’t you join up and bring your ideas to motion! Volunteer or something. Go to their meetings and events. I’m saying this as an African-American citizen of this city, not some outsider who thinks to have an answer for everything. That’s one of the main reasons why (you know what I’m saying).

This goes to those who thought that John Marshall High School closed up. If you haven’t been paying attention, Marshall is still open! It had gone through changes, but the building is still open. Go to the website: and get the truth. Plus talk to the Alumni Association and get the truth also. Don’t just “hear” from “your friends” in all, because they probably heard it wrong too! And plus, the school is still celebrating 50 years in the city.

If you aren’t part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.  Get it right, Milwaukee. And God bless the African World Festival for another year.

I got this idea from a Facebook Group Site that just came up. So instead of being a copycat, I decided to list things that I know are Milwaukee – Related. Some should make you think, but it is a way to remember those days:

You know if you’re from Milwaukee if…….

  • You used to go to restaurants like Arthur Treachers, Zantigos, and Red Barn.
  • You at one time went into Mill Road Theaters when Boyz N’ the Hood came out. Admit it!
  • You always smell beer for some reason going north on I-94 downtown.
  • You always remember that there was a green sheet in the Milwaukee Journal. Plus a Jump magazine.
  • You remember at one time Capitol Court had a theater, and a Gimbels.
  • You remember when Jeffery Dahmer was on the news like everyday.
  • You remember when the MCTS had the Number 1 Metrolink. (And the Number 2)
  • You remember that Riverside University High School was once called “East Division.”
  • You remember that North Division and Lincoln High Schools were the prominent rival schools. (North-Lincoln Rivalry)
  • You remember when North Division was “Real”.
  • You remember that John Marshall High School was THE school to go (back in the 70’s).
  • You remember when V100 started to play “new material”.
  • You first heard that Hot 102 was about to become New Rock 102.1 for again “new material”.
  • You always see the Jesus car up and down Wisconsin Avenue.
  • You remember when the Packers used to play some of their home games at County Stadium.
  • You remember when African World Festival was ALL three days
  • You remember when the city was a hotbed for pro wrestling, before the WWE.
  • You remember when there was store in Wauwatosa named Zayre.
  • If you shopped at a Pick N’ Save, a Cub Foods, a Jewel, and now a Piggly Wiggly in the same area of Capitol Court.
  • If you gone to the Mecca Arena for Bucks Games and Wrestling.
  • If you went to a AWA Wresting match and watch “Da Crusher” or “Mad Dog Vachon”.
  • If you remember smelling ambrosia chocolate or beer on the freeway.
  • If you remember the Boulevard Inn was near Washington Park before it was burned down by another company.
  • If you remember or heard that Washington Park was originally the County Zoo.
  • If you had family members who worked at places like Pfister & Vogel, Allis Chalmers,  or Trostels.
  • If you heard stories that every store in Milwaukee was closed on Sundays.
  • If you knew that Metropolitan High School used to be “Lapham Park”.
  • If you remember Pig and Whistle, a frozen custard shop in Shorewood. Besides Leon’s, and Kopp’s.
  • When Milwaukee had 2 Parades in the summer: City of Festivals and the Circus Parade back to back.
  • If you went to The Rave for a concert when it used to be The Eagles Club. Admit it.
  • If you went to the Pabst Mansion when it was a Haunted House and got scared every Halloween.
  • When Channel 18 had a first for 9:00pm news segment. And Tami Hughes was making a debut.
  • When the WWE (then the WWF) had a County Stadium appearance  called WrestleFest.
  • When Jerry Taff used to say “Good Night and better tomorrows”.
  • When Channel 24 had “Martin” on during the first season, and that one Halloween show was almost getting good until the station had technical difficulties. Anyone over 30 should remember that!
  • When you heard that when McDonald’s was first built, you had to drive from one part of town just to get to it.
  • When Duane Gay was on the air commenting “That’s the way I see it. How about you?” on Channel 18 News. (Or Super 18)
  • When you hear constant noise of rumble every 5 years of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles Anniversary.
  • When Channel 12 acquired Eleanor Hayes as an Anchorwoman- a first in Black History of the station.
  • When Colder’s used to have those spooky Halloween commercials. I mean SPOOKY! Next to Gordon Furniture’s eerie commercial towards the end.
  • When you now have to either watch “Morning Blend” or now “Real Milwaukee”.
  • Milwaukee is known for being a Cream City, A Genuine City and Chicago’s little brother.
  • When of all things you really have to do,  Lake Michigan or Bradford Beach Gatherings.
  • When the MCTS used to have “Accordion Style” buses and the ripcords that used to make that buzzing noise.
  • You had someone to buy a Beat It coat at JL Marcus back in the 80’s.
  • You still call Milwaukee, “Brew City” – which is nothing wrong at all.
  • You always find “that spot” every July 3rd at Veterans Park.
  • You hear F-16’s flying overhead almost every summer practicing for the Air & Water Show.
  • When John Marshall High School was a “Junior-Senior High School” and it was large over 3,000 students.

Last Saturday in Milwaukee, my Alma Mater of John Marshall High School turned 50 years old, and opened a new chapter in the life of the school. Nostalgic, yes. Lots of history share, most definitely. This was the first time that the school had an All-Class Gathering like this ever. Hopefully, it shouldn’t be the last. The day started with the tour in which the common places around Marshall were reflective: Ranging from the Auditorium dedication of Clifford George, who was the longest serving principal in the school’s history. Another area was the cafeteria, no not to remember the Mock Chicken Legs or the milk pouches! There were many merchandise items on sale ranging from yearbooks (both print and electronic versions) T-Shirts and Hats, and plus the Alumni Association table where three proclamations from the city and county of Milwaukee were displayed along with another from the State of Wisconsin. (And by the way, those were my ideas. Telling the truth).

The Library was another area of the tour, which has changed slightly. The mural was featured in which it was displayed to show the various symbolism of past Alums of the school. Plus it was dedicated around 1995 before my graduation. And in speaking of that, the now Library Media Center was formed during my years at Marshall. And also my class and other mid 90’s classes were alive when the internet was becoming mainstream.

During the Clifford George Dedication, (and later at the evening event) Dr. Eric Gallien who is the principal of the now Samuel Morse John Marshall School for the Gifted and Talented, indicated to us Alums that the legacies and many other symbols of Marshall will not be phased out. The students of the school will continue to carry out the legacies, and traditions that we alums remember. Including the Columbia Blue and Scarlet colors. And yes, they are learning the pep song of “Hey Look Me Over” and the Alma Mater; only difference is, it would be slightly different, lyrically.  In addition, several former Marshall teachers did appeared, ranging from John Schissler, to Thomas Marx, Carol Abraham, and Jacque Sommers.
In addition former administrators such as Richard Tolefson made an appearance as well.

The interaction between the classes was funny. When the older classes approached me about the class I represented (1995) they often replied, “does your mommy know you’re here?” “did you drove here?! or “this young whipper snapper”.  I found it hilarious and weak. But all in all, it was in good fun. Meeting the classes of the 70’s were cool, especially the class of ’76 which were nice folks. Some also told me that they were around when Marshall was starting to bus minorities in Milwaukee.  Didn’t know that. Also I had to tickle them that the year they graduated, I was born! Yes, I am a 1976 baby of course. The majority of the alums attended were indeed the 70’s because of the history they knew with the school when, in their words was a “junior-senior high school”. That’s like saying a combined Middle-High School in one. And the largest attendance record over 3,000 students at the time. Marshall was one of the first schools in the state to have this honor when it was opened since 1961, and at the time, President John F. Kennedy was in the White House, and our first African-American President Barack Obama was just born. Alums came near and far, especially from Hawaii also.

John Marshall HIgh School Library Mural

In addition to the 70’s in attendance, there were other classes of the 60’s appeared, as well as the 80’s. Even yes, my decade 90’s and the 2000’s were there also. Yes, all five decades of Marshall made their representation. (I had to state that on Facebook recently) The Evening portion was filled with music, food, an appreciation to John Schissler, silent auctions and also I had a chance to do some dj’ing of the music between the 80’s and 2000’s. And also, I shouldn’t say this but I did danced with the class of ’76. Again, nice folks. I also met folks from the 80’s, especially from the class of 1981 who were celebrating their 30th. And plus, I had the chance to meet a member of their class that made history, Barbara Duffy, Wisconsin’s first female firefighter. In addition I had to take pics.

Overall, the Centerpiece celebration was a success. Yes there some issues, but overall it was decent. I wish alot more would come and appreciate. Especially more in my 90’s classes! But that’s OK. At least they knew what was going on. There will be more events and activities following this towards 2012 with Mentoring programs for the Alumni and others. Including the Membership of the Alumni Association. It’s $25.00 per year and it’s tax deductible. I also think that now that the “Marshall Alumni Universe” or the Marshall Nation, or the blue & scarlet, or the Marsh-house crew should display their Alum side with pride like the mascot it has: the eagle. Talk about reviving. This was indeed a chance to be revived with the school I once bragged about. Even if it is 16 years later. No matter it was the infamous Eagle’s Nest, or the famed “Marsh-House”.  All the same.

Go Eagles!

Class of ’95 is still in the building!!!!!

The Milwaukee John Marshall High School Alumni Association is online at