MCHS alumni gather recently for a Class of 1970 reunion

With the graduation of the Class of 2021, the inaugural year for the McHenry High School Alumni Association is ready to take flight.

McHenry High School District 156 officials are launching the new alumni program to coincide with graduation, and to help build a bridge between current graduates and the thousands of graduates in McHenry High School history.

Graduating Class of 2021 students have all been invited to join the new alumni association and register with the online platform. Several other events are planned for this year to promote and encourage all graduates to join, including a special alumni event this fall during the school’s homecoming.

For Patti Vickery, a 1959 graduate the new alumni association offers her a great way to stay in touch with her former classmates and also to memorialize special McHenry High School milestones, such as the naming of McCracken Field after her father. Leonard “Mac” McCracken was a longtime coach and athletic director until 1970.

“It does mean a lot to me,” Vickery said. “There are so many alumni still living in McHenry.”

The association, which also includes high school staff past and present, provides a way for alumni to keep in touch with each other and also former teachers, counselors, coaches and other staff. It will also act as an avenue for alumni to make professional connections, as well.

Carl Vallianatos, District 156 assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, said establishing an alumni association has been a longtime goal. 

“MCHS has almost a century of proud, rich history and our alumni are near and far,” Vallianatos said. “We also have so many new changes and amazing things going on in our school district and community.”

The new alumni association also coincides with the transition from two separate high schools into one with a Freshman Campus and an Upper Campus. Also, District 156 officials are preparing for another milestone with the full opening of the new 70,000-square-foot Center for Science, Technology and Industry at the Upper (West) Campus. 

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