Cassville High School Almuni return to teach

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The year was 1986, their song was Kyrie Elasion, by Mister Mister, and their colors were burgundy and silver.

The students from the Cassville High School class of 1986 were like any other class before, or after, with their hopes, dreams, interests, and even a little mischief at times.

Jerry Marple was the Cassville High School principal and did his best to keep them all in line. Dan Bailey had just completed his fifth year as superintendent for the Cassville School District.

The class of 1986 saw 80 graduates walk across the stage to receive their diploma, and five of them have now returned home to their alma mater to teach in Leisa (Ford) Lasley, Melanie (Ruark) Grossman, Kristie (Davis) Preddy, Shari (Eskildsen) Rhea and Chris Shore.

"I enjoyed having each of these students while they were in school," said Marple. "I had the opportunity to work at the Cassville School District for nine years and I really enjoyed those years. I am glad to see my former students come home. They were all outstanding kids."

Each alumni, now in the position of being a teacher and mentor to students, recalls favorite memories of being a student at Cassville High School.

Leisa Lasley

Lasley, resource educator, began her teaching career 22 years ago at Cassville. After completing college, she returned to her roots.

She recalls Sharon Farrow's class as being one of her favorites. She was also involved in Future Homemakers of America, ran track and played volleyball for the middle school team.

Lasley and her husband Brian are proud to call Cassville home and raise their two daughters, Rachel and Abby, as well as their son, Levi.

Melanie Grossman

Grossman started her teaching career in East Newton and was excited to have the opportunity to return to her alma mater this year to teach high school business.

Her favorite high school memory was going to football games. Grossman enjoyed playing volleyball, running track and being involved in Future Business Leaders of America, Science Club and the National Honors Society.

Grossman and her husband, Randy, along with children Dylan, Reilly and Emerson call Cassville home.

Kristie Preddy

Preddy is a self-proclaimed technology geek. She served time in detention her senior year for skipping class and hiding in the first computer lab on campus.

This year marks the start of her 17th year at Cassville. She began her teaching career in Golden City, where she taught science for two years before returning to Cassville to teach science before becoming the primary guidance counselor. Like many students through the years, Preddy remembers cruising Main Street every weekend. She was also involved in band.

"Our graduating class was small enough that you felt like you knew everyone, even if you did not share any common activities with them," said Preddy, who is married to 1984 Cassville graduate Gary Preddy. The two have three children: Michaela, Bob and Grant.

Shari Rhea

Rhea, who was voted Best All Around in high school, returned to Cassville after teaching in Texas, and has been with the district for 19 years.

She teaches sixth-grade communications arts and social studies and serves as coach for the middle school volleyball team.

Her favorite memory was building the homecoming parade floats, district-wide pep assemblies, playing volleyball, performing with the stage band, marching band and instigating senior pranks.

Rhea's husband, Darren, is also employed by the district. They have two sons: Kyle and Kris.

Chris Shore

Shore, physical education teacher and coach, has been teaching at the Cassville school district for 21 years.

He started his teaching career in Exeter. Shore was voted Best Dressed and was known for sneaking into the gym at night to play basketball his senior year. He resides in Cassville with his wife Marla and their two sons Jordan and Derek.

"Homecoming was a big deal for the entire district," Preddy said. "The students would line up on Main Street and watch the homecoming parade. After the parade, we would all meet at the high school gym for a district-wide pep assembly."

During the weeks before the parade, students would create floats for their class and individual clubs.

"That is one tradition I truly miss," Preddy said. "It gave all of us, the littlest and the biggest Wildcats, a sense of school pride."

August marked 30 years after graduation for the class of 1986.

With this milestone, many classmates will be reunited for the first time in years at their class reunion. But Lasley, Grossman, Preddy, Rhea and Shore work together daily and will be a continued part of the history of the Cassville School District and the success of Cassville graduates for many more years to come.

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