Moments in History

  • MOMENTS IN HISTORY
    Moments in History is a concept developed in conjunction with the 100th anniversary year.  We are trying to show the current students what the school was like "back in the day" as well as make a connection to things that may still be currently practiced.  These tidbits have come from old yearbook notations, personal memories or recollections of alumni or factual information about our history.  If you have a story, fact or anecdote to share, please email us at sphsaa@aol.com

    Enjoy the trip down memory lane.......
    • South Park's first Principal was Dr. Robert T. Bapst, he was a classical scholar, who led the newborn school's first steps to maturity over the school's initial 18 years.  He went on to become first the associate superintendent of Buffalo Public Schools, then Superintendent. Finally after retiring, he became a Roman Catholic priest.  He died in the early 1950's. 
    • The statues in Center hall are solid marble and  were bought in Italy and shipped over to South Park by our first Principal Dr. Robert T. Bapst.
    • The life-sized statues of Demosthenes, Socrates and Minerva, as well as smaller busts of Shakespeare and Dante in the library were brought back from studios in Florence, Italy by Dr. Bapst, our first principal, who oversaw their transport by ship during the 1920's.
    • As much a part of South Park's calendar as St. Patrick's Day has been over the many years of the school's history , it is not merely the festive green and shamrocks which are a part of its heritage.  It is after all, the day upon which ground was broken for the construction of our classically proportioned building done in the Roman style so admired by Dr. Robert Bapst, our first South Park principal.
    • The language German, which had been a mainstay of the modern languages instruction in America was suspended at South Park during the years 1918, 1919 and 1920.  During WWII, it was again suspended from 1942 - 1946.  German had been considered the language of an aggressor nation and it was felt unpatriotic to teach it.  
    • In the 1920's, students from each grade level spoke at Friday morning assemblies, set aside as "oratoricals".  In this way, before the massed student body all students within a 4 year period, would get to speak publicly before an audience of their peers to gain poise and self assurance. 
    • South Park offered night school classes in the early years of the 1920's, as well as, Post Graduate classes for those who couldn't get enough of "Dear Old South Park" before going on to college or university.
    • More than 50% of SPHS 1922 graduates to continue studies in college and other higher schools. Of the 128 grads, 69 applied.
    • In 1928, South Park had 1,792 students.
    • In 1929, Grad Lieutenant T. James Crotty, Coast Guard, died as a prisoner of war in the Philippines.  He had been taken prisoner when Japanese took  over Corregidor.
    • In 1931,  Olive Tonking, honor student at SPHS, won a City Supervisors Scholarship at University of Buffalo to cover her entire tuition.  The scholarship pays $100 for each of her four college years.
    • Miss Rose Bampton, a South Park graduate in 1920's, became a star with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.  She returned to her Alma Mater in 1934 to sing - celebrating the 20th anniversary of this school in 1935.
    • Our swimming pool was added in 1935 and was therefore, not part of the original building. Students did swim for South Park and earned major letters but in the early years they had to practice at other locations. 
    • In the fall of 1937, school was scheduled to begin on Wednesday, September 8.  However because of the threatened attack of infantile paralysis, an epidemic causing the same disease as the president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt had suffered from and lost his ability to walk, the Board of Education postponed the opening of school to September 22.   
    • Roger B Dooley,  a 1937 graduate of South Park was a gold medal winner for academic excellence.  He became a well known film historian, college professor and novelist.  One of his novels featured a South Park student from the Old First Ward.  
    • 1940 SPHS grad William Klas completed Army basic training and sent for specialized training to Michigan State Normal College.
    • In 1942, James Simpson, was promoted to first Lieutenant in the Army.  He'll be trained as an Artillery Survey Officer. Unfortunately another grad, Paul Gorman,  was killed in crash of Army plane in New Jersey. While Charles Carpenter was awarded the Soldiers Medal for heroism displayed while serving with the Medical corps aboard an army transport at sea.  He had been on convoy duty for 15 months and made 7 trips.
    • Unfortunately 1942 also claimed the life of  Gerard Kline who was killed in action during the Battle of Savo Island on 9AUG42.  
    • In 1943, Charles Snyder was appointed to West Point and was promoted to Tech Sergeant.  He completed 19 daylight missions over Europe and holds the Distinguished Flying Cross.  His hottest mission was over St. Nazaire in winter 42.  His flying fortress was targeted by the enemy.  Instruments shot out, radio, oxygen and part of the controls shot away all while two small fires in the plane had to be brought under control. There were more than 300 holes in the ship. Also that year, Lt John McCulston USMC, was missing skiing, ice hockey and winter sports from his location in the South Pacific while he was assigned to a Marine engineering unit. 
    • In 1943, 1939 SPHS Grad Francis "Bud" Hartnett met and talked with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt who visited the medical facility he was assigned to in the Pacific. South Park's  Rita Glavy was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army nurses corps and  Bill Henry was promoted to Staff Sergeant in North Africa.
    • On august 17, 1943, Lt William Cunningham was missing in action in North Africa since.  He was a pilot of a Flying Fortress.
    • Notably, also in 1943 Lieutenant Isabelle Rouselle arrived overseas for service.  Her brothers Leon and Louis were also in the armed forces.  All three were SPHS grads. Charles Snyder was appointed to West Point. PFC Lew Hopkins was also serving in the engineering corps in Africa had a surprise visit from his brother Capt Art Hopkins.  Both were SPHS alumni.  Catherine Baldwin was sworn in the army as a second lieutenant.  She was the first physiotherapist from Buffalo to be sworn in. James Finucane was sworn in as second lieutenant and an aerial bomber.  
    • Also in 1943, Former SPHS athletes Edgar Seil and Richard Nevins teamed as machine gunners in a Marine Unit.  Seil was quarterback on SPHS team 37-39 and in 38 member of first SPHS swim team.  Nevins was a cross country runner on the 38 Track team. Also that year, George White was promoted to Sergeant and received his wings as a B-17 Armament Gunner he played Basketball at SPHS.
    • In 1944, The Dial, was dedicated to those sons of South Park who had made the "Supreme Sacrifice".  During WWII, 118 former students gave their lives for their country.  (Note:  You can see a tribute to these brave individuals if you look under the "Our Fallen Worriers" tab in the Alumni section of this web site.)
    • In the 60's we had the best dressed students in the city. We were all from hard working class families, but still the Boys wore slacks, a collared shirt and of course a tie....everyday. On Fridays we wore a sport coat to all assemblies. If you somehow "forgot" your tie. Mr. Meany would provide one for you. They were always very colorful, and usually about six inches wide. You never forgot again.Girls wore dresses or skirts. We knew we represented South Park and took pride in our school. 
    • Also, teachers were always dressed appropriately. The men wore suits and ties, and the women dressed with class and style. They set the example for the students and we appreciated that.(submitted by Mike Homen Class of 1967)
    • Homerooms were all girls or all boys, no co-ed homerooms.  We were taught Health class by Mr. Al Huetter  the boys athletic coach.  He pulled no punches and told it like it was.  the Girls were embarrassed almost all the time. Football assemblies lasted some Fridays until NOON - the teachers weren't so happy but the students were, then classes were rescheduled for the day. Thanks to Dr. Hayes, we had a strict dress code policy back then and if the boys forgot their tie, never fear, Dr. Hayes had a glorious bunch of hideous ties in his office that you could borrow. We had a Christmas Pageant that was a serious and beautiful event followed by a fun Christmas Show.  Bob De Soto '66 sang Blue Christmas and to this day when the Class of 1960 gets together, he stands proudly and sings it for all to hear.  (submitted by  Sandy Messore Class of 1960)
    • During the famed Christmas Pageant; senior boys participated behind the scenes as "Angel Catchers". Girl singers as angels were often overcome by the intense heat produced by the work lights.  On risers, the girls were only about 1 1/2 feet away from the lights.  As they came close to passing out, the boys would literally "catch" them from falling and help the remaining angels move up the arches so no one in the audience realized what had taken place. 
    • It is interesting to look at the topics debated by South Parkers in the 1960's.  Among them "The US government should extend diplomatic recognition to Communist China in 1963". In 1964 "Resolved the Federal Government should extend Medicare as part of Social Security".  In 1965, "Resolved that nuclear weapons should be submitted to an international organization." Earlier that decade the Debat Club had tackled regulation of the unions and the abolition of the death penalty in New York State. 
    • Over the years, South Park has made drama a serious outlet for student creativity. During the 1960's students mounter the full length play, Pygmalion, the extended drama by Shirley Jackson, "The Lottery" and in 1966 we presented the full length musical "South Pacific" and in the 1990's a drama written by classes with the assistance of a local poet from the 'artist-in-residence program of the Buffalo Literary Center, called A Message From Charity," with original songs and dialogue.  It was set in New England during the Salem witch trials and dealt with time travel!
    • For many years in the 1960's South Park published a highly acclaimed literary magazine, each volume a prize-winner at the St. Bonaventure University Press Day competition or at the Buffalo Evening News regional judging, "The Pride" as it was called, generated an assembly program that was the highlight of the academic year.  It featured students' works in all genre of literature, original graphic arts and student composed music and dance performances.  At one point a student cartoonist illustrated "on the spot" creations to other students music and dialogue being presented on stage.  "The Pride" lasted well into the 1980's. 
    • By the mid-1960's we had become a school involved in the welfare of our fellow man.  Collecting clothing for the cold weather months to help needy families and the annual Thanksgiving food drive were only parts of our attempt at sharing.  Service sororities existed to donate time and money through many undertakings from baked goods sales to car washes and for the senior, Red Cross blood drives. gave the gift of life itself.
    • More than any other image, Charlie Brown and Snoopy appear in every "Dial" published in the 1960's.  Peanuts truly permeated the South Park and American consciousness and perhaps it conscience as well during those years.
    • In 1961, South Park began its literary magazine called "The Pride"
    • It was in 1964 and the Beatles were influencing the American youth.  I began to wear my hair long, but it was not appreciated in school at all.  In a fall assembly we were walking to the auditorium, when the Assistance Principle Mr. Toolen stopped me and said "Straw, either comb that hair back and get it off your forehead or you'll wear these bobby pins.  Well needless to say, I tried wetting it and combing it back, but my dry blonde hair fell back on my forehead.  Sure enough, Mr. Toolen handled me the bobby pins and I wore them.  I was also suspended once for wearing bell bottoms slacks! (Submitted by Mike Straw Class of 1967)
    • In 1964, an innovative program was begun for young men at South Park.  It was named Explorer Medical Post #313. It was only the 2nd program of its kind in the United States.  Sponsored by Mercy Hospital it familiarized future medical personnel with specific hospital departments - their procedures and equipment.  In a social atmosphere (real refreshments) through a lecture and question and answer session, these young men and later young women to enter the medical work force.
    • An off-shoot of the literary magazine, and a sign of the times, was the folk-singing group "The Waywinds".  It lasted from 1964-1972 and performed on South Park's stage, but also at various venues in South Buffalo and at downtown clubs and popular coffee houses.  Guitars, banjos, harmonicas, accompanied sopranos, tenors and basses.  The Waywinds mirrored songs of our roots out beliefs and our protests, which were part of the larger American cultural scene. 
    • Ground was broken on October of 1964 for the new Southside Junior High School further down Southside Parkway.  It was meant to house grades 7, 8 and 9, eliminating the freshmen presence at South Park.  It did do that for a short while before graduating oddly a single 4 year high school class, which still used South Park as its accredited source.  It then became an elementary school, under the leadership eventually, of our own Mrs. Schuta.
    • In the 1965 Golden Anniversary edition of "The Dial" was published a list of 22 former South Park students who had returned to teach at their Alma Mater as of that year.  Since 1915 it isw more likely that well over 100 "Sparks" had returned to light the fires of learning at 150 Southside Parkway.  How many of the present faculty do you know who atteneded South Park as students?
    • In 1965, when South Park celebrated her 50th anniversary, there were 14, 652 alumni
    • Assemblies were a more integral part of actual instruction in the past.  Typical auditorium events in 1965 included a Marine Corps judo-karate demonstration, acrobatic stunts by members of a Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey family, a Buffalo Philharmonic concert, a speech by Mrs. Alfreda Slominski, Board of Education member, pantomimes by Harry Barton which told an entire story without the use of words, and a lecture tour through the wilds of Darkest Africa with a renowned explorer.  All these in addition to holiday assemblies, Black and Red Day, Honor Roll assemblies and athletic recognition. 
    • A staple of many current yearbooks; identify the baby picture with the photo of the graduating senior was introduced in the 1966 yearbook.  Forty-eight rather cute but star struck toddlers in black and white captured the attention of "Dial" readers that year. 
    • In 1968, the Model UN at the State University College at Buffalo chose South Park to represent Ireland.  Do you think that outcome may have been fixed all along?
    • At one time, certain staircases were only used for going up and others were only used for coming down.
    • In May of 1969, South Park presented "The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark" in a modernized translation.  It was an ambitious undertaking, lasting over four hours.  So impressed was Dr. Joseph Manch, Superintendent of Schools that he made arrangements to have part of the drama broadcast throughout the district.    
    • For many years, homerooms were separated by boys and girls.
    • Lunches were not always co-ed…girls and boys were separated.  Boys ate on one side and girls ate on the other.  Before our recent renovations the entire cafeteria was cut in half allowing for the separations of students. 
    • In a period of rapid change to our society for the first time in a new club appeared in the 1970's Dial - the Afro-American Society.  It placed a strong emphasis on Black pride and promoted the contributions of Black American men and women. 
    • In 1971, South Park appeared on "It's Academic" a local quiz show hosted by Van Miller the then, "Voice of the Buffalo Bills", holding its own between Mr. Mercy Academy and Westfield Academy reaching the quarter finals for that season.  South Park also participated that year in Timon High School's  College Bowl, sometimes pitting neighbor against neighbor or even relatives. 
    • In 1972 The passage of Title IX, the Education Amendments to the Civil Rights Act, expanded high school athletic opportunities to include girls, revolutionizing mass sports participation in the United States. Before this, only boys could participate in sports in high school.  
    • More travel for South Parkers came with the French club and later with the Spanish club.  Getting up early on Fridays and returning after midnight on Sundays, Sparks were able to tour Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City, enjoying both Spanish and French speaking Canada.  They visited the House of Parliament, the Olympic Village, saw the Ecodome, historic upper and lower Quebec city and savored crepes and typical breakfast dinner at a rural sugar shack.   
    • In 1977, the senior class officers decided we needed a school mascot to represent the South Park Sparks.  They purchase a large teddy bear and named him "Sparky".  He attended all assemblies, sporting events and was  featured several times in the school yearbook "The Dial".
    • During the 1980's decade our mascot, Sparky, moved from the smaller plush stuffed "teddy bear" through two complete life sized costumes.  Life inside the costume was sufficiently hot for the wearer to lose weight!! Air circulation was non-existent!! Sparky and later his lady friend "Sparkle" helped entertain audiences at Pep Rallies and on the football field during half time.  His prints could be found everywhere from SP stationary to ceiling tiles!! 
    • 1980, SPHS Adopts new "Push-Excel" program and Rev Jesse Jackson visited SPHS to address students and kick-off the Push-Excel program.  His address captivated the audience.
    • Multi-cultural month was sponsored by Push Excel in February.  Students were able to visit displays featuring the background and lifestyles of non-native Americans who were their fellow South Parkers  - Europeans, Asians, African or South Americans.  Especially anticipate were the delicious food choices available underlying the true spirit of brotherhood at South Park. 
    • In 1981, Doreen Shephers completed a Roswell Summer Research program.  She learned how about culturing cells, how to assay colonies, and learned about antibiotics and mice.
    • Until the early 80’s, gym classes were never co-ed.  Girls had gym with girls and boys had gym with boys. 
    • For many years during the 80’s decade we had a store that sold potato chips and snacks during all the lunches. 
    • South Park's first and last annex was at School #67 on Abbott Road.  It lasted well into the 1980's, beginning in 1932.  Usually the annex held the Freshmen class.  At various times School 72 (Lorraine Academy) and School #7 on Bailey Avenue were pressed into service. In the Early 1970's enrollment near 2400 forced split sessions - and early and a later full 7 period class day.  
    • For several years in the 1980’s South Park High school did not have any Freshmen in this building.  They were housed in what is now the Discovery School and it was called South Park Prep. 
    • For a long time in South Park’s history, no students were allowed to enter the building using the Center Hall doors.  There were attendance monitors at the basement doors to sign late students in.
    • There used to be a pay phone in the building….years ago it was in a phone booth in the mail room and later at the bottom of the steps in Center Hall. 
    • By the end of the 1980's, after having spent a year at Southside Junior HS as home to our ninth grade, all freshman classes were taken at " The Prep" or school 67 on Abbott Road.  Always a part of our family, life at the Annex created an entire culture of it's own with beloved teachers and administration.  
    • In the mid to late 1980's South Park participated in a program  at the Buffalo Vocational Technical Center which trained students in programs such as Cosmetology, printing and various other Career and Technical trades.  Students would attend SPHS for 1/2 day and BVTC for 1/2 day.  
    • Looking over yearbook pages from the decade of the eighties, a reader is amazed by the number of acronyms for various programs which existed at our school: BVTC, SPUST, SAC, RSI, RCT, SADD and MADD, CERT and RECERT.  In many ways it was similar to today, everyone had a solution with a certain twist to accomplish the difficult task of educating Buffalo's and America's youth.  
    • In the later eighties, Push-Excel sponsored "Community Day".  Community leaders and representatives of business firms visited school and gave an overview of real world situations.  Representatives of many different work arease - judges , authors, business persons, media personalities and teachers in higher education all spoke with our students and in some cases began a mentoring relationship with our Sparks.   
    • Pep assemblies were very much a part of everyday life at South Park in the 1980's, and our school produced some amazing dramatic events to get students involved: "Tip toe Through the Violets", the $1.98 Beauty contest, parodies of Sesame Street, M + M boys meet the girls from Rasinettes and numerous skits involving many good-nurtured faculty members being kicked as the butt of good nurtured student jokes.  In the end, however, such stunts helped us earn "Tons of Money" for the Variety Club telethon year after year.
    • The theme for the 1981 Dial was technology.  It recognized our utilization, if not our dependence upon microwave ovens, electronic thermostats and photo-electric garage door openers.  Carried to the ridiculous at one time, South Park's thermostats were controlled from Greenwich Connecticut! the fear of technological breakdown in 1999 at Y2K still lay decades into the future.  Imagine what that years senior class would have thought if they could have see how we live today, hackers and all!!!
    • On September 15th of 1981, the charismatic figure of the Reverend Jesse L Jackson came to SPHS in inaugurate the "Push-Excel Program" and to conscript South Parkers to become part of the "total" involvement approach to education, which requires parents, students, teachers and the surrounding neighborhood organizations. "It seems in many ways our country is still attempting to achieve this goal. In attendance were Buffalo's redoubtable mayor, Jimmy Griffin and the Superintendent of schools, Eugene Reville.
    • In 1982, SPHS fields first Soccer team
    • In 1982, the whole school celebrated as Eugene Reville, Superintendent of the Buffalo Public Schools and a former South Parker, himself, dismissed afternoon classes to celebrate the Yale Cup victory assembly.
    • The December 1983 performance of the annual Christmas Pageant was to become the last performance in a tradition which extended back to 1915.  The performance had grown ever-larger and more elaborate over the years.  It stood out because it involved so many area of interest, orchestral and choral music, stage design, the graphic arts and printing, dramatic stage crew, homemaking for costumes, etc.  Naturally, large numbers of students become involved in creating a single and highly positive production. It's loss was a widely felt blow to school spirit.
    • In the last performance of the Christmas pageant disaster nearly struck.  A piano lamp was used to illuminate the halo effect from the manger in the Nativity scene.  The intense heat caused the straw upon which a newborn "doll" way lying to begin to smolder. Someone was smoking in  Bethlehem!! One of our teachers quickly pulled the extension cord and the Virgin Mary look greatly relieved.
    • In 1984 SPHS Student Cynthia Ruiz, Senior, participated in two month apprenticeship research program at Univ of Buffalo school  of Medicine.  She collected and analyzed data to determine effects of alcohol on the liver.  This is the second year she worked in this program
    • In 1985, the South Park girls softball team were the city champions. While Jeuanita Jackson, was a Senior selected to have her biography appear in 84-85 issue of Who's Who Among American HS Students
    • In 1986, a South Park student, Brendan McClain joined the ranks of the elite when he scored the 1000th career point in basketball.
    • Our girls continued making further inroads for athletic equality as the decades of the 80's wore on.  Soon we would have girls varsity basketball, softball and girls cross country.  Earlier, girls had been accepted into the varsity swimming teams. The boys responded and by 1987 we saw men's eight training take hold.  Soon we'd see competition for South Park's strongest man.
    • South parks Flag Corps was organized in 1987.  The next year in October, Tom Barraso, Buffalo Sabers goalie spoke to the entire student body, promoting an organization close to his heart--Students Against Drunk Driving.  Making quite a hit with his South Park audience, he seemed especially proud to leave with a South Park hockey jersey--after all, where else could he get one??
    • November 24th of 1988 saw the Harvard Cup return to South Park for the first time in 34 years.  Over 7,000 fans; students, parents, faculty and alumni were in attendance.  It must have been a great feeling for assistant coach Frank Kania who had played on that same team in 1954, and for head coach  Jerry Obstein as well.  This was the 9th time in the history of that prestigious award, that it was won by South Park with a score of South Park 8 and Hutch Tech 6. 
    • In 1988, soccer joined the roster of sports new to South Park.  Charles Trombley became our first National Merit Scholar--truly an impressive accomplishment for an academic school with no unique program to call it's own.  
    • Favorite cafeteria lunches mentioned in the 1989 Dial included cheeseburgers, french fries, corn, pizza, chocolate shakes, sub sandwiches and mashed potatoes. What would Michelle Obama say to that list?
    • The year 1989 brought us news that three Buffalo schools, Hutch Tech, City Honors and South Park had been chosen to represent New York State in national competition.  These were considered the nation's best and brightest schools for their programs to aid students at risk of failure to their programs for the gifted and talented.  In fact, the 1989 edition of "The Dial" was dedicated to all of the people -- graduates, faculty and staff, retirees, leaders and administration -- indeed, all of the many folks who make a school, just that.  
    • One humorous consequence of losing the annual Christmas Pageant to a Federal prohibition against religion in public schools came the year after it had ended. In an attempt to enliven what admittedly was a rather colorless choral performance of holiday melodies, the stage crew had been instructed to shake boxes of ivory snow detergent soap flakes from the trap doors above the stage.  It did look like real snow flakes drifting down as the chorus sand "let It Snow, let it snow, let it snow". Unfortunately, when the soap detergent hit the activator in the popular Afro-styled hair preparations of the chorus members, it spontaneously foamed and bubbled down in streaks across their faces.  The chorus was temporarily blinded and the holiday carolers began staggering off the stage risers.  It was definitely more exciting that the very serious pageant had ever been.  The audience however all thought it was part of the program and applauded wildly.   
    • By the mid 1990's, South Park became something of a clearing house for student teachers.  While Buffalo State and the University of Buffalo had been staples of our student teacher supply as had Canisius, others joined the force - - Daeman, D'Youville and even as far as Niagara University and Fredonia.  South Park was a major contact with the BRIET program for excellence in teacher training an outgrowth of UB's honor program.
    • December holidays took a somewhat more celebratory turn in the early 1990's.  On the last day of classes before vacation, the department heads and administraton decided upon a four part entertainment day as a gift to the student body.  Students got to choose a morning and afternoon activity, complete with glitter ball and strobe lights, an olf-fashioned sock hop, a full length feature movie with popcorn, a volley ball game or a series of board and card games or chees tournaments.  
    • After years of graduating from Kleinhans Music Hall, South Park in the 1990's began a venue with the Buffalo Convention Center.  For a number of years the graduation site was then switched to Shea's Performing Arts Center before returning to our own James Ernle Auditorium here at school.  Years earlier it had been named the Robert T Bapst auditorium.  Back in the 1930's the old Broadway Auditorium had been the site of alumni reunion and graduation.
    • New emergent courses being offered at BVTC by the Buffalo Board of Education included Fashion Clothing and Textiles, Security and Law Enforcement, Computer Information Systems, Medical and Legal Office Technology and computer Tax and Accounting.
    • The end of the 80's meant that for a few decades all freshmen classes would be held at the annex number 67 on Abbott Road.  In September of 1991 the Prep School, as classes at the annex came to be called, would close and once again all four years of high school would be held in the main building at 150 Southside Parkway. 
    • The Liberty Partnership program was begun in the 1990-1991 school year.  It was designed to increase student academic performance levels, enhance student's self esteem and increase school attendance.  Peer tutoring homework assistance and computer aided instruction were available to enhance learning for its members.  The National Honor Society acted as volunteer tutors.  For many, it make the difference between graduation and failure. 
    • In the early 1990's the International Club had become an added incentive at South Park for its potential to allow students to become involved in foreign travel and to host a student from a foreign country.  In fact a number of our students would go to France later in the decade.  It's members sold refreshments to teachers and parents at Open House and on the football side lines at Riverside and All High fields.  From the International Club sprang the AFS or International Field Service.  It allowed selected students from South Park to travel to Thailand, Panama and Japan.  They worked on projects from saving the coral reef to investigating plant species in the rain-forest.  Our own Mr. Delaney was able to spend a summer in Latvia on the Baltic Sea through AFS.  Others took advantage of the popular Costa-Rican exchange program.   
    • As we look at the pages of the 1991 Dial, it is difficult to realize that beyond the smiles and photos of "Friends Forever", alumni serving the nation in the Persian Gulf were leading very different daily lives that their younger brothers and sisters back home in Buffalo.  Indeed, sadly but appropriately the VFW Post at South Park and Southside Parkway is named for a true patriot and hero from our school, David McKeever.
    • The 1991 "Dial" featured a seeing double page with no fewer than 6 sets of twins in attendance that year.  
    • At the end of January 1992 in what should have taken an entire summer, the Prep school left School #67 on Abbott Road and set up camp in the main building after a long run at the Annex.  Although the move was planned for after January Regents exams this incredible undertaking was completed in just one 5 day school week.
    • In January of 1992 everyone wore red, white and blue as Bill's fever broke out at South Park.  We went on to win the AFC title over Denver for the fourth consecutive year in a a row.  Faculty and students celebrated, many by shaving fresh new lines into hairstyles advertising their allegiance to the home team.
    • Homecoming Weekend 1992 saw a show down between South Park and Grover Cleveland reminiscent of the Harvard Cup Playoffs of the previous years, as South Park closely mimicked the Buffalo Bills.  Later that season, at an evening in school pep rally, South Park alumna, Lillian Foss of the Class of 1919 was in attendance. The next day South Park trounced Burgard 18-0.
    • Once again, South Park in 1993 won the Harvard Cup; finishing 26-0 against Kensington.  the cup could not be retired, after being presented by John Bray, a Harvard Alumnus.  It was our third successive and successful victory.
    • In 1994, South Park initiated the Junior Reserve Officer Training Course for male and female students.  ROTC was organized as far back as 1916 under the National Defense Act.  South Park was one of the first schools state -wide to begin such a program which was meant to foster leadership and patriotism, develop self discipline, responsibility and a positive response to constitured aurthority among its initial 12 redruits.  The end of the year would bring both summer boat camp and the Military Ball - - a highlight of the academic major for many. 

     

    • For the first time in the 1994 Dial, all senior portraits were printed in color--and exciting new touch and altogether a rather expensive one too!! In another decade the entire book, although smaller, would be in full color!!
    • In September of 1996, when we returned to school a new face greeted us in the Principal's office; Mr. Raymond Perreault had come to us from Grover Cleveland High School. "Doc" Lafornara had left to head City Honors School.  It was a new beginning for our 80th year.
    • In Spring of 1996 we were thrilled to see our Sparks come in first in baseball after many years, winning the Cornell Cup championship.  It had been a 10-1 season under the coaching of physical education teacher, Kenneth Pope.  The winning game was played at then Pilot Field, home of the Buffalo Bisons.
    • The first college credit to be offered at South Park occurred in 1996, with a very capable member of the English Department coordinating personal computers and an on-line and televised interactive setting. The class of four girls joined other students around the state to attempt college credit in English composition during their high school careers.  By the next year, it would grow to 19 participants.
    • An extremely positive inclusion in the history curriculum in the mid-1990's fell under the heading, Economics.  It was the stock market game.  Although (sadly) no actual money changed hands, students go to make investments using a "grub steak" a limited amount of monetary input and then to trace it up or down the graph as it paid dividends or lost principal value.  Under the capable leadership of a beloved South Park social studies teacher, this troupe of investors were led to competitions at which they won first in the region and third in the state.  By the second year of its existence at South Park we had the 9th most successful team in the United States.  
    • By the mid 1990's federal law equality in education and athletics for the sexes had caught up to change the status quo at South Park.  To the, then traditional sports teams we had come to expect as dominated by males were added: Girls Volleyball, Girls Softball and Ladies Track and Field.  The boys however formed their own rather capable, if somewhat comical drill team in 1996.
    • During the 1990's there were many family enterprises at work in South Park among the faculty -- Mr. and Mrs. Cummins, taught English and Special Education and their daughter Lara who was a substitute teacher.  Mrs. O'Sullivan taught English and her daughter Joan was a substitute teacher.  Ms. Hannon taught Special Education and her sister Mary Hannon served as a substitute teacher. Mr. Collier was an administrator and his wife Mrs.Collier was a Special Education teacher.  Mrs. Lombardo taught Physical Education while her daughter Jeanette worked here as well.  Mrs. Witczak worked in our attendance office for many years while her daughter Joanie was a teacher aide.  Mr. Pieczynski and his lovely wife Mrs. Pieczynski both worked with the band.  Carmen Ortiz Sr. and her daughter Carmen Ortiz Jr. worked together for years.  Mr. Goodberry was a Social Studies teacher while his wife Mrs. Goodberry was a Math teacher.  Mr. Haley worked as a guidance counselor and his wife subbed many times at South Park.  Mrs. Nancy Jones worked for our Push-Excel program while her son Tim was a teacher aide.  Gert Bettinger and both her daughters worked on the custodial staff, her daughter Tammy still works at South Park.  Mr. and Mrs. Zaolcha both worked together here as English teachers.  Chief Engineer James Ernle and both his son Patrick and Michael worked at South Park for years (Mike is still here today).  It really was like one big family!!!!
    • There is no 4th floor – that is an urban legend that has been around for years.
    • In the 2010 Henry's Crime, Keauna Reeves is looking at a yearbook while he is sitting on a bed, and when he closes the book it is the 1983 South Park Dial (if you don't believe us fast forward to 20 minute 25 seconds into the movie and see for yourself) (submitted by Mark Hannon Class of 1983)
    • It is really impossible to tell the number of gallons of blood which might have been collected byt the American Red Cross and later UNYTS at blood drives sponsored by our own Student Council. Over many years, students have taken car of registration, the associated escorting, refreshments, pass writing and transportation and equipment.  South Parker's have always been generous, even in giving "the gift of life".
    • Currently, South Park has almost 40,000 alumni and every students who attends South Park will become an alumni.