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Last updated
February 14, 2024

Copyright 2024
John W. Pritchett
News Articles
Graduation Is Valuable (In More Than One Way)
Dallas Morning News, May 24, 1969
A high school diploma is a small, white sheet of paper — that costs any where from $130 to $200. A rough cost of the high cost of graduating, that figure includes the parties and corsages and rings and dresses and tuxedos, all part of the once-in-a-lifetime happening. With the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” reeling in their heads, parents of today's high school graduates may well have more than one reason for being misty-eyed. It happens every May or June, but financial requirements can begin as early as February, when senior activities get underway. Seniors at Lake Highlands High School summed up some of the general expenses incurred for graduation.
According to Sharon Moss, “The father of the girl graduate can expect something like this: cap and gown rental, $3-5; yearbook, $6-7; pictures, $15; announcements, $10; Prom dress, $50; hairdresser, $5-10; after prom party, $6-10; tea or brunch, $25.”
For boys, said David Atwood, “Subtract the prom outfit and add $10 for tuxedo rental, $5-10 for a corsage; $10-15 for taking the girl to dinner and you realize that he doesn't get off lightly either.”
How much it costs to graduate depends, in part, on the school. But the basics don't vary much. Senior pictures are one of these basics. A photo for the school yearbook sets you back only about $2 but “a lot of kids can — and do — spend $50,” says Tommy Cooksey, a photographer who has been snapping them for years at Lake Highlands. The extra investments, he points out, is spent on pictures that are “sent to aunts and uncles and swapped by the bushel.” The average cost for one set of pictures is $20.
It's the extras that add most to the costs, point out the students. “That prom corsage a guy buys a girl will cost about $5 and is apt to be roses or carnations,” says John Blount. “But he might splurge on an orchid for $8.”
For prom dress, most boys pay $8 to $10 for tuxedo rental. But the girl's outfit is more likely to be new and more in the $40 to $50 range. ”And with it,” reminds Kathy Emblad, “she'll need long loves, shoes, and a wrap.”
But it doesn't end there for most coeds. She doubtless will have ”nothing to wear” to the after-prom. “And don't forget that all-night party,” adds Mary Beth Dryden. At Lake Highlands parents sponsor the all-night party graduation night. It traditionally includes supper and breakfast, plus a combo playing all night long. The tab: $10 to $25 a person.
But it happens only once. Or does it? There is the little matter of college. Many of the better ones require a $100 deposit with the application form — and it's non-refundable.
Girls Wear Long Skirts in Protest
Dallas Morning News, September 22, 1969
Students at Lake Highlands High School in the Richardson School District staged a mini-sized “wear-in” Thursday, in protest of what they consider strict school regulations on the length of their miniskirts. Six girls appeared in calf-length dresses and carried a sign which read, ”Think High.” They promised that more feminists would join the movement Friday.
The girls said their protest stems from a school policy of measuring dresses. It prohibits skirts from being more than four inches from the floor when kneeling. Said one: “If they're more than four inches above our knees, we're sent home. We're coming to school to learn, not to be sent home.”
Another objected that, “With current styles, you can't buy skirts as long as they want you to wear them.”
Before ordering newsmen off school property Thursday, Principal, A.M. Anderson said the girls may wear dresses as long as they like.
Bomb Hoax Brings Impromptu Concert
Dallas Morning News, March 8, 1967
For almost 1½ hours Tuesday afternoon, the Lake Highlands High School Band played an impromptu concert without really knowing why. Bandsmen and the student body were sent to the gymnasium, some 200 yards from the main building at 9449 Church Road, after lunch break without being told that a caller had reported a bomb hidden in the school and time to explode at 2:15 p.m.
Principal A.M. Anderson said he really didn't think he had the entire assembly fooled by the ruse of staging a concert in the gym to clear the main building for a room-by-room search by police.
“I'm pretty sure some knew the secret ... these kids are pretty smart,” he said after the all-clear was sounded at 2:20 p.m. Police wrote off the threat as a hoax.
Land for Parking
Dallas Morning News, February 8, 1969
The Richardson School Board voted to pay Katy Railroad $15,000 for 3.8 acres of land adjacent to the Lake Highlands High School stadium. The land will be used principally for parking.
Scholarship Won by Jill Senior
Dallas Morning News, July 29, 1969.
Jill Ellen Senior, a Lake Highlands High School graduate, has won one of two top scholarships given to 169 high school seniors by the Texas AFL-CIO.
Miss Senior, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alan Senior of 9951 Lakemore, won the $1,000 Ralph W. Yarbrough scholarship by writing an essay on ”Collective Bargaining Is American.” Miss Senior will be enrolled in the University of Texas at Austin in September.