Battle Ground graduates celebrate 61st class reunion


Small talk floated through the air as old classmates celebrated the Battle Ground High School class of 1960’s 61st class reunion.

Around 70 attendees from near and far gathered from 1 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 18 at Kiwanis Park in Battle Ground.

Of the 163 Battle Ground High School graduates in the class, 65 have “been lost,” said Gloria Walck, a Battle Ground resident of 79 years and reunion organizer.

Walck said 25 alumni from the class of 1960 attended Battle Ground Public Schools from kindergarten until graduation.

She felt grateful to visit with her classmates after last year’s reunion was canceled because of COVID-19 restrictions, Walck said. And the weather cleared of rain and smoke from wildfires in time for the outdoor event.

“Oh, the fun we had and everybody just really got along,” she said when asked about her favorite memories from high school.

Billie Ann (Borton) Hageman, now technically a Vancouver resident and class of 1960 member, stuck around the area her whole life. 

Hageman said she wouldn’t miss this year’s gathering because she attended the previous five reunions.

She remembers when Battle Ground was 725-people strong. Then when she started to drive as a high schooler, the population increased to around 1,027.

Walck said she also remembers when Battle Ground was a “small town.” 

She would walk across the street from school to her job at the Campus Corner Store, where students would hang out after sports games. Now, Margarita Factory resides on the same corner.

“We had pride in being a Tiger,” Walck said, “We first had to battle the Vancouver schools because they thought we were the country folks, wearing bib overalls and driving tractors to school. But, we’re proud of where we are.”

For previous reunions, the class met at various venues. For the 40th reunion, they toured the Battle Ground High School after it was remodeled, Hageman said.

Battle Ground High School was originally constructed in 1950, with the latest remodel occurring in 1996. The overall district now serves more than 13,000 students through its 18 schools, according to the Battle Ground Public Schools website.


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