Letter - Anniversary issue prompted reflections of high school days

I enjoyed your newspaper’s account of Hinsdale’s 150th anniversary. The 1960s-70s were an electric time. HTHS was much more than an athletic powerhouse. The junior high and high school had outstanding teachers. Robert Michalek taught an eighth-grade advanced science class that presented DNA concepts other students did not get until college. The foreign language program prepared us for college and lifetime travel abroad.

In 1965, the high school hosted a Community Conference on Values. Dr. Bruno Bettelheim was the keynote speaker. This weekend conference focused on the institutions of labor, family, education, religion and government.

High school youth developed the Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Youth Jury (1965), an early attempt at restorative justice and an alternative to dealing with youthful offenders. Students worked directly with the court, Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills police departments and local businesses. One session was filmed by CBS and aired on the nightly news. As a result, two high school students participated in the four-year planning for the 1970 White House Conference on Children and Youth which they attended, representing DuPage County.

Our era was affected greatly by the Vietnam War. While 95 percent of HTHS grads attended college for the draft deferment, one classmate had the courage to oppose the war and went to jail.

Like thespians, as well as band and orchestra musicians, student editors at the “Hinsdale Courier” school paper gave as much of their time and effort as our athletes. In 1966 they represented the school at the Scholastic Press Association Conference hosted by Columbia University.

HTHS, supportive parents and our community gave us a great start in our lives.

— Joe Vosicky, Hinsdale Central High School Class of 1967