Article courtesy of the Montgomery Village News
By Lisa Ferrante Perrone
The Watkins Mill High School (WMHS) Class of 1991—the first graduating class—held their 30th reunion on October 2 at Lone Oak Brewery in Olney. This was the fourth reunion for the Class of 1991 (previous reunions included the 10th, 20 th and 25th reunions). Members of the planning committee (Shaka Berry, Melinda Buck, Brian Mahone, Tracey Pickerel, Lisa Ferrante Perrone, Mark Rivers, Aklilu Seium, and Jennifer Stolbach) met weekly on Zoom for 5 weeks to prepare for the reunion. Lone Oak Brewery opened 15 months ago and is owned by two Gaithersburg High School graduates.
About 40 classmates attended the festivities, which included a Friday night happy hour at Gentleman Jim’s in Gaithersburg and the Saturday event at Lone Oak Brewery. Many of the attendees have been friends since kindergarten. Classmates spent time at the reunion reliving old memories, looking though old yearbook photos and updating each other on their lives and families today. “To quote John Leonard,” said Jennifer Stolbach, “just like that tremendous tree behind us in the photo, it takes a long time to grow an old friend. We are all so grateful that our roots will always be tangled together.”
“You never forget your high school friends,” said Aklilu Seium. “When we reunite and get to spend time together—the feelings of delight, comfort and elation are so strong. Hearing that laugh or seeing that smile—it’s uplifting and invigorating!”
Melinda Buck commented, “we are proud to be the first graduating class of Watkins Mill High School, and we are committed to setting the standard to keeping our class members connected.”
“As we all said goodbye, we decided that waiting five more years before our next reunion was too long and we plan to see one another at a joint 50th birthday party in summer 2023,” said Tracey Pickerel. If you are a member of the WMHS Class of 1991, be sure to look us up on Facebook and join us the 50th birthday celebration in 2023!