High school reunions hold a special place in our lives. They serve as milestones that allow us to reconnect with our past, reflect on our journey, and celebrate the significance of the formative years we spent together. The 40th reunion of Allderdice High School in Squirrel Hill is not just any reunion; it’s a unique and deeply meaningful event for me personally, as it marks a culmination of family history, community bonds, and personal growth.

(Taylor) Allderdice High School stands as more than just a place of education; it’s a symbol of familial ties, memories, and shared experiences. This place where my grandmother, father, brother, and countless other family members also graduated from, illustrates the school’s enduring legacy within my family and so many others like mine.

This reunion is not just a gathering of alumni; it’s a testament to the enduring impact of the school’s motto, “Know Something, Do Something, Be Something,” and the sage advice of Principal Mr. Fisher, who once told you that you would enter as small fish in a big pond but leave as big fish in a small pond. These guiding lights have not only shaped our individual journeys but also form the very essence of what this reunion represents.

The school’s motto encapsulates the essence of education and personal growth. It serves as a constant reminder that knowledge is not merely a collection of facts but a foundation upon which one can build meaningful actions and ultimately shape the person you aspire to become.  Throughout our high school years, these were more than just words; they were a call to action, an invitation to embrace learning, and a challenge to make a positive impact.

As we gather at our 40th reunion, we are a living testament to the power of these words. We’ve “known something” by acquiring knowledge and skills during our time at Allderdice. We have all “done something” by applying that knowledge in various aspects of our lives, whether in our careers, families, or communities. And most importantly, every one of us has “become something” by evolving into the individuals we are today—individuals who have made a mark in our own unique ways, driven by the values instilled by Allderdice.

Principal Mr. Fisher’s words, “small fish in a big pond,” followed by the assurance that we would “leave as big fish in a small pond,” hold a profound significance in the narrative of our high school experience. These words, delivered with wisdom and foresight, echoed the journey of every ninth grader entering high school—a place where we might have initially felt overwhelmed by the vastness of opportunities and challenges. However, Mr. Fisher’s message was a promise that Allderdice would not just be a place of education but a nurturing environment where we all would grow and thrive.

As we look back on our years at Allderdice, we can see how Mr. Fisher’s words have come to fruition. The school provided not only the educational foundation but also the support and guidance needed to flourish. We started as “small fish” in the grand scheme of life, but the experiences, knowledge, and values gained at Allderdice transformed us  into “big fish” ready to make an impact in our chosen paths.

The 40th reunion, therefore, is a celebration of these ideals—the embodiment of the school’s motto and the realization of Mr. Fisher’s vision. It’s a gathering of individuals who have embraced knowledge, acted, and become remarkable contributors to their communities, both big and small. It’s a time to honor the journey that began with those first tentative steps into high school and has led us to the remarkable individuals you are today.

Moreover, this reunion reinforces the interconnectedness of the Class of ‘83. The shared experiences, values, and aspirations that bound us together during our high school years remain strong. It’s a testament to the lasting impact of education and the relationships formed during that crucial period of our lives.

Beyond the personal connections and family history, our reunion holds a broader significance. It symbolizes the resilience of a community that has seen its share of changes over the years. Squirrel Hill, with its rich history and diverse population, has been a witness to the ebb and flow of time. Allderdice High School, nestled in the heart of this neighborhood, remains a constant, a beacon of continuity amidst change. This reunion is a testament to the enduring spirit of this community and its commitment to preserving its heritage.

This is not just a gathering; it’s a celebration of the enduring legacy of the school’s motto, “Know Something, Do Something, Be Something,” and the wisdom of Mr. Fisher’s words. It’s a testament to the transformative power of education, personal growth, and the sense of community that persists long after graduation. As we come together to reminisce, reconnect, and reflect, we can reaffirm the values that have guided our journey and continue to shape our lives.