Former 1999 PHS graduate Terri Hannon still resides in Paoli today. Because she was born and raised here, Hannon is very familiar with the town. She has many fond memories of this small town, especially when she was in school.
Hannon, now 36, remembers many great things that happened in her time here at PHS. In 1997, she was able to play on Paoli’s very first softball team. To add on to this already great experience, she also scored the first run in Paoli softball history. Her senior year, the girls basketball team was co-champions of PLAC. It is times like these that make high school an amazing experience.
During her time here at PHS Hannon learned many great lessons. When she was playing basketball her senior year, her coach, Tom Bradley, calmly pulled her aside and told her that she would not get to start the game. She was devastated, but she understood that the player taking her spot was also an amazing basketball player. She learned respect there. Her coach pulled her aside before the game so she would not be confused when the time came. She also learned everyone has a role, no matter how big or how small. Though she did not get to start Hannon knew she still had her part to play in that game.
“At first I was upset that I wasn’t starting, but I knew it was the right decision. My teammate was better than me, and she deserved to be on the floor,” said Hannon.
It is not just the experiences you have in high school that make it worthwhile, the people you are around also play a major role in your life. While in school, Hannon felt that there were two teachers who really helped her. One was her Spanish teacher, Rachel Wyatt. Wyatt always provided her students with a unique and insightful view into the Hispanic culture. Another teacher was Tom Stuckwisch. He taught math, and he taught it well, which provided Hannon with an amazing tool that she still uses in her life today.
When it comes to technology, a lot was different 20 years ago than what we are used to today. Students have so much information always available to them. They have the world at their fingertips. One thing that Hannon finds sad is that people use that power in the place of real human interaction.
When you speak to any graduate, they will have their stories, but all of them will have their advice– advice they wish they had when in school, and Hannon has her fair share of it.
“Life is about your relationships with one another,” said Hannon. “Material possessions will come and go, trends will fade, but connecting with someone will last a lifetime. Take the time to get to know your classmates and teachers, ask someone how they are doing and truly care about their response, be the kind of friend that you would like to have.”
Today, Hannon is happily married to her husband, Aaron Hannon. She also has four kids: Michael, Tyler, Kalyn and Beau. She has worked at Electricom Inc. for the past ten years and enjoys it everyday. She attended college at Hanover University in Madison, Indiana and majored in business administration with a minor in economics. She is currently involved in a few organizations, including Paoli United Methodist Church, Paoli Youth Football and the Psi Iota Xi Sorority.
Next time you see a PHS graduate, you might want to sit down and talk with them. You never know what kind of stories they have.
Story by Michael Hannon