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CCHS alumni enjoy combined class reunion for 1980-1988 classes



Group photo of each class from 1980-1988, teachers and staff, memorial sign, and candid photos from the day.


Special to the News

Submitted by Angela Leonard Stowes, chairperson, Class of 1986


“Reunited and it Feels So Good” was the most appropriate theme for the Coosa County High School (CCHS) Combined Class Reunion.

Students, some that had not seen their high school BFFs and classmates in 35-plus years, braved the southern summer temperatures to reconnect during this one-day reunion that was held on July 22 at the CCHS gymnasium.

The classes of 1980-1988 came together with what ended up being a most memorable day. The idea for this event was initially started by Angela Leonard Stowes, reunion chairperson, when she reached out via Facebook to suggest her Class of 1986 classmates get together for a class reunion since she was not able to attend the one they had several years ago.

A few other classes responded to her request asking if they could join. That is when she decided to put a call out asking for anyone from classes 1980-1988 who would be interested in participating and working this effort to contact her.

She chose this group of classes to make it manageable in case she could not get enough people to support her. Stowes received great response and decided to create a Facebook page where interested classmates could go to obtain the most current information.

Within weeks she had a committee that included representatives for eight of the nine classes. The representatives included:

Class of 1980 – Richard Crayton

Class of 1981 – No representation

Class of 1982 – Toni Hill Akinsanya and Irving Burton

Class of 1983 – Cynthia Lee

Class of 1984 – Karen Crass and Michael Edwards

Class of 1985 – Katie Higgins Judkins and Marie Leonard

Class of 1986 – Angela Leonard Stowes, Amy Gilliland and Monica Thomas

Class of 1987 – Jernell Burton Anderson

Class of 1988 – Wendell Jones

Committee meetings via Zoom began, and Stowes’ vision began to play out. Within weeks, the committee had a firm date, location, caterer, and disc jockey. They met at least once a month to discuss the minute details of executing the vision.

Each person brought great ideas for making it a day to remember, and a day to remember is what it was! Attendance was approximately 180 CCHS students and their guests, teachers and staff. Anyone that ever attended the elementary or high school was invited to attend.

The program included a welcome by Wendell Jones and Jernell Anderson; introductions of the teachers, staff and out-of-town students; a memorial presentation and candle lighting ceremony to recognize our classmates that have passed on by Angela Stowes and prayer by Rev. Michael Walker.

A delicious dinner was catered by Catering by Grace, and music was provided by “DJ Rock.” KDJ Photography provided an opportunity for attendees to take home class, group and individual portraits to commemorate the day.

Additionally, each attendee was given a cup and keychain as a gift, and the teachers and staff were given a mug as a small token of appreciation for all they did to help enrich our development. After the formal program and dinner were complete, students, guests, teachers, and staff took to the dance floor to show they still had it as they performed some past and current smooth dance moves.

The night ended with many hugs, tears, the exchange of phone numbers, and BFFs promising to keep in touch.

“When I walked into the gymnasium for the first time since May 1986, I was overcome with emotions,” Stowed stated about the memorable event. “So many memories flashed before me, and I knew right then we were going to have a day to remember, and that’s exactly what it was! This reunion was more than I ever imagined when I initially thought about pulling the classes together. All unused funds were donated to the Central High School football team and the girls’ softball team. My prayer is that we can do this again in two years.”


  1. Nancy on August 19, 2023 at 5:14 pm

    Beautiful and well said, Angela Leonard Stowes!! I had the best time of one of my days(Lol) Praise God it was a SUCCESS!! Thank you Angela Leonard Stowes and the Committee for bringing this special day together ♥️♥️♥️Can’t thank you all enough!!! What a wonderful tme we had together !!!Yes let’s do it again in 2yrs.

  2. Edwina Salter Culver on August 25, 2023 at 10:42 am

    Had a great time seeing everyone! Seem faces that I hadn’t seen since graduation night, and some that I did not recognize. Hope more classmates can come next time? Can’t wait until that time to catch up with more people!!!!

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