News and Updates

September 14, 2010

Privacy and Memories...

Privacy: It was fun to see where people were and reconnect back in 2006, but it is past time to take down the complete alumni listing from this site. Social networking sites have far better privacy controls then I could ever build into a simple reunion coordination website. So if you are looking for friends, try FaceBook, LinkedIn, etc. Chances are, if you simply follow the friends of friends, you can reconnect with just about anyone! If you still need help, email me and I will see what I can dig up and possibly relay requests based on the information I has collected for the reunion.

Memories: Although the alumni information has been removed, I have kept the listing of deceased alumni and will continue to maintain the ability to sign guest books. Please let me know if you hear of anyone's passing.

Ray Bowers, West Potomac High, Class of '86
ray@bowers.com
http://www.WestPotomacClassof86.com

January 27, 2008

Jeff Dietze is retiring after 37.5 years of service

Jeff Dietze is retiring February 1st after 37.5 years of service in FCPS: 5 years at Groveton, 10 years at Fort Hunt and 22.5 at West Potomac.

WPHS would like as many students, faculty, parents, former booster members, alumni & community members to come bid farewell to Jeff!

On Tuesday, 29 January, WPHS is holding an Open House at West Potomac from 3 to 5pm in the cafeteria for students, alumni, faculty, community, colleagues & friends to say farewell to Jeff. There will be a brief program at 3:30pm where we will try to recognize his many achievements.

WPHS would love to have you attend. Please mark your calendar and pass this along to others. WPHS hopes to make this a memorable afternoon for Jeff & his family.

His email address, should you want to email him is Jeffrey.Dietze@fcps.edu

Ray Bowers, West Potomac High, Class of '86
ray@bowers.com, http://www.NonaandRay.com
http://www.WestPotomacClassof86.com

October 24, 2007

WP Class of '87 - Reunion this weekend!

Just a heads up... The West Potomac Class of 1987 is having their 20 year reunion this coming weekend! See their website for more information: http://www.wepoclass87.com.

Ray Bowers, West Potomac High, Class of '86
ray@bowers.com, http://www.NonaandRay.com
http://www.WestPotomacClassof86.com

May 18, 2007

Wrap up and Wedding news

Hello All, I am sorry for the lack of updates the past 7 months! After the reunion, I had a few little things to take care of... Yes, my wedding is tomorrow and you can finally see the engagement portraits at http://www.NonaandRay.com. Next week I will be somewhere south of Cancun!

After recovering, I hope to wrap up some unfinished reunion work! Your help with the following would be greatly appreciated:

Thanks for your patience!

Ray Bowers, West Potomac High, Class of '86
ray@bowers.com, http://www.NonaandRay.com
http://www.WestPotomacClassof86.com

October 18, 2006

Reunion Wrap Up

Thank you to everyone who came out and helped make this such a successful event! Here are some final things to note:

Remember: Send in your photos!

Ray Bowers, West Potomac High, Class of '86
ray@bowers.com
http://www.WestPotomacClassof86.com

October 3, 2006

Final Reunion Information!

Welcome to what is hopefully the final WPHS Class of '86 20th Reunion Update! We have a great reunion lined up with over 250 people coming in from all over the US (almost half of our found alumni). We have a great location, plenty of food, drink, friends, entertainment and it even looks like the weather will be cooperating.

Here are the highlights...



... and now for the complete details.


  1. Last minute registrations?

    If you still want to come, contact Ray Bowers ASAP and we can try to make arrangements to get your information to the caterer, etc...

  2. Friday Night - Flying Fish on King Street in Old Town, 8pm

    Who? Everyone is invited to attend -- even alumni from other classes, whether you're registered to attend the reunion or not... We've tried to even get the word out to the Fort Hunt and Groveton classes of 1985 to see if any of them want to join us!

    Where? Friday night we will be meeting up at the Flying Fish (http://www.flyingfishdc.com) on King Street in Old Town Alexandria. Their downstairs bar will provider a great initial place to round up people and see where things lead to then... The DJ will be playing 80's music so bring your song requests. The Flying Fish is on King Street a couple blocks west of South Washington Street, just 2 doors down from the old movie theater (everyone should recognize that!).

    When? The Flying Fish has a Happy Hour from 5-6. After that things slow down and it starts to pick back up between 8 and 9 since the DJ comes on at 9pm. We recommend people showing up between 7-8pm so we can take over the place, but this is just a suggested starting place. From there we can hit plenty of old haunts!.

    How (to find parking)? That's a good question anywhere in Old Town. There tends to be more available street parking around the Flying Fish than down by Union so it should not be too hard to find. If you use one of the 2 near by garages, just beware what time they close (one closes at 1am).

    Why the change? The idea of meeting up at the WPHS varsity football game that Friday night did not seem to excite as many people as we had hoped since it was unfortunately an away game, so with the good weather (fingers crossed), we went for Old Town where folks can visit their favorite old pubs!

  3. Saturday Night - Banquet at the Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon-City

    Everything is set up for the banquet. Here are a few last minute details:

    • Schedule. 6-7pm is a cocktail reception. 7pm the main ballroom opens up for dinner. Afterwards we will have some brief announcements and prizes, then dancing till midnight.
    • Attire. Ladies, cocktail attire is recommended. Gentlemen, tux optional. Let's all leave the excessive hair gel and Jordache jeans at home or at least save them for the picnic...
    • Parking. For those driving to the Ritz, we have negotiated $10 valet parking for the evening. Unfortunately, higher rates apply for guests staying overnight at the hotel.
    • Directions. See either the hotel website (http://www.ritzcarlton.com/hotels/pentagon_city) or try Google Maps for 1250 South Hayes Street, Arlington, VA 22202.
    • Dinner. We have negotiated a great meal at the Ritz! We start off with some spectacular appetizers, a classic Caesar salad, then an upgraded Surf & Turf entree (Grilled Strip Steaks with Caramelized Onions and Pan Seared Rockfish), then ending with dessert and coffee/tea. This is going to be a lot better than the typical rubber chicken or pasta at many big events!
    • Drinks. Attendees will get drink tickets for either 2 alcoholic or 4 non-alcoholic drinks.
    • Entertainment. We have a great 80's band lined up to play late into the night!
    • T-shirts. We will have a limited number of t-shirts on-site for sale, so get them soon!

  4. Sunday afternoon - Picnic at Lake Accotink Park in Springfield, VA, noon

    We have secured the Lake Front Large pavilion at Lake Accotink Park in Springfield, VA for our Sunday picnic. This has a great view and is convenient to the carousel, miniature golf, playground, boat house, etc. More information about the park can be found at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/accotink and from there click on Facilities/Directions for a map.

    This is an open event for everyone! Classmates from other years and schools are invited. We are working to especially get word out to Fort Hunt and Groveton classes of 1985! If you have any friends from there, please let them know.

    Please remember that this will be a BYOE event: Bring Your Own Everything! Don't forget your running shoes so you can chase your kids down...

  5. Kenya Education Fund

    Our classmate Heather Burke is an epidemiologist for the Center for Disease Control in Kibera, Kenya. She has presented us with the opportunity to give students in Kibera a chance to go to high school and benefit from a good education, just as we did at West Potomac. Heather works with the children in the slums of Kibera every day and sees their extremely difficult physical circumstances. For more information on Kibera and Heather’s work there, please read Heather's bio. Education is one of the best tools people have to build a better life for themselves and their families, but two thirds of Kenya’s children cannot afford to attend high school.

    If you would like to help, please consider contributing to the Kenya Education Fund (KEF). KEF provides students with the funds they need for secondary school. It is a tax-deductible, non-profit organization that will give all our donations directly to the students for school fees, supplies, and uniforms. Heather has arranged with the founder of KEF to personally select the recipient(s) of gifts from WPHS alumni, and she will also be able to provide followup information on their progress. Find out more about KEF here. If you choose to donate online or by check, please designate "WPHS" so we can track our donations. Your contribution is greatly appreciated.

  6. Bios and updated photos?

    Since it is impossible to catch up on the new with everyone in just one weekend, why not share what you have been doing on-line? Many people look at the updates every day. Even if you are not able to attend the reunion, submit your bio and photos to Ray Bowers, ray@bowers.com. Feel free to submist multiple photos - wedding, family, kids, anything!

  7. Alumni Directory

    Just a quick update... Yes, we are planning on doing an alumni directory! We thought about having it ready for the reunion so that people could take it home, but that would have required even more early deadlines to get everyone's bios, photos and other information in. Rather than pile on more notices, we are going to wait until after the reunion allowing us to make sure we can include as many people as possible. Plus we will be able to include photos and news from the reunion too!

    So, soon after the reunion, look for a form to be sent to all alumni asking for your permission to include your contact information in the the alumni directory. You will get to choose which (if any) information you want to share. We will not publish your address, phone number or any other personal contact information without your permission. Additionally, alumni will be able to submit bios, photos and other news. The final format (printed, electronic or both) is yet to be worked out, but we promise it will be as great as the reunion itself!

If you have any problems, please do not hesitate to contact Ray Bowers, ray@bowers.com.

Thank you and we hope to see you soon,

Ray Bowers, West Potomac High, Class of '86
ray@bowers.com
http://www.WestPotomacClassof86.com

September 21, 2006

Reunion Update: Two Weeks -- More great news!

With only two weeks to go, your reunion committee has been finalizing a lot of the last minute details. This week’s topics include:

  1. 1 week to register -- No Walk-ins...
  2. Update: Great meals, appetizers and drinks included!
  3. Vegetarians / special dietary needs?
  4. Who else is coming?
  5. What to wear?
  6. Picnic Update
  7. Friday Note
  8. Alumni businesses?
  9. The final batch of t-shirts has been ordered.
  10. Note: Other classes and teachers are invited too
  11. Bios and updated photos?

So, let's get to the details...

  1. 1 week to register -- No Walk-ins...

    Don’t miss out on our one and only 20 year reunion! People are coming in from all over the US for this and it is shaping up to be the best reunion yet!

    Remember that registration and payments must be received by Sept 30th. Not just postmarked by then... If you mailed in your registration some time ago but are not show as "Paid" on the website yet, then please contact Ray Bowers (ray@bowers.com) immediately.

    Note: We will not accept payments or walk-ins at the door.

  2. Update: Great meal, appetizers and drinks included!

    We have negotiated a great meal at the Ritz! We start off with some spectacular appetizers, a classic Caesar salad, then an upgraded Surf & Turf entree (Grilled Strip Steaks with Caramelized Onions and Pan Seared Rockfish), then ending with dessert and coffee/tea. This is going to be a lot better than the typical rubber chicken or pasta at many big events!

    The other big change to the menu is that we are tentatively planning to include drink tickets for everyone! 2 alcoholic drinks or 4 non-alcoholic, depending on your preference. This is a big expense for such a large crowd, but it looks like we have made our numbers so we do not expect this to be a problem!

  3. Vegetarians / special dietary needs?

    I believe I have heard back from most people, but just in case, I wanted to ask one more time... If you are a vegetarian or if you have special dietary requirements, please email ray@bowers.com before Sept 30th so that we can include you on the list to the caterer to make sure we can have an equally amazing meal for you too!

  4. Who else is coming?

    For those wondering if anyone else will be showing up, please check the website for a list of who is signed up. We are still getting last minute registrations each day!

    We are expecting well over 200 people to attend -- one of the largest reunions in our area this year. We have over 42% of our found alumni signed up already and many more are making last minute travel arrangements -- even from as far away as CA! Some schools are lucky to get even half of the numbers we have...

  5. What to wear?

    Ladies, cocktail attire is recommended. Gentlemen, tux optional. Let's all leave the excessive hair gel and Jordache jeans at home or at least save them for the picnic...

  6. Picnic Update

    We have secured the Lake Front Large pavilion at Lake Accotink Park in Springfield, VA for our Sunday picnic. This has a great view and is convenient to the carousel, miniature golf, playground, boat house, etc. More information about the park can be found at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/accotink.

    Please remember that this will be a BYOE event: Bring Your Own Everything! Don't forget your running shoes so you can chase your kids down...

  7. Friday Note

    The idea of meeting up at the WPHS varsity football game that Friday night did not seem to excite as many people as we had hoped since it was unfortunately an away game...

    Given that, we are looking into having a couple other options for people. Perhaps somewhere in Old Town and for those a bit further outside the city, maybe Tyson's Corner area? We looked into the Village Wharf (just because it is so close to school), but the Mount Vernon Class of '81 booked it for their 25th that Friday night.

    We will get word out as we get some more feedback and options...

  8. Alumni businesses?

    We have quiet a few alumni with businesses such as: bed & breakfast, cosmetics, photography, jewelry, etc. To help promote them, will alumni please contact Ray Bowers with information about your business. We are looking into possibly including a business section in the Alumni Directory, having flyers at the reunion (especially if you have coupons for alumni?), setting up a page just for links to alumni businesses on the website, or other ways to help get the word out about your business! We are open to ideas, so contact Ray directly, ray@bowers.com.

  9. The final batch of t-shirts has been ordered.

    We placed the final order for t-shirts this week and ordered some extras to bring to the event to sell. Since we do not want to be stuck with extras, we were very conservative in our order, and the few we have may go quick! So if you still want to buy shirts, contact Lynne Lewis soon.

  10. Note: Other classes and teachers are invited too

    Yes, certainly teachers and alumni from other classes are invited too! Please feel free to let others know about the reunion and tell them they can register too. This is not only limited to class graduates. We have some friends who have moved away but still want to come back for our reunion because this is where their friends are and we are going to have fun!

  11. Bios and updated photos?

    Have you submitted a bio and updated photos? If not, then do it soon (email ray@bowers.com)! There's lots of people who check them out every day. If you cannot come to the reunion, then it would be a great way to still let people know how you have been doing!

As it gets down to the wire, we will be working hard to finalize little last minute details. If you have any problems, please do not hesitate to contact Ray Bowers, ray@bowers.com.

Thank you and we hope to see you in October,

Ray Bowers, West Potomac High, Class of '86
ray@bowers.com
http://www.WestPotomacClassof86.com

September 1, 2006

Several WPHS Deadlines This Month!

Welcome to the West Potomac HS Class of 86, Aug/Sept Update. This month’s topic include:

  1. 4 weeks left to register -- Payments due Sept 30th!
  2. Deadline for T-Shirt payment is Friday Sept 15!
  3. Coming Soon -- Alumni Directory & Information Forms
  4. Note: Other classes and teachers are invited too
  5. Reach out to your friends and remind them to register soon too!
  6. Note about recent Spam
  7. Friday Note

So, let's get to the details...

  1. 4 weeks left to register!!! Payments must be received by Sept 30th

    Don’t miss out on our one and only 20 year reunion! People are coming in from all over the US for this and it is shaping up to be the best reunion yet!

    Please remember to get your registration and payments in by Septh 30th. Not just postmarked by the 30th, but actually in to us by the 30th... Consider mailing it no later than mid September to be safe! If you have mailed in your registration but are not marked "Paid" on the website, then please contact Ray Bowers (ray@bowers.com) immediately.

  2. Deadline for T-Shirt payment is Friday Sept 15 (All must be pre-ordered!)

    Please note that if you would like to order a reunion T-shirt, then your order and payment must be received by Friday, Sept 15 to allow time to order the final batch of shirts. These cannot be ordered on-site, they must be ordered in advance.

  3. Coming Soon -- Alumni Directory & Information Forms

    Just as a heads up, you will be receiving an email in the next week about a new Alumni Information Form. We will be sending out a link to each alumni to request information.

    For Reunion Attendees, we will need to collect information such as how you want your name spelled on your name badge, your guest’s name and if you have any special dietary requirements we need to let the hotel know about.

    For All Alumni, we will include a simple questionnaire asking for permission to include your contact information (address, phone, email if you want) in the Alumni Directory which will be available to all reunion attendees. This form will also include some brief survey questions so you can tell us a little more about yourself.

    We will only publish the information to the directory which you choose to allow. Otherwise, contact information collected by the reunion committee will only be used for reunion communications through the class website.

    Forms will need to be completed by Sept 30th to allow time for the name badges and senior directory to be processed, information to be provided to the hotel, etc.

  4. Note: Other classes and teachers are invited too

    Yes, certainly teachers and alumni from other classes are invited too! Please feel free to let others know about the reunion and tell them they can register too. This is not only limited to class graduates. We have some friends who have moved away but still want to come back for our reunion because this is where their friends are and we are going to have fun!

  5. Reach out to your friends and remind them to register soon too!

    There are still alumni who do not know about the reunion. You can help! Please look through the Missing Alumni list and call up your friends to make sure they get the news.

    This is going to be our biggest reunion yet and we want to make sure we get the message to everyone!

  6. Note about recent Spam

    Recently some alumni may have received spam in the form of a couple of Evites. Here is the message from Lynne Lewis: "I apologize whole heartedly that you all received spam emails attached to a Breast Cancer Fundraiser that I am hosting. I am very involved with this cause, and someone made an unfortunate choice and sent a message to all of the people on my Fundraising list. I used Evite to send out our picnic information. Apparently it auto-added all of your addresses to my group list. Please accept my apologies. Please let me know what your email addresses are, and I will make sure to take you out of the evite address book. Again, sorry, Lynne Lewis."

  7. Friday Note

    Since not everyone got the last message, here is a brief recap... Also note that there has been some interest to also have alumni gather as other places such as the Warf:

    "Our 20th Reunion is just around the corner and the reunion committee is finalizing plans designed to make this a pleasurable and memorable event for all who attend!

    As we get ready, I wanted to let you know about a change in the plans for Friday. The original plan was to have a very full weekend starting with a Friday night mixer in a private room at a local bar or hotel. At this point, however, due to unconfirmed attendance and difficulty securing a private location at a reasonable rate, the plans for Friday must be modified.

    With uncertain attendance, especially from classmates traveling from out of town, we have decided instead to invite classmates to come out to the West Potomac varsity football game at West Springfield on Friday night. Afterwards those who want to can hook up and revisit some favorite old watering holes!

    This change to Friday night will allow us to focus our efforts and budget on the most popular events planned for the weekend ­ the banquet and picnic. Our hope is that the main event Saturday will be unforgettable! We are all set with the Ritz-Carlton on Saturday. In addition, we are working to secure a pavilion for a Sunday picnic that is central in location and offers numerous activities for a fun-filled day for our alumni and their families.

    Please contact your friends and encourage them to register as soon as possible! This will help us properly plan and budget for the best event ever!"

As it gets down to the wire, we will be working hard to finalize little last minute details. If you have any problems, please do not hesitate to contact Ray Bowers, ray@bowers.com.

Thank you and we hope to see you in October,

Ray Bowers, West Potomac High, Class of '86
ray@bowers.com
http://www.WestPotomacClassof86.com

August 22, 2006

Recent Spam

Dear Classmates,

I apologize whole heartedly that you all received spam emails attached to a Breast Cancer Fundraiser that I am hosting. I am very involved with this cause, and someone made an unfortunate choice and sent a message to all of the people on my Fundraising list. I used Evite to send out our picnic information. Apparently it auto-added all of your addresses to my group list. Please accept my apologies. Please let me know what your email addresses are, and I will make sure to take you out of the evite address book.

Again, sorry,

Lynne Lewis

August 1, 2006

Registration...

Early registration may be over, but you can still sign up! The earlier you do, the better we can budget and prepare for the event. It is never too late to get a gold star.

So why come to the reunion?

  1. You'll laugh, cry and reminisce with some of your oldest friends.

  2. Come show everyone who you have become after 20 years of the biggest changes in your life!

  3. Rekindle or begin new relationships (book a room just in case?!).

  4. You can look back at high school and laugh: the hair, the clothes, the childish ways we were.

  5. Enjoy an evening or weekend out without the kids (or grandkids, as the case may be).

  6. Laugh while discussing how life has turned out now versus how you imagined it back then.

  7. Use the reunion as an incentive to work out a little more and buy a great new outfit (or two?)!

  8. 20 year reunions are usually the biggest and best!
  9. You don't have to lie about your age.

  10. And finally, studies have shown that those who were initially hesitant about attending their reunions discover it was the event they wouldn't have missed!

Besides a great time and weekend away from the kids, you will get an Alumni Directory and Event Book. We are working hard to put together a complete alumni directory, bios and photos from the event.

Please help us and register now! See you in October,

Ray Bowers, West Potomac High, Class of '86
ray@bowers.com
http://www.WestPotomacClassof86.com

July 17, 2006

2 weeks left for Early Registration!

Less than 2 weeks left for early registration! Complete the on-line registration form and get your payment postmarked by July 31st for the lowest reunion rate. Prices go up August 1st...

So why come to the reunion?

  1. You'll laugh, cry and reminisce with some of your oldest friends.

  2. Come show everyone who you have become after 20 years of the biggest changes in your life!

  3. Rekindle or begin new relationships (book a room just in case?!).

  4. You can look back at high school and laugh: the hair, the clothes, the childish ways we were.

  5. Enjoy an evening or weekend out without the kids (or grandkids, as the case may be).

  6. Laugh while discussing how life has turned out now versus how you imagined it back then.

  7. Use the reunion as an incentive to work out a little more and buy a great new outfit (or two?)!

  8. 20 year reunions are usually the biggest and best!
  9. You don't have to lie about your age.

  10. And finally, studies have shown that those who were initially hesitant about attending their reunions discover it was the event they wouldn't have missed!

Besides a great time and weekend away from the kids, you will get an Alumni Directory and Event Book. We are working hard to put together a complete alumni directory, bios and photos from the event.

Please help us and register early! See you in October,

Ray Bowers, West Potomac High, Class of '86
ray@bowers.com
http://www.WestPotomacClassof86.com

July 6, 2006

Pre-Reunion BBQ - Sunday, July 16, 2006

The July email update included 2 dates for the BBQ. The first attempt was June 25 and was of course rained out by a record storm! The new date is now July 16th at noon. See below for specifics. Sorry for the typo/confusion... -Ray

July 5, 2006

July Update, Less than 3 months to go!

Welcome to the West Potomac HS Class of 86, July Update. We have a few announcements this month:

  1. Last Month for the reduced price... So register now!

    Remember to register for the reunion this month! After July 31, prices go up $20 per person!

  2. Less than 3 months till the reunion

    We are getting ready -- are you? The date is set, hotel booked, "Save the Date" cards were mailed out and the schedule and registration form have been posted on-line!

    To register, fill out the form on-line, print it out, send it in with your payment (check or PayPal) and get ready for fun! The form is available at Registration. See the Schedule for the schedule, price and hotel information.

  3. Pre-Reunion BBQ, Fort Hunt Park, Sunday, July 16, 2006!

    Yes, our last attempt was rained out with a record storm! By now, most of us have had time to drain the basement, remove the trees and recover from the storm, so let's try this again!

    To help build momentum, we're having a pre-reunion picnic at Fort Hunt Park Sunday, July 16th at noon! It is just a gathering for anyone who is around the area before our reunion. Bring your children, and have a day at the park. There are no grills at this park, so please, if you are bringing food, make sure it's precooked! Can't wait to catch up! We will meet up in the First Come First Serve area which is by the Playground near Area A.

  4. Alumni Directory / Event Book

    A group of volunteers has put together a draft of structure for our Alumni Directory / Reunion Event book. This is going to be quite a souvenir from the event with photos, bios and everything! Although details are not final yet, we expect to include the directory with the price of your admission for the reunion.

  5. Reunion T-Shirts!

    Reunion T-shirts are available for $16 each! See the T-Shirts page for information and how to order! They can be ordered when you register (see bottom of the registration form) and picked up at the reunion, or you can contact Lynne Lewis directly to order them in advance and maybe pick them up at the July 16th picnic!

Remember to register on-line for the reunion!

Ray Bowers, West Potomac High, Class of '86
ray@bowers.com
http://www.WestPotomacClassof86.com

June 13, 2006

June Update, Less than 4 months to go!

Welcome to the West Potomac HS Class of 86, June Update. We have quite a few announcements this month:

  1. Less than 4 months to go...

    We are getting ready -- are you? The date is set, hotel booked, "Save the Date" cards were mailed out and the schedule and registration form have been posted on-line!

    To register, fill out the form on-line, print it out, send it in with your payment (check or PayPal) and get ready for fun! The form is available at Registration. See the Schedule for the schedule, price and hotel information.

  2. Pre-Reunion BBQ, Fort Hunt Park, Sunday, June 25, 2006!

    To help build momentum, we are having a pre-reunion picnic at Fort Hunt Park Sunday, June 25th at noon! It is just a gathering for anyone who is around the area before our reunion. Bring your children, and have a day at the park. There are no grills at this park, so please, if you are bringing food, make sure it's precooked! Can't wait to catch up! We will meet up in the First Come First Serve area which is by the Playground near Area A.

  3. Old photos / articles / The Wire?

    We are making a slide show to put on during the reception and dinner but we need help! Do you have any old photos, newspaper clippings, or copies of The Wire? Old shots of friends back in high school or perhaps from the 5 or 10 year reunions? If so, please contact Midge (Whitehead) Stanton or Ray Bowers so we can borrow them to add to our collection! If you are in town, perhaps you can drop them off at the picnic June 25th?

  4. Missy Lynn Cohen to give West Potomac 2006 Commencement Address this week!

    Missy Lynn Cohen will be delivering the West Potomac 2006 Commencement Address on June 15th at 10am at the Patriot Center. She was approached by the school after an article appeared about her in the Alexandria Gazette. Her career as a sound and music editor has covered films ranging from "Silence of the Lambs" to "Chicago" and "The Producers" (see Missy on IMDB). She is flattered and truly terrified to be asked to do this. Like most of us, she does not remember who spoke at our graduation, much less what they said. So if you want to provide moral support, she would love to see you there! (Update: another alumni emailed about the speaker for our graduation: "An astronaut, not Neil Armstrong, spoke at our graduation. He was an abysmal speaker." Anyone know who he was or what it was about?)

  5. Website improvements
    • Passwords -- To fight spam and other inappropriate usage, the website now requires alumni to use their password to directly email other alumni. You should have received your password via email this past week. If you did not, please contact ray@bowers.com. Guests can still submit email to alumni, but emails from guests must be reviewed before being forwarded to stop inappropriate material.
    • Birthdays -- Yes, the main page of the site now shows alumni birthdays this month... Care to see who you recognize?
    • Senior Directory entries -- Do you remember your nick names, clubs, activities, sports and quotes? If not, check out the Alumni List and Bio pages to see your old Senior Directory entries! Yes, several volunteers helped to type in and proof 8 pages of great laughs! Look for yours today!
  6. Reunion T-Shirts!

    Reunion T-shirts are available for $16 each! See the T-Shirts page for information and how to order! They can be ordered when you register (see bottom of the registration form) and picked up at the reunion, or you can contact Lynne Lewis directly to order them in advance and maybe pick them up at the June 25th picnic!

Remember to register on-line for the reunion!

Ray Bowers, West Potomac High, Class of '86
ray@bowers.com
http://www.WestPotomacClassof86.com

June 9, 2006

Passwords Required

Due to recent abuses of the email forwarding feature on this site, it has become necessary to lock down this feature and require Alumni to enter a password. You can still contact friends through the Email forms on their Bio page, but now you will need to enter your email address and a new password which has been generated and mailed to you by the system.

Visitors to the site will still be able to use the feature (no password required), but their submissions will be reviewed by an administrator before being forwarded to prevent spam and other inappropriate material.

New passwords were emailed to Alumni. If you did not receive yours, contact info@westpotomacclassof86.com. Soon, the system will let you request/reset/change your password on-line. Thank you for your patience as we strive to make this a more secure and friendly site.

June 7, 2006

PayPal now accepted!

Reunion payments can now be sent in via PayPal to "info@westpotomacclassof86.com". Complete the registration form on-line for instructions.

May 24, 2006

April/May Update: Save the Date, October 6-8, 2006!

Welcome to the West Potomac HS Class of 86, April/May Update. Sorry for the late news:

  1. Registration is Open!

    Yes, that is right... The reunion is just over 4 months away! We are getting ready -- are you? The date is set, hotel booked, "Save the Date" cards were just mailed out and the schedule and registration form have been posted on-line! Now we just need your registration and help finding our missing classmates...

    To register, fill out the form on-line, print it out, send it in with your payment and get ready for fun! The form is available at Registration. See the Schedule for the schedule, price and hotel information.

  2. Missing Alumni?

    After you have registered for the reunion, please check out the list of Missing alumni and see if you can help track any down. Dig through your old address books, see what phone numbers you still have or just try to Google them. The earlier we can get word to people, the better.

  3. Reunion T-Shirts!

    Reunion T-shirts are available for $16 each! See T-Shirts for information and how to order! If you order now you should be able to pick yours up at the June 25 BBQ!

  4. Pre-Reunion BBQ, Fort Hunt Park, Sunday, June 25, 2006!

    To help get the momentum running, we are having a pre-reunion picnic at Fort Hunt Park this Sunday, June 25th at noon! It is just a gathering for anyone who's around the area before our reunion. Bring your children, and have a day at the park. Perhaps we will grab some grills and BYO grill foods. Can't wait to catch up!


Ray Bowers, West Potomac High, Class of '86
ray@bowers.com
http://www.WestPotomacClassof86.com

May 8, 2006

You are invited -- WPHS’ 20th year Birthday Party

Special Invitation! Our class has been invited as guests of honor at WPHS’ 20th year Birthday Party, Friday, May 12th, 2pm - 3:30pm in the cafeteria. In appreciation of your dedication to our community, WPPTSA is sponsoring a staff and community celebration! Please come! Cake, ice cream, staff raffles, recognizing teachers and staff during inaugural year.

Mar 21, 2006

York Craig Butler is alive

Yes, we finally heard from him! He has no idea how someone thought he was deceased, just "Maybe that's what happens when you move to Kansas?!".

Mar 20, 2006

Major Milestone!

In just 4.5 months, we have found over 50% of our class! Think we can make 60, 70 or even 80%? Please check the Missing list to see who else you can help locate!

Mar 15, 2006

March Update

Welcome to the West Potomac HS Class of 86, March Update. We have just a few quick announcements this month:

  1. Plans continue to come together.

    We are working to get "Save the Date" announcements printed and our registration pages ready for the website. We expect to send them out and post the official details on-line near the end of March. More details to follow... In the mean time, please do not make other plans for Columbus Day weekend, Oct 7-8th, 2006!

  2. York Craig Butler Returns from the Dead?!

    York Craig Butler has recently been reported to be alive in Orem, UT. This is quite a remarkable achievement since the report last November from another alumni that he had passed away shortly after graduation. Was he simply on an extended vacation? Did aliens take over his body to study Earth before invading? Or was it merely the result of amazing new vitamins?

    We will find out! More to be posted soon. (Sorry for the confusion.)

  3. New Website Features
    • improved alumni list
    • improved alumni bio/contact page
    • ALL alumni photos have been posted on-line (including missing alumni)
    • the most recent Alumni Note is now displayed on the front page. Alumni Notes can include events such as births, weddings, promotions, etc.
  4. What have you been doing for 20 years?

    As of March 15th, 21 alumni have posted bios online to share their stories. We have actors, computer geeks, dancers, nurses, and plenty of parents! Alexandria to Orange, CA, and a couple overseas. 0 to 7 kids (yes, SEVEN)! One announcement welcoming a baby just a few months ago, and hopefully a few more BIG announcements next month too... Catch up on the stories and contribute some of your own!

    View the list of alumni with who have submitted bios at: Alumni with Bios.

  5. Google your Missing friends!

    One of the hardest parts of setting up a reunion is tracking everyone down and getting them to send in their updated contact information, but YOU CAN HELP!

    We especially need help to try to find people before we send out the "Save the Date" Cards!

    Please, take a few minutes and run a google search on old friends still in our missing list. Start with their name and add anything else you know such as nick names, hobbies or where they went to college. You would be amazed at how easy it can be to track someone down if you just know a few personal things about them. Once you have found them, let ray@bowers.com know so we do not also spend duplicate time/effort into looking for them!

    It is fun and can be very rewarding when you finally meet up with an old friend. Please give it a try!

  6. Volunteers?

    We can always use more volunteers! Stop by to see how you might help. Committees.

Take care,

Ray Bowers, West Potomac High, Class of '86
ray@bowers.com
http://www.WestPotomacClassof86.com

Mar 8, 2006

York Craig Butler Returns from the Dead?!

York Craig Butler has recently been reported to be alive in Orem, UT. This is quite a remarkable achievement since the report last November from another alumni that he had passed away shortly after graduation. Was he simply on an extended vacation? Did aliens take over his body to study Earth before invading? Or was it merely the result of amazing new vitamins? We'll find out! More to be posted soon. (Sorry for the confusion.)

Mar 3, 2006

Google your missing friends!

One of the hardest parts of setting up a reunion is tracking everyone down and getting them to send in their updated contact information, but you can help!

Please, take a few minutes and run a google search on old friends still in our missing list. Start with their name and add anything else you know such as nick names, hobbies or where they went to college. You would be amazed at how easy it can be to track someone down if you just know a few personal things about them (things which I don't know about everyone). Once you have found them, let ray@bowers.com know so we do not also spend duplicate time/effort into looking for them!

It is fun and can be very rewarding when you finally meet up with an old friend. Please give it a try!

Feb 20, 2006

February Update

Sorry for the late Feb update! We were busy working on trying to get a hotel for the banquet (see #1 below)... Here are a few quick updates:

  1. Plans are coming together

    We are negotiating with the Ritz Carlton in Pentagon City to hold our banquet on Saturday, Oct 7th, 2006 (Columbus Day weekend). Sorry, the Ritz in McLean was booked already! Plans are not final yet, but we hope that we will be able to send a SAVE THE DATE notice in the March update, but no promises yet...

  2. The Spirit Committee needs your help!

    Please check out the February 17th news item on the class website for ways you can volunteer to help the Spirit Committee with things like: Photo Slide Show, Gift Bags / Sponsors / Raffle Items, Event Book, Recognition Awards, Emcee, T-Shirt and Stadium Caps.

  3. Alumni Bios -- What have you been up to?

    A new feature has been added to the site to show alumni bios. Go to the Alumni List to see who has provided an update, then write your own and send it with photos to ray@bowers.com to let people know what you have been up to!

Take care,

Ray Bowers, West Potomac High, Class of '86
ray@bowers.com
http://www.WestPotomacClassof86.com

Feb 17, 2006

Spirit Committee - Update and Request for help

Hi Everyone, Since we are enjoying the planning of our reunion, we needed to reach out and get more volunteers to help us accomplish some more tasks. If any of these sound like they are interesting to you, let Deena (PETTIT) Pagliaro & Lynne Lewis know.

Please let us know what you'd like to do to help. We think if we have a few people to help it will make each task much easier. Deena and Lynne will be setting up some dinners to get people together to discuss progress. Any questions or comments, please let us know, Deena (PETTIT) Pagliaro & Lynne Lewis.

Feb 10, 2006

Alumni Bios -- What have you been up to?

A new feature has been added to the site to show alumni bios. Go to the Alumni List to see who has provided an update, then write your own and send it with photos to ray@bowers.com to let people know what you have been up to!

Feb 9, 2006

Server move complete

I am sorry for the web site downtime last week. My server froze while I was out of the country. I am back and have transferred the site to a new server for better performance and reliabilty. Everything should be working. If not, please let me know. Thanks, Ray

Jan 24, 2006

Spirit Committee Members Needed

We are looking for a few friends to joins us in the following: Organizing the decor of our reunion, gathering memorabilia, putting together memories in a slide show, arranging for gift bags, door prizes, raffles and recognition awards. If you'd like to help with some of the fun of planning our 20th year reunion, We want you!! Feel free to contact Deena Pettit & Lynne Lewis.

Jan 15, 2006

Planning and Committee Update

Today, we had almost 20 people show up for a reunion planning meeting at the Fish Market. We got feedback on what type of event people want, when, how much, etc. We also formed our first committees, chose committee leads and set some initial goals to get things moving.

Information about the Committees and how planning is going will be posted under the Planning menu with detailed posted to the Reunion pages when we have confirmed information. We hope to announce a date, venue and more details in February. Check the Photos page to see who showed up!

Jan 9, 2006

Website issues

The website is running on my PC at home over a cable connection. It is up most of the time, but lately has locked up a few times. If you cannot connect, please be patient and try back in a little bit. Worst case is that it might be down till I get home. Thanks!

Jan 8, 2006

January Monthly Update

Welcome to our first monthly update of the new year with just a few quick updates.

  1. January 15th Luncheon at the Fish Market - All are invited!

    The first planning meeting will be held Sunday, January 15th at 2pm at the Fish Market in Old Town Alexandria. We will have a private room upstairs with an open menu and individual checks. 23 people have RSVPed so far but everyone is welcome to attend!

    The first part of the meeting should just be lunch, fun, catching up and taking some polls to get feedback. After that, we should get into the planning meeting (a good point to head out if you do not want to get drafted). You do not have to volunteer to show up, just let Ray Bowers know so we can get a final head count by the 13th.

    I will be posting a proposed agenda for the meeting portion of this luncheon later in the week...

    Fish Market: 105 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, 703-836-5676, www.FishMarketOldTown.com

  2. Reunion Date?

    Sorry, the date is not set yet. We should get a good idea at the planning meeting on Jan 15th of when people want it and around Mid-February I should have it nailed down so we can start letting people know to "Save the Date!"

  3. Finding Alumni:

    We have found almost 40% of our class so far, but have a long way to go. Please check out the Missing list and ask friends to send in their informaion! We will not bug them for money or time, we just want to know where folks are to help people stay in touch and send invitations when the reunion date is set!

  4. New Website Features:

    If you have not seen them yet, please check out the new features. We now have:

    • An interactive Alumni Map (See who lives near you!)
    • Email forms to contact alumni (which hide your e-mail address)

Happy New Year,

Ray Bowers, West Potomac High, Class of '86
ray@bowers.com
http://www.WestPotomacClassof86.com

Jan 2, 2006

More backend website changes

I did some house cleaning on the website and rewrote a lot of how it works over the past week with PHP, CSS and MySQL. Not much really changed on the outside, but I have set it up to make website updates easier to make now. That's not important to people viewing the site, but it is great for me since I love being able to change the look, fonts, menus and graphics all from one place rather than editing dozens of individual files... This should make updates go easier in the future!

Dec 22, 2005

Progress Thermometer and Alumni Thumbnails!

I added a cheesy thermometer to the Found and Missing pages to show the progress in tracking down Alumni. It is just easier to see progress graphically rather than read through the table of numbers.

Also, the thumbnail photos were taking a while to load for the full list of Found alumni (especially for people with slow internet connection). So, to improve performance, I made the page default to not show the thumbnails, however, you can click toggle the display of the images if you like.

Dec 21, 2005

Email Alumni!

The website has been updated now so that alumni email addresses are hidden from view. Instead, if you see someone on the Found list which you would like to contact, simply click on their name and fill out the contact form. It will be e-mailed to them directly.

This change was done to maintain people's privacy and still allow friends to get in touch. If spammers or other people use this feature improperly, I will lock it down and require a log in and registration to access the feature. For now, I hope I do not need to go through the effort to do all of that. If you have any problems, please e-mail me, ray@bowers.com.

Dec 16, 2005

See Alumni on a Map!

I obviously have nothing better to do with my time... Today I added a new Alumni Map feature on-line. This is just the first version which shows approximately where people are (not their exact street address, only an approximation within the zip). It lets you scroll around and pull up their senior photo, name and city/state. Eventually I will fix the rest of the page layout/menu, run it off of the database and add some more options to make it more useful, but for now I was just tickled to get this working! Enjoy, -Ray

Dec 9, 2005

New website database

I have started to hook up the website to a backend database now to generate the listing of Found and Missing alumni. Visitors will not notice anything really different, but it will make it easier for me to update the site now that the lists are generated from a database rather than me manually updating the pages each day. Plus, since the lists are dynamically created, you can now sort by different columns if you like!

I have temporarily removed e-mail addresses from displaying on the Found Alumni page (Who is Found?) as I am implementing a new backend database and scripting to run the website. My goal is to set up the page so that only alumni can get access to alumni e-mail addresses. Until this is done, if you want to contact someone you see here e-mail me a request and I will forward it to them.

Dec 5, 2005

December Monthly Update

Can you believe it has been one month since we started planning for our next reunion? Can you even believe it has been 20 years?!?!

We still do not have a date or any details planned, but here is a quick update on recent activities:

I look forward to seeing you all next year,

Ray Bowers, West Potomac High, Class of '86
ray@bowers.com
http://www.WestPotomacClassof86.com

Nov 28, 2005

Over 25% Found!

It is official... We have found 151 Alumni, breaking the 25% mark in less than one month! See "Who is Found?" for a list of those Found, or better yet check out "Who is Missing?" to see if you can help locate the rest!

Nov 27, 2005

Fort Hunt Yearbooks online

The remaining year books for Fort Hunt, 83-85 have been posted on-line in the Yearbooks section.

1985 Fort Hunt Yearbook 1984 Fort Hunt Yearbook 1983 Fort Hunt Yearbook

Nov 21, 2005

Alumni List Update

The alumni list on the "Who is Missing?" page has been manually put together by typing in lists of names from the year book, Classmates.com, Reunion.com and a somewhat questionable list obtained from Fairfax County. Because these lists have been manually keyed into so many different systems from printouts over the years, there are bound to be numerous errors. If you see any typos, duplicates or missing records, please e-mail ray@bowers.com.

Nov 21, 2005

In Memory Guest Books

There are now guest books available for each person in the "In Memory" page for those who wish to add their prayers, thoughts or memories on those who have passed away.

Nov 10, 2005

Friends & Family added

A new page for "Friends & Family" was added so that in addition to listing alumni, we can have a way to track friends and family we may also have lost touch with.

Nov 8, 2005

Senior Photos added

Senior photos are now included in the "Who is Found?" listing.

Nov 7, 2005

Yearbooks online

Yearbook photos have been posted for our Senior year at West Potomac as well as Freshman through Junior years at Groveton. If anyone in the area would like to lend me their Fort Hunt yearbooks for 1983-1985, I will complete the Yearbooks page. ray@bowers.com

1986 West Potomac Yearbook 1985 Groveton Yearbook 1984 Groveton Yearbook 1983 Groveton Yearbook

Nov 6, 2005

Push to get updated alumni contact information

A new announcement was sent out on ClassMates.com to request alumni to visit the new class website and provide their updated contact information. We will need this to start figuring out how big of an event to plan and how best to let people know about the event.

The plan is to see how many people can be found through this announcement and people contacting their friends. In another two weeks or so, as leads probably start to slow down, it will be time to take a more proactive role and begin to start calling and tracking down those still missing.

Nov 3, 2005

Alumni database created & school visited

An initial database of alumni was created using available information from different alumni websites and the yearbook. After visiting West Potomac it was found out that they do not have any records which could help us. I checked with county records and have one more person to follow up with there, but it is not looking promising. Therefore it is important to try to get track down alumni on our own now. Notices were even posted around Hall, Beacon Mall and Belle View shopping centers to begin to track people down.

Nov 2, 2005

WestPotomacClassof86.com created

It is time to start planning the 20 year reunion for West Potomac's Class of '86! I have not heard of any progress yet, so I hope nobody minds that I took the initiative to try to start things moving... I started this web site and posted a few things on-line at sites such as ClassMates.com, Reunion.com, the Fairfax County Alumni Information page and even some of the local stores and restaurants. Enjoy, Ray Bowers

Oct 30, 2005

Initial survey posted on ClassMates.com

An initial survey was posted on ClassMates.com to see if there was any interest in a 20th year reunion