HAZARD — Perry County Central High School’s class of 1996 held their 20-year reunion Saturday at Coal River Grille in Hazard. The school opened in Aug. of 1995, bringing together the student bodies of M.C. Napier and Dilce Combs high schools. The students, who received their diplomas in June of 1996, were the first graduating class for Perry Central.
The reunion featured music from the band Bedford and Company, which can be found on Spotify and Facebook. Perry Central’s first graduating class made a lasting impact on the school. When they were Juniors at M.C. Napier and Dilce Combs, they were given the opportunity to pick Perry Central’s colors and mascot through a vote that was held at both schools. Perry Central’s colors are a combination of red from M.C. Napier and black from Dilce Combs. The class of 1996 remains one of the largest in Perry Central’s history, with nearly 270 students registered as Seniors when the school opened its doors.
The class of 1996 and the class of 2016 share some similarities. Both classes graduated during a Clinton campaign for the White House. In 1996, “Independence Day” was in theaters throughout the summer, and the same is true in 2016, with the release of “Independence Day: Resurgence.” Pearl Jam also launched successful tours in both years. However, the world has brought forth plenty of changes in the past two decades. Smart phones did not exist in 1996. In fact, very few teenagers owned a cell phone. Facebook and Twitter could not be found on the Internet in 1996, neither could Google.
As is the case with every generation, Perry Central’s class of 1996 ventured into all different professions and enjoyed many successes. The class also experienced its fair share of heartbreak and tragedy. At the 20-year reunion, a tribute was setup to memorialize classmates who passed away far too soon.
Sam Neace can be reached at 606-629-3243 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.