Celebrating 150 years


Topeka High School is celebrating 150 years this year. Joan Friedtrom Barker is part of the Topeka High alumni. Barker said she met her lifelong friends here at Topeka High.

¨I met my best lifelong friend the first day of school our sophomore year, we didn’t have a freshman class it was just 3 years.” Barker said they have been friends for 53 years now. She still thinks about some of her teachers and the classes they taught. She said she always wanted to be part of the musicals. ¨I went to school with the smartest and most talented people I’ve ever met three of my classmates are in the Topeka High hall of fame Gary Taylor, Richetta Manager, and Jayne Houdyshell.¨ Barker said the building itself hasn’t changed since she was in school except for the walls getting a better coat of paint.

Barker thinks that Topeka High is a special place. ¨It’s something that you can’t explain but if you have experienced Topeka High you get it you know the magic of Topeka High School, of course, the building is unique but its the unique spaces in the building where stories are created and those stories are Topeka High history.¨ Barker has been the executive secretary of the Topeka High historical society since 1992. She has a lot to do for the 150th celebration some of the activities include, an art tour of Topeka High with historian and Topeka High graduate Kara Heitz, The black and gold gala, and more. ¨The activities are being organized by the Topeka High historical society and specifically the 150th committee,¨ Barker said. ¨After 150 years it’s still a school of excellence and students that go here, if they make good choices, will be successful.¨