ELHS Alumni Congratulate the Class of 2018: Ann Marie Chappelle-Olsen
Above: Ann Marie Chappelle-Olsen Senior Picture 1977
ELHS Alumni congratulate the Class of 2018 . . . now through June
On June 10, about 300 high school seniors will march onward to join the ranks of Trojan Alumni who have graduated from East Lansing Public Schools over the last century.
East Lansing Info asked Trojan Alumni who live, work and retain ties in East Lansing to congratulate the Class of 2018. From now through early June, we'll feature their reflections and informal advice to the graduating class.
Thank you ELHS Alumni and congratulations to the Class of 2018.
Ann Marie Chappelle-Olsen
Class of 1977
What is your occupation?
Retired from local government community health work
Why did you make East Lansing home?
Having been raised in EL, I moved back because I wanted to raise my family in the same place. I realized after moving to a nearby town for a few years that it was just not the same as EL.
Where did you grow up in East Lansing?
Pinecrest School area
Where do you live now?
Donley School area. I also raised my kids in the Pinecrest area.
Above: Ann Olsen with her son Kalil, Class of 2018
Do you have children in East Lansing schools?
I have five children. Four are adults now, but I have one who is a senior at ELHS and will graduate this June.
What are some funny or fond memories you have about high school?
Since I was very involved in music, theater and sports, most of my memories revolve around those activities. I marched in the band all four years, and sang in many groups, including the state champion EL Singers, who went on a two-week singing tour in Romania the summer after my graduation.
What was your favorite place in East Lansing when you attended high school? Why?
Neighborhood ice skating rinks in the winter were great fun. And back in those days, we were allowed to go to bars and dance and that was great fun. Also, we had two theaters to go see movies and I recall going to see Romeo and Juliet with my boyfriend at that time. He and I are still close friends today!
What path did you initially take when you graduated?
As a stubborn and independent teen, I made a very poor decision to move away from home after graduation, at age 17. All on my own, I attended college and worked full time. Eventually, I moved into management roles in my work that took me away from school. Marriage and family came next, before returning to full-time work in community health.
What do you think is different about high school today?
Although there are many things that are different, one blaring thing that I remember is we had a "smokers hill" at one end of the building, and kids smoked, as well as did drugs, and nobody stopped them. I don't know why or how staff and parents could allow that, and I know that would never be tolerated today. Another thing that stands out to me is the pressure for students to know so early what they want to do and what they want to become (career). Back then, it didn't seem to be as strong as it is on kids now days.
What do you think is the same?
I think the staff still desires to give the kids a great education and experiences and works hard to that end. The cultural diversity back then was great (prior to School of Choice) with many families associated with MSU. That diversity was one of the reasons I wanted to move back and raise children in EL.
What advice do you have for graduating seniors?
Although the temptation to grow up quickly is something all young graduates feel, there is no shame in moving slowly, and accepting all the help you can get. Parents and mentors and others are usually happy to give advice and practical help on your journey, and you would do well to listen and consider before you act. Being impulsive does not usually lead to good outcomes, as I learned the hard way.
Want to join Trojan Alumni in congratulating the Class of 2018? Our only asks are that you're an ELHS graduate, live or work in East Lansing, and are willing to share a current picture and one from your high school years. Interested? Contact Ann Kammerer at firstname.lastname@example.org.