All Because Two NC Alumni Fell In Love…

A trip down memory lane with a few of North Central High School’s sustaining love stories has officially become our Valentine’s Day tradition.

The Advancement Center celebrates Valentine’s Day for the third year in a row by profiling North Central alumni who have choose to move through life together! What better way to celebrate love than with those couples whose love for each other was sparked through connections with North Central High School?! The couples featured this year and in our 2016 and 2017 articles represent just a few of many NC connections. Do you have a good Panther partner story? Send an email to the Advancement Center with your NCHS love story.

And, for those of you still happily married after knowing your soul mate back in high school, what better way to say ‘Thank You’ and ‘I Love You,’ than with a gift to the place that made your relationship a reality! This Valentine’s Day, would you consider a gift in honor of your time together? Perhaps $1, $5 or $10 for every year you’ve been married! Click Donate Now and give a tribute gift to honor your North Central nuptials, and celebrate your Panther partnership, just like these couples:

Mark ’67 and Sally (Reid) ’66 Dinwiddie

Mark and Sally knew of each other and even had a few classes together while walking the halls of North Central High School. However, Sally points out that Mark, a year behind her in the class of ’67, and she were not “really on each other’s radar” to date during their shared years at NC. It was not until they were coupled at DePauw University, through Sally’s sister, that a love connection was made. Their first date was an election night party in Indianapolis to celebrate Richard Nixon’s win. Neither one knew or cared about politics at the time, but they had been given tickets and figured why not? They dated steadily from that point forward and were married the summer before Mark’s senior year on August 1st, 1970. The couple went on a “glamorous“ four day honeymoon in Michigan but had to hurry back to Greencastle so Mark could get to football practice!  The couple moved back to Indianapolis early in their marriage and in 1985 Mark started a packaging distribution business, FlexPac.

Mark and Sally’s union is one that has led to a multi-generational Washington Township lineage. The couple raised their two children, Meg and Blaine, in the Windcombe neighborhood where they still live today. Both Meg and Blaine now have homes in Washington Township and all six of Mark and Sally’s grandchildren have attended or will attend Washington Township Schools.

To this day Sally and Mark still reflect on their time at North Central and reminisce about their shared teachers. Especially beloved was their Spanish teacher, Miss Merkel (who was also their son’s Spanish teacher during his time at NC). The couple now owns a condo in northern Mexico where Sally says “we really attempt to use the language as best we can….and always say Miss Merkel would be so proud”. The couple enjoys many mutual NC friends and they attend all class of ‘66 and ‘67 reunions. Sally notes “we’ve both experienced our 50th reunions at this point and it seems like we treasure the connections even more as the years go by. I guess you could say we and our family have really not wondered too far out of the woods where we started because we have such strong roots… or memories…and they all started at North Central”.

D’Artagnan ’96 and Meisha (Walker) ’99 Wide

D’Artagnan and Meisha Wide met leaving the North Central gyms after their respective basketball and volleyball practices in the fall of 1995. However, it was not until the Circle City Classic football game that they began officially “talking”, and have been talking and laughing ever since! Married almost 15 years they are proudly raising their 3 children in Washington Township.

During high school Meisha and D’Artagnan were just as supportive of each other as they are now.  Meisha made it a priority to cheer D’Artagnan and the NC varsity basketball team on in every game regardless of where they took place. She still recalls the time she had to miss because of a surgery her mom had. Discouraged by her inability to attend the tournament in Vincennes, Indiana, she made sure D’Artagnan came home to find his porch filled with balloons and posters congratulating the team on their tournament win. The memory of this special time in their courtship and foundation of being each other’s number one fan is still marked by a piece of tape present on his parent’s window from where the victory posters once hung.

Both D’Artagnan and Meisha credit the athletic experiences at North Central in shaping a large part of who they are today and the paths they have chosen. Meisha points out that “the NC athletic staff taught principles of resilience, good work ethics and accountability.” These principles have carried over into their lives as leaders within the Greek affiliations of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc & Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc, as well as their professional careers as coaches, mentors and work in community program development. Those developed skills have come full circle to foster the next generation of Washington Township students with D’Artagnan currently serving as the 8th grade boys basketball coach at Westlane and Meisha serving as a Co-President of the Crooked Creek Elementary PTO.

The couple is thrilled to be raising future NC Panthers. D’Artangnan and Meisha were quick to respond when asked what North Central represents to them. “North Central is in our eyes a microcosm of the world and can provide the foundation for how a young person can learn to handle the world as they mature. The exposure to world literature and culture that our education provided us at NC gave us an advantage in college. NC also taught us that we represented not only our families’ names but also a legacy of NC grads that have made major impact in the world.”

John ’04 and Anne (Ross) ’04 Baker

John and Annie have been friends since their freshman year at North Central. Still friends over a decade after meeting John feared that he had been placed in the insurmountable, irreversible “Friendzone”. But in 2015 John worked up the courage to ask Annie on a “casual” date. John was thoughtful in the date choice, taking interior designer Annie through the eccentrically decorated homes on the Meridian Kessler Home Tour. As they walked through the streets of Meridian Kessler, John had a faint inclination that he had moved out of “just friends” purgatory and a little closer to couple status.  After that casual date the two were soon taking adventures to Chicago, exploring the Indianapolis culinary scene and taking long walks on the Monon to tire their pups, Hattie and Ace.

While they each had wonderful post high school experiences, Annie at DePauw University in Greencastle, IN and Harrington School of Design in Chicago, IL and John at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN, their shared time at North Central still plays a large part in the life they lead today. The couple was married this past September and out of the 15 members in their wedding party 10 were other North Central Graduates!

The strength and depth of their Panther bonds come as no surprise since Annie and John are both 2nd generation North Central graduates. John’s dad and Annie’s mom graduated just a year apart from each other and set up a precedent of North Central tradition for the two. “There has always been a sense of pride in being a North Central Panther as it was something that our parents found great joy in when discussing their time in high school.  We hope to have a third generation there when the time comes.”

We congratulate and celebrate John and Annie’s recent Panther union and wish them years of happiness like those shared in our panther couple profiles over the last three years!