First grade experiment

Richmond Elementary School blog

So I’m in the attic of our house, and I come across my old blue photo album, the one I stuck all of my old high school clippings and a few class pictures from the past in.
My oldest picture is the one above, my first grade class at Richmond Elementary School in Richmond, Ohio (population: about 430). I was born in Stuebenville Ohio, the largest city near Richmond, and I attended Richmond Elementary through the third grade. If I recall, my teachers were Ms. Sharpe (kindergarten), Ms. Pilarski (first grade), Mrs. Evans (second grade) and Mr. Blake (third grade). My family moved to Georgia in the middle of the third grade, and I ended up in Texas as a sixth-grader.
My memories of the school are a bit vague. I recall the Halloween carnival and getting my face painted, I remember some of these students pictured (had a crush on one of them, and one of them was my best friend then), I remember Little League baseball behind the school, and I remember a kid tripping me in the second grade, forcing me to get stitches in my forehead (he wasn’t in this picture).
As you can tell in the photo, I was the shortest kid in the class (even shorter than the girls). That’s me at the bottom right, patches in my jeans and all because I always scuffed up my pants. I was always the shortest kid all the way through my sophomore year of high school, when I suddently went from 5-2 to 5-7 in a year. I grew 2 to 3 more inches after high school, believe it or not (I’m a tad under 5-10 now).
But back to the photo.
What got me about this picture was the fact that I know nothing about what happened to any of these kids, who are all about 30, 31 or 32 years old right now. I know nothing about them, yet they were all a part of my growing up. Our paths crossed in elementary school, for whatever reason, and we all went our separate ways.
So in this age of MySpace, Facebook, Google and other “find me” sites, I’ve decided to conduct a little experiment. I’m simply going to post this picture and the names of these students on my blog … and we’ll see if any of these students spot themselves.
If you are a student in my first grade class at Richmond Elementary, circa 1982-83, and you come across this blog posting, all I ask you to do is identify yourself about me, and hopefully share with me the following:

Your name: If it’s different because of marriage
Your age
Where you live now
A current photo of yourself
What you do for a living (family, etc)
What you remember most about Richmond Elementary
What you remember about me (a little self-fulfilling, I know)

E-mail this information to me at or post on my comments here, and I’ll keep a running tally of who in this class is called for.

Here are the names of the children in Ms. Pilarski’s first grade class at Richmond Elementary School, 1982-1983. Some of the names are partial … maybe others can help me identify them.

Front row (left to right): Jamie Kranek, Tina Westling, Tracy Keyser, Heather Rush, Jennifer Gumbar, Billy Liggett.
Second row: Shelly ?, Erin Doyle, Elliot Hetzer, Samanda McAfee, Angela Batalucci
Third row: Mark Miller, Mark Taylor, Toni Dean, Justin Bell, Allen Thompson, Amy Sharrow (or Sparrow)
Fourth row: Chad DeMartin, Steven Moodie, Bret Miljus, Scott Stinard, Autumn Browner, Ben Pratko

Who knows, if everybody responds, perhaps we’ll have a reunion. Wonder if Pilarski will attend?


4 thoughts on “First grade experiment

  1. What a cutie….where’d those chubby cheeks go???

    I’m wondering what the kid in the upper left corner is thinking — that smirk makes me think he just put a “kick me” post-it on your teacher’s back or was contemplating giving her rabbit ears for the camera, but wasn’t fast enough – ha-ha!

  2. Yeah, but check out Mrs. Pilarski’s face. Does that smile look plastered on or what? “I just spent 15 minutes getting these kids’ hair combed and clothes straightened and they’re finally standing still…take the flipping picture so I can go get a drink!”

  3. Your name:
    Shane Gorrell

    Your age:

    Where you live now:
    Aiken South Carolina,
    Moved to Florida summer before Seventh Grade 88?
    Augusta GA 93
    Danville VA 95
    Georgia in 96 been in the area ever since.


    What you do for a living:
    Tier 3 Technical Support for an Emergency Management Company.
    Married with children.

    What you remember most about Richmond Elementary:
    Mrs Cline what a @#$@^!

    What you remember about me (a little self-fulfilling, I know)
    2nd Grade you were a jewel thief for Halloween.

  4. Omg! Hi Billy!
    How sad that I can still see us all at this age! ☺️.
    I am married, still in Ohio, my family moved when I was in 5th grade, but only down the highway a bit to Brilliant. I graduated from Buckeye Local! I currently live in Wintersville Ohio, (right outside of Richmond, lol). I have a 3 year old little girl named Logan. I am a RN, currently at Acuity Specialty Hospital where I am the director of nursing.
    What I remember most about you was how darn cute you were, I guess you could say you were my crush! Lol. It was great to see this and how well everyone is doing! Keep in touch!

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