Hunter High’s graduating classes of the early 1990’s to hold reunionJul 07, 2023 12:08PM ● By Darrell Kirby
Tally Burke was one of the early graduates of Hunter High School, which opened in 1990. She was a member of the class of 1994. (Courtesy Tally Burke)
Step back to the early 1990s for a moment.
There was the music that topped the Billboard charts—Whitney Houston, Boyz II Men and Sir Mix-a-Lot. Overalls and scrunchies were in style for girls. George H.W. Bush made way for Bill Clinton in the White House. O.J. Simpson gained global notoriety. The TV sitcom “Saved by the Bell” captured the lives of a group of high school students. And people were becoming familiar with something called the internet.
It also marked the first few years of the existence of Hunter High School in West Valley City, which opened in 1990.
On Aug. 12, the graduating classes of 1991 through 1995 will hold their 30-year (or thereabouts for some) reunion.
The gathering dubbed “The First Five Years: The Classes That Started it All” is a chance for graduating Wolverines of that period to reconnect, reminisce and continue to forge friendships.
“Friends, football games, basketball games, going to Hardee’s after games,” recalled 1993 grad Brandy Daniels, one of the reunion organizers, of her high school experience.
“I remember high school being (about) friends,” she added. “Even in the summer, you woke up and it was ‘what are we doing today?’”
She maintains friendships with many of her classmates even today. “We’ve seen children and deaths, husbands and new wives, ex-wives and ex-husbands. Some of us have had more turmoil than others, but we’re still here.”
Another Hunter High graduate of 1993 is David Gatti. He hasn’t strayed far since then. He has been a school administrator in the Granite School district and today is its transportation director.
With Hunter High School being new, Gatti said it assembled a student body from kids who had previously or would have gone to other nearby schools. “You have all these kids walking around Hunter wearing Kearns jackets and Granger jackets. We quickly put all that behind us and we were just such a tight group. We loved each other,” he remembered.
Then there’s the advent of social media, something that was still about 10 or 15 years away when those early Wolverines were roaming the halls of the new Hunter High.
Gatti said that one of the positive changes among today’s students from those of his time is that contemporary high schoolers might be more connected after their commencement, thanks to Facebook, Instagram and other platforms. In his day, “you kind of knew you’re not going to see a lot of those people anymore” which made graduation a more emotional event. With social media, today’s graduates can know the details of their classmates' lives and whereabouts long after high school. “The consequences of graduation are minimized in today’s world because of the connected nature of the world,” Gatti said.
Tally Burke earned her diploma in 1994. “I’m astonished that it’s been almost 30 years,” she said. She now has nieces currently attending and about to attend Hunter. “Hunter changed the landscape of West Valley so much. It was almost like the first thing” on the west side of the city, Burke said. “Then everything started happening around it,” she said, noting the residential and commercial development that took off in the 1990s and continues today.
The West Valley City native wasn’t sure what to think about the budding internet as she finished up at Hunter. “We sort of knew, they talked about it, it was like how is that possible? That’s now how things are going to be,” she said.
People can change a lot over three decades, but she hopes that doesn’t keep graduates from 1991 through 1995 from wanting to come to the reunion. “Some people are either scared to go see people after 30 years because of weight or whatever but hopefully we’ve gotten past that and we can come together and see people that we haven’t for a long time,” Burke said. “I’m very excited.”
Hunter High School’s 1991-95 class reunion will be held Aug. 12, 6 p.m. to midnight
at Redemption Bar & Grill, 3517 W. Maradona Drive in Herriman. Cost is $20 per person.