"I remember South High as a school that I couldn't wait to get to. That's an enormous tribute. It was a place where we felt a deep regard for each other, loved our teachers and thought our principal was the greatest in the world. I think my love for politics came out of South High School. Ralph Backman (principal during Wilson's era, the late '50s) was intense about community participation. He let us know that if we didn't do our two-bits' worth, we weren't doing what we should. I ran the (student body) campaign for Mike Stewart (now Salt Lake County commissioner). He was a great president. I was on the ski team and was a cheerleader and even sang in the opera, even though I couldn't sing."
Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone
of the First Quorum of Seventy of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
"One of most memorable experiences was in the a cappella choir led by Armont Willardsen. We traveled to Sacramento and San Francisco, which was pretty impressive for a high school choir then. I thought he was the greatest in the world. In my last year, we took state championship in basketball. Steve Heiner intercepted a pass in the last few moments and saved the game. Our track team took state every year I went. I was a half-miler and not a very good one. I only took track to prepare for football. I was president of my junior and senior classes. I remember standing on the stage with my little speech prepared, and when they hit me with the spotlight, I couldn't even remember my name. But I pulled my little note out and read it. I remember Ms. Dyer who had a glass eye. We all tried to get on her right side so we'd be out of sight. And I remember the Spudnut shop across the street. The average South High student could eat a half dozen to a dozen Spudnuts - and did."
Salt Lake public relations executive
and member of the State Board of Regents:
"I got my start in journalism as the sports editor of the South High Scribe. The late Ed Parker, former Salt Lake City councilman, was my high school newspaper adviser. Anyone who ever went to South in those days remembers Winnifred Dyer. She was a stern lady, but looking back you see what a good job she did trying to run that school. Her presence was felt throughout the school; she had very high standards that she imposed on the school. I feel sad about South's closing, but the sadness is somewhat tempered by the possibility it might become the downtown campus of Salt Lake Community College. If we can acquire it for Salt Lake Community College, it will continue to serve education, and I'd rather see that than have it torn down or turned into a shopping mall."
Salt Lake County commissioner:
"Seriously, I never met any circumstance in life that I didn't meet at some point in my years at South High - social and economic problems, life and death and tragedy. We had a tremendous administration and faculty that saw in young people lots of hope and promise and drew out the best in us. During the 1956-57 school year, some of the students went to visit the Intermountain Indian School in Brigham City and came back with mohawks. Instead of heaping on the scorn and discipline, the principal said that it may have been a fun thing to do, but it was offensive to some of the students and let it go at that. I remember when we made the shift from junior high school, and it was really traumatic. I was particularly fond of the ramps. You could always see sweethearts going up and down holding hands and gazing into each other's eyes. You could get completely lost in such a gaze without ever worrying about falling on stairs. And it was great to have the old horseshoe taps on your shoes and slide down those ramps.