Alumnus Bakke encourages students to take advantage of time in high school

Jaylynn Lewis, Staff

Have you taken advantage of your years at Puyallup High School?  

1995 alumnus Eric Bakke says he made lifelong friends and gained new experiences from beinan involved during high school. 

During his years at Puyallup, Bakke was a Viking Knight. The Viking Knights and Ladies specialized in helping others and being an active part of Puyallup High School.  

As a senior Bakke was also a part of the school’s music programs like Norselanders and Concert Choir, which he says played a key role in his life after high school. 

“I went on to study vocal jazz/music in college in large part because of the experience I gained at PHS from the music programs, Bakke said.  

During his senior year Bakke decided to take advantage of as many of Puyallup’s PE and music classes as he could. 

“Honestly, my senior year was a blast. I intentionally took two years of summer school prior to my senior year for the sole purpose of getting the more academic classes out of the way so I could fool around and take it easy throughout my senior year, Bakke said. 

Even though Bakke says he wanted to take it easy in his senior year, hwas a part of the ASB program and helped to serve the student body in Senior Men’s Club. The Senior Men’s and Women’s Clubs were founded to help unite different seniors, nationalities and groups into one.  

“I had fun at PHS. I was our ASB Vice President and being in a leadership position was a good learning experience,” said Bakke.  

The Senior Men’s Club enjoyed hobbies such as going to hockey games and on hiking trips. Being in Senior Men’s Club gave them the opportunity to get to know one another and become closer friends. 

“I had good friends that I’m still in contact with today and I liked most of my teachers. I really enjoyed the sports and music programs,” Bakke said. 

In addition to being in the Senior Men’s Club Eric Bakke also participated sports such as varsity cross country and varsity basketball.  

I guess the thing I’d say I miss most now is playing basketball four to five hours a day with my [friends], Bakke said. 

Bakke says some of his favorite memories involved pushing boundaries regarding some of the rules.  

“Sometimes we’d even sneak into the gymnasium well past midnight just to get more basketball in on the weekends (we figured out how to [get in] undetected),” Bakke said 

Puyallup’s standards today are that disciplinary authority shall be exercised with fairness and equity. Bakke says the rules were similar back then as well. 

“I recall our rules being reasonable, strictly enforced but often with grace from teachers and administrators. So, if a rule was broken, usually a second chance was given before consequences kicked in,” Bakke said. 

Similar for some students todaycollege was the path for many graduates. 

“I think our standards were on par with most other schools academically and the majority of my friends and classmates from what I remember went onto college, Bakke said. 

 Bakke says he had fun during his time at school and was an active part in the students’ community. 

“PHS was great, but I do remember feeling like we lived in bit of a social bubble and would have liked to been exposed to more outside cultural perspectives in classes like history, civics, social studies, etc.,” Bakke said.