Impressions from Class of 1970 and 1995 highlight what present and future students experience as Viking Knights and Ladies through memories at Puyallup High School.
The 1995 yearbook describes Viking Knights and Ladies as students who are “admired by their peers and were given a chance to represent their school in more ways than one.” It’s a Puyallup High School tradition handed down throughout generations.
Viking Knight President in 1995 Ryan Nybo says that not only does the organization serve as one of the many traditions, but also says that it goes beyond just being a club.
“[As a Viking Knight or Lady you] were representing something that was larger than you, so for me that was really cool,” Nybo said.
Fellow 1995 alumna Jennifer (Garett) Gorham agrees with her classmate’s assessment; being a Viking Knight or Lady provides an opportunity for the members to give back to the community.
“I think the biggest benefits of Viking Knights and Viking Ladies, both in general and to me personally, were to foster an attitude of giving back to our community, to celebrate our Viking pride, and to serve others because of our gratitude,” Gorham said.
Viking Knights and Ladies serve as ambassadors at many events throughout the school year, from helping at the annual Alumni Assembly to the many play productions produced by the drama department. Because of this, its members are able to experience these moments together and create memories.
“There were so many good memories… being part of the leadership of my class. It was all a good thing,” Jerry Norman, Viking Knight from 1970 said.
Students who take part of this club even view it as a privilege that helped them in life. It encouraged many Viking Knights and Ladies, strive to help others.
“Being a Viking Lady helped me to see that I had, and continue to have, many privileges. And because of those advantages, it was incumbent upon me to do as much as I can to help others. I’m afraid I have not lived up to that ideal, but I will always have room to grow,” Gorham said.
For the class of 1995 it was especially special. This class attended Puyallup High School during the remodeling of the school. This generation of Viking Knights and Ladies had the opportunity to present their new school to many.
“It was a special time and we were a service organization; it was a privilege to be a part of it and we were kind of like ambassadors for the school. We were just out there,” Nybo said.
Engaging in this club even allows students to further enjoy their time at Puyallup High School. According to some of its members, it gives students something to feel proud of being a part of.
“Being a Viking Lady in 1995 was very humbling and, at the same time, a source of pride. I was awed by the other amazing young women who were a part of the group,” Gorham said.
Being a part of this organization of course comes with responsibilities but helps these students grow as a person by making an effort to represent their school as a positive role model,
“You were to represent the school in a positive way and be a role model for other students. Being selected to do it was just an honor; it’s a good feeling,” Norman said
Being a privilege to take a part of, being a Viking Knight or Lady is also an undertaking in which you have fun but as Nybo said, something to make the most of. By taking advantage of the opportunities given, it will leave its members with memories to remember for the rest of their lives.
“You have to sacrifice your time but realize it’s a privilege to do this. I look back with a lot of fondness, but it is a privilege to do it and have fun because it’s something you will remember for the rest of your life,” Nybo said.
What advice does Nybo give to the Viking Knights and Ladies today?
“Make the most of [being a Viking Knight and Lady],” Nybo said.
1970 Viking Knight Jerry Norman also has some advice for present and future Viking Knights and Ladies.
“Be honest and be kind to people; if you don’t you might regret it,” Norman said.
The 1995, Viking Knights and Ladies had the pleasure of enjoying the school remodeling to its fullest. Viking Knights and Ladies also give tours to the many students and visitors of Puyallup High school. This generation of this club had the opportunity to show their brand-new school.
“It was a very exciting time. It was very cool because we were from the old school going to portables and then we had a new sparkling school. The Viking Knights and Ladies led all the tours and alumni and everyone around. It was very special for us,” Nybo said.
These Viking Knights and Ladies not only gave tours but were the first ones to welcome everyone.
“We were kind of that bridge year as Viking Knights and Ladies; we were the first ones to welcome everyone [into the new building],” Nybo said.
Gorham also offers some advice not only for Viking Knights and Ladies but all Vikings.
“My advice to any student, whether they are members of Viking Ladies or not, is to find one thing that you can do to serve others,” Viking Lady Jennifer (Garrett) Gorham said. “It may be something small, and you may not receive any recognition at all, but performing acts of service will help you grow into a person of integrity and find a deeper meaning in life than if you live merely to serve yourself,” Gorham said.
Being a part of this club not only do you receive many opportunities to help others, but you are given lots of time with your fellow Viking Knights and Ladies. So, friendships are bound to form.
“My favorite part of Viking Ladies was the feeling of acceptance that the other girls gave me,” Gorham said.
Part of the acceptance came from the bond that these individuals share with each other based on their experiences together.
“When I was sophomore and junior, the other junior and senior Viking Knights really took you under their wing and get camaraderie and they helped you out and then you got to watch them graduate through the years…it was a cool feeling,” Nybo said.
Living through all these experiences not only improve these students as a person and advantages though out their lives but generates deep gratitude.
“Puyallup High School really set me to succeed in college and I really appreciate that,” Norman said.