All Draft

Retired Teacher’s Luncheon

Christy McTigue Backley


by Christy Backley ’66

As part of Withrow’s Centennial Celebration, on Saturday, September 1, 2018, the Withrow Alumni Assn. hosted over 60 retired teachers and staff. In addition, to enjoying a catered lunch, they were entertained by Withrow’s string student ensemble. (Fill in anything else you’d like to say.) A slideshow of photos from the event can be viewed by clicking HERE.

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Withrow Tower News – The First 50 Years


“If it happened—it’s here” was the winning slogan submitted by sophomore Jeanne LeFeber ’50 in a contest held by Tower News in the fall of 1947. She was awarded a $10.00 prize for her entry, which was to appear in the Tower News masthead for the next 30 years.

The first edition of East High School’s The Tower News was issued April 22, 1921. Printed at school, the newspaper contained no advertising and cost 5 cents. Student Horace Wersel was given credit for suggesting the name for the paper. The students at East High had chosen to have a newspaper instead of a magazine; and in this regard, Tower News remained the first and only public school newspaper in Cincinnati for almost a decade.

Published bi-weekly, the paper consisted of club news, stories, poems, essays, cartoons, and humor. All aspects of sports news, both male and female, were prominent. In the ensuing years, alumni news and events were heavily featured. By the late 1920’s, the paper expanded into a weekly publication and added more cartoons and gossip.

In 1929, it became necessary to print Tower News out of school, and the business staff was expanded to bring in advertising.

By the early 1930’s, with the depression at its worst, the paper was scaled back to bi-weekly and fears were evident that, due to lack of sales and advertising, Tower News would have to cease publication altogether. The student body rallied, and the paper continued throughout the Depression.

World War II brought the paper back to a weekly publication. War news and stories of alumni and former students in service were prominent along with the usual sports, clubs and activities, and gossip. Instructions for air raid drills, and the sometimes humorous results of air raid drills, were featured along with articles about the Victory Corps and similar war time activities. Times may have been difficult but the most copy was given over to the popular “swing” bands of the time. What the hit songs were and where and when the bands were playing in the Cincinnati area helped relieve the stress of wartime life. Weekly casualty lists were published on the first page throughout the war.

In 1944, Tower News held a contest for new school songs. Suggesting that “On Withrow” was a “parody” of “On Wisconsin”, the Editors wanted to replace it with something specific to Withrow. With the school name changed from East High to Withrow High in 1924, Tower News had sponsored the same  contest to get rid of the “On Wisconsin” tune. Both contests were unsuccessful. However, the 1944 contest for an Alma Mater had a winner. With Sigma Gamma awarding a $25.00 prize, junior Rowena Hezlep’s words remain the Alma Mater to this day. The song, with music by choral director Leo Grether, was presented on Class Day 1945.

Over the ensuing years, the Tower News remained a weekly paper. For special occasions, and for the year 1956, a six-page paper was possible. Special sports issues were common in the fall as was the Minstrel/Sounds of Withrow issue in the spring; an April Fool issue highlighted the wit of the Tower News staff. The Class Day issue at the end of the school year was prepared by the departing seniors, and the underclassmen took over the assignments for the next school year.

In the fall of 1965, the Board of Education bought Withrow a printing press; and the Tower News once again was printed in-house. It was reduced to a bi-weekly publication, but because advertising was no longer necessary, the content remained the same.

During most of its run, Tower News enjoyed an All-American or a First-Class rating from the National Scholastic Press Association. Withrow students knew they had good reason to be proud of their paper, and the national recognition was icing on the cake. And, after 50 years, the price may have doubled—but was still only 10 cents.

Withrow Memorial Gifts

Many Withrow alums are friends with other alums throughout their lives. When we lose alums and friends, many of us would like an opportunity to remember them and the origin of their friendship. Therefore, for those who want to pay tribute to a lost friend and alum by making a donation to the Withrow Alumni Assn., please select the Donate Button below. On the next screen, enter the amount of your donation, and on the following screen select the + to enter the name of the person honored by the memorial gift. Thank You.

Thank You For Ordering Homecoming Tickets

Thank You for ordering tickets to the Withrow Homecoming football game on October 14, 2016. You may pickup your tickets at the gate. Let’s have a winning Homecoming.

Withrow Building Momentum

By ,

HYDE PARK – Though they’ve already surpassed last year’s win total, the Withrow High School boys basketball team has much higher goals. An 0-7 start was difficult, but several of the losses were to solid Eastern Cincinnati Conference teams. Withrow lost to Milford by five, Kings by three and Turpin by eight in a span of 10 days. Eventually, they were able to right the ship after Christmas with a pair of wins in the Motor City Roundball Classic and a Jan. 5 win over Glen Este to start the second half of the season. That was followed by a one-point loss at home to Anderson, then a three-point victory at Loveland Jan. 15.

“Slowly but surely we’re turning the corner,” Withrow coach Sean O’Connell said. “I have absolutely zero complaints. The kids are playing as hard as they can possibly play for me. We’re just behind in lack of experience and maybe lack of experience with me.” O’Connell is in his first year at Withrow after previously coaching Dayton Ponitz. He’s looking forward to his second go-round in the ECC. “I wasn’t as familiar with the league coming from Dayton down to Cincinnati,” O’Connell said. “It’s so balanced. I don’t think there’s one bad team. There may not be one great team, but there’s no bad team.”

Out of conference, the Tigers have scrapped with some of the city’s best with road games at La Salle and Elder. Their first wins came during the holidays in Michigan where they won two of three. Outside of a Dec. 22 loss to Walnut Hills, the Tigers have played most of the ECC close. Parity is a common word shared among league coaches. O’Connell recalled one night early in the season when everything went to the wire. “We lost to Milford by five and that was the biggest spread in the league,” O’Connell said. “There were two overtime games and I think Anderson beat Kings in overtime. It’s really even.

Juniors Elijah Willis and Devon Jorden have led the Tigers in scoring with averages in the 12-13 points per game range. Two more juniors are the rebounding leaders in Albert Kalala and Brandon Powell. Kalala is a 6-foot-5 leaping center from the Congo who has only been playing the game for a year. He’s made a name for himself in prep track and field circles as a state meet caliber high jumper. “He’s starting to get it figured out,” O’Connell said. “He’s as fun a kid to coach as anyone. He may not know something the first time we do it, but he comes in the next day and he’s got it. He’s a competitive kid.” Helping Kalala and Powell clean the glass is 6-foot-4, 230-pound wide body senior Calvin English. Fellow seniors Simieon Joash and Jordan Thompson are also in the rotation, while junior Frank Robinson runs the point. With the plethora of juniors leading the team, the Tigers should return with a deep, veteran squad next season ready to make their mark. “That’s the hope,” O’Connell said smiling.“We have a really good freshman class also.” Withrow has a rematch with Walnut Hills at the Eagles gym Jan. 29.