Day in The Life of a Dallastown Student Through the Decades: Part 1

A four-part series of how students’ days at Dallastown differ from each decade.


This is the first part in a four-part series. 


The more things change, the more they stay the same. From dress codes and school lunches to classroom technology and cars in the parking lot, so much has changed at Dallastown High School over the years. 

In fact one might think that a student from the 1960s has nothing in common with a high schooler today. 

To discover what has changed and what has stayed the same, three former and one current DHS students were interviewed to compare a day in the life of a Dallastown student over the decades.

Meet the students:

Debra Raver attended DHS in the 1960’s. After college, she taught English at Dallastown for 26 years, and is now retired.

Lisa Fisher attended DHS in the 1980s. She was actively involved in the Dallastown community before moving to South Carolina with her family.

Toni Sprenkle attended DHS in the early 2000s. She is currently the Varsity Football, Wrestling, and Competition cheer coach. 

Kayla Sebastian is currently a senior at DHS. She is the Student Body Vice President in addition to being a student-athlete involved with various other clubs and organizations.


Throughout the years, the day in the life of a Dallastown student starts with the same thing: waking up!

All four of the students woke up around 6 a.m. for school. Then, they would get dressed. However, sometimes the dress code limited what they could wear.

Back in the 60s, girls wore A-line or pleated skirts, jumpers, or cotton shirtwaists. For girls slacks and jeans and shorts were not allowed during the school day.

I loved to wear all kinds of sweaters and pretty sissy blouses, white trimmed in lace. I wore my charm bracelet nearly every day and my school ring,” Raver said.

The dress code is not nearly as strict today, with one of Sebastian’s favorite clothing items being crop tops.

Shirts with shoulder pads were one of Fisher’s most memorable fashion moments. 

While some clothing items Sprenkle sported to school would be considered cringe today (think low rise jeans and layered shirts or polos), others like Ugg boots and sweatpants can still be found in the hallways.

“It seems we were all into very clean, shiny hair, clean skin, and natural nails,

— Debra Raver

 Hair and makeup:

Certain brands like Maybelline and Covergirl are certified classics being worn by all the girls. 

Raver’s make-up routine is far from outdated, and is very similar to today’s “clean girl” aesthetic. 

“It seems we were all into very clean, shiny hair, clean skin, and natural nails,” Raver said. 

Both Sprenkle and Fisher remember bright makeup, specifically colorful eyeshadow. 

While there were similarities in makeup, hairstyles seemed to vary greatly through the decades.

Raver wore her hair longer often with hairbands or thin ribbons.

“I only pulled my hair into a ponytail for gym class. Most nights I slept in big rollers to make my hair “flip,” Raver said. 

Of course, curly hair and perms were big in the 80s for Fisher. Sprenkle liked curls as well, but more of a “scrunchy” beach wave style. 

“I wear my hair naturally (a little wavy), and it is cut a little short,” Sebastian says. 


Next, these Wildcats need some food to fuel their brain for a busy day of learning. 

Raver and Fisher both enjoyed cereal at home, while Sebastian and Sprenkle opted to eat breakfast sandwiches from the cafeteria.

“A group of us ate breakfast in Miss Gable’s room every single morning,” Sprenkle said. 


As their morning routines wrap up, it’s time to head to school! Fisher, Sprenkle, and Sebastian all rode the bus until they got their licenses.

While Fisher drove her parent’s Buick Regal, Sprenkle and Sebastian had their own cars.

“I had a black Kia Sportage. Volvo, VW, and Mazda were super popular cars,” Sprenkle said. 

Sebastian drives a white Honda CRV.

“After I arrive at 7 a.m., I sit in my car with a friend until 7:25 a.m.,” Sebastian said. 

Unlike the others, Raver did not receive her license until she was 18. She usually rode the bus, but often had a ride in her neighbor’s aqua VW bug. 

“Jacobus had some rowdy kids, so we did not have coed buses. We girls walked to the Jacobus fire hall and stood on the porch. For some reason, the guys commandeered the inside of the building – even in bad weather,” Raver said.

The Dallastown parking lot in the 60s looked quite different than it does today. Raver recalls that most students drove “very, very old junkers”. 

The school bell is about to ring – it’s time to get to class!

Stay tuned for Part II of this four-part story to continue to explore what a day in the life of a Dallastown student looks like through the decades!