1916 – The Peroma
The idea to publish a high school annual started with the graduating class of 1915. However, because of a late start the project was not completed. The following year the students worked diligently to publish the first annual, The Peroma. Funds were raised by selling advertisements to the local businesses and by a benefit performance by the high school Carol Club in November, 1915. Although the annual was not ready for distribution until June, after the closing of school, it was acclaimed as “highly successful.” Selling for seventy-five cents, its 114 pages were printed on heavy enameled book paper with a brilliant scarlet cover. Each class, organization, and even the Alumni Association had a section of its own.
Click on the cover to the left and page through The Peroma. Notice the hand-drawn sketches. Many were created by Arthur Kuntz, a young local pencil artist and cartoonist, who later worked for the Cleveland Press, the Kansas City Post, and Walt Disney.
A total of eight volumes of The Peroma were published for the years, 1916, 1918, 1920-24, and 1927.
After an 18-year hiatus during the hard times of the depression and World War II, an annual was again published in 1946. With a new name, Maroon Spotlight, it was dedicated to the sixteen graduates who “gave the supreme sacrifice in World War II for the principles for which Perry Junior-Senior High School stands and in honor of all those former students who have so gallantly fought our battles.”
The annual provides a history of the previous nine years in the Perry Schools including the events of depression years, the war years, the beginning of peace and the building program. The building needs were met in part by Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) program which provided approximately two-thirds of the construction cost for the manual arts building in 1937, the band building in 1939, and the grade-school building and garage during 1941-42. Blaine School also received six class rooms, a gymnasium/auditorium and shop building.