The final month: Recent grad and standout football player rues GHS closing

When William Nyeem King Parks graduated from Germantown High School in 2012, he left behind a legacy as a leader both in the classroom and on the football field.

Home for a spell before returning to the University of Arizona, he told NewsWorks why both he and his father (who also went to GHS) were upset about the school’s closing.

“Germantown High was a part of the area’s history,” he said. “The community stayed together because of it. Closing it is kind of a tragedy.

“Germantown is the world to some people and the school was on its way to becoming one of the best.

“We had [NFL players] coming out to the school. [Former Eagles cornerback Antonio] Rodgers-Cromartie. [Wide receiver] Desean Jackson. [Quarterback] Michael Vick. They all wanted to help Germantown after it started over from scratch.

“I was hurt when I heard about it. My dad was too. My granddad. My uncles. They all went there.

“It was the powerhouse of uptown. The staff was building relationships with the students. People think it was bad, but if they had just gone inside, they’d would have seen it wasn’t really. There were bright students.

“Shutting the school down, it’s like the community is going to be shut down too, but they’re not looking at it like that. They don’t care. They just see it as saving money. It’s really a shame.”

As the final day of Germantown High School’s 99-year history approaches — the Class of ’13 will don caps and gowns on June 19 — NewsWorks will present a series of stories including interviews with grads and former students.

We want to hear from graduates and former or current students who wish to share their favorite memories from their time at the 99-year-old building.

To that end, we’re asking you to send your memories via email (subject line: My GHS Memories), post them in the comments section or call (215) 351-1293.

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