In 2002, Bob Miller was working to form a group to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Minnetonka High School. Bob, Tad Shaw and Steve Frazier approached the Minnetonka Schools Foundation about their ideas, looking to work with the Minnetonka alumni group they already had in place. The Foundation declined, but Bob, Tad and Steve still embarked on organization of the Minnetonka Alumni Association, and the planning of an All Class 50th Reunion street dance in downtown Excelsior. The event was so successful another reunion was planned for 2006. The third All Class Reunion will be held July 31, 2010.
Education has always been a priority for Tad Shaw. He remembers his parents telling him they felt they would have had a better life had they finished college. Tad, his wife, Mary, and all three of their children are college graduates. It was, "what you did."
Born in Minneapolis, Tad attended St. Thomas Academy, and went on to the University of Minnesota, graduating in 1954. He joined the Army after college and was stationed in Maryland for two years. After the Army, Tad became an insurance salesman. He says he enjoys the profession because, "I like to help people and the feeling I get from helping people."
Helping has become Tad's habit. He was a member of the Shorewood City Council from 1978-1986, a member of the Minnetonka School Board from 1988-1991, then becoming a member of the Minnetonka Community Education Advisory Council where he continues to serve.
While volunteering in Minnetonka Tad said he has been able to meet, "some fantastic people. It has been fun to get to know different community members."
Tad and Mary still live in Shorewood. They had three children graduate from Minnetonka High School and have hosted 11 MHS foreign exchange students over the years.
Bob was in the second class to graduate from Minnetonka High School, a class of 124 students. The school was built for 1,000 –1,200 students, but only had about 500 to start, so a wing was dedicated to first graders. While there was community opposition to the consolidation of schools to build Minnetonka High, Pastor French brought people together, and Minnetonka led the way for other districts to open new consolidated schools in the 50's. Bob credits then Superintendent Nilsen with foresight of the baby boom's impact on schools and planning for the growth.
Although he moved to Belle Plaine to raise his family and start his dental practice, he is strongly connected to Minnetonka today because his children have chosen Minnetonka to raise their families. He has grandchildren who attend Minnewashta and Minnetonka Middle School West.
When Bob's wife went back to her high school for an all-class reunion in the late 90's, Bob began to think of doing one for Minnetonka. It is Bob's style to credit others, however, without his idea and persistence in making it happen, the Minnetonka Alumni Association would not exist today.
Steve Frazier came to the Minnetonka area in 1965 and has been active in the community ever since. He taught social studies in both Minnetonka middle schools when they were junior highs, originally wrote the psychology curriculum still used at the High School, was a guidance counselor, served as president of the Minnetonka Teachers Association and more. Even when he "retired" in 1998, he was chair of guidance counseling for three more years.
Outside the schools, Steve was Mayor of Shorewood in the late 70's where he met Tad Shaw. Later, when Steve and Tad were on the Board of the Minnetonka Schools Foundation, they met Bob Miller, who proposed the Minnetonka All Class Reunion.
Steve remembers the hard work that went into that first reunion. The committee worked full-time in the final months leading up the event, but the experience allowed him to meet some wonderful people.
Today, Steve is still active in Rotary and volunteers at his church. He and his wife, Karen, have three children who graduated from Minnetonka High School, Todd (who is a Director with the Minnetonka Alumni Association), Trent and Tiffany. Steve also has five grandchildren with two who attend Minnetonka schools.