Return to Headlines

Five Generations of Pirates

10/17/2023

Graphic of all 5 generations to attend WHS.

1924-2024 -- 

In 1924, the very first Bozman family member graduated from Wylie High School. Exactly 100 years later, in May, another member of the family will proudly walk the stage – marking the fifth consecutive generation to earn a diploma from Wylie High. Over the past century, this family has been a steadfast presence within Wylie ISD, forming a lengthy maroon lineage with a lot of pride and affection for the place they call home. 

Four of those five generations share their stories about attending Wylie High School. The only story missing is from the one who started it all -- Lionel “Skinner” Bozman, a member of Wylie High School’s Class of 1924. Skinner passed away in 1978.

Wylie High School Class of 1924 -- Next to the last on the back row is Skinner Bozman, the first of five generations to gradu

Wylie High School Class of 1924 -- Next to the last on the back row is Skinner Bozman, the first of five generations to graduate from Wylie ISD.   

The second generation to graduate from Wylie ISD is Skinner’s daughter, Betty (Bozman) Housewright. At the age of 96, Housewright is the only one remaining from her Class of 1944. 

 

The second of five generations to graduate from Wylie High School, Betty (Bozman) Housewright graduated from WHS in 1944.

The second of five generations to graduate from Wylie High School, Betty (Bozman) Housewright graduated from WHS in 1944.

She reminisces about attending Wylie High during World War II. Housewright said that students’ parents brought rations to school for the war effort. Her family always brought a tow sack of sweet potatoes from their farm here in Wylie.

She still remembers every one of her 23 classmates, even the ones who didn’t graduate because they were deployed.

“Noble Birket went off and was killed in the War,” Housewright said. “The War had ended and he didn’t know it. They were chasing Germans out of Holland.” 

In their fourth-grade class photo, Housewright points to her classmate Noble Birket, who went to fight in World War II and di

In their fourth-grade class photo, Housewright points to her classmate Noble Birket, who went to fight in World War II and did not make it back.

Birket was one of three of her classmates who didn’t come back from the War.

“Johnny Rogers, James Arlie Wilson and Noble Birket were all killed in action,” she said. “They didn’t graduate or get their senior pictures in the annual.”

When Housewright attended Wylie ISD in the late 30s and early 40s, there was only one school and a shop building.

“The grade school and high school were together in one building,” Housewright said. “There were two stories. Frank McMillan was in charge of the shop.”

When Housewright attended Wylie ISD, there was only one school and a shop.

When Housewright attended Wylie ISD, there was only one school and a shop. 

At lunch, students would walk next door to eat at a house next to the shop building that originally belonged to her aunt.

“When she passed away, they turned it into a place you could eat -- just the school kids,” Housewright said. “You had to buy a ticket to eat.” 

Assistant business manager of the annual staff, assistant reporter for the school’s newspaper, The Pirate’s Log, and treasurer of her class, Housewright was an active member of her class.

She found time to play basketball and softball as well.

“That’s about all they offered,” Housewright said. “I was on the pep squad too, but I didn’t ever like that. There wasn’t much to it. We had to help with the drums.”


Holding her senior photo, Elaine (Clark) Schraplau was the third generation of her family to graduate from Wylie High School.

Holding her senior photo, Elaine (Clark) Schraplau was the third generation of her family to graduate from Wylie High School.

The third generation to graduate from Wylie High School was Elaine (Clark) Schraplau. Wylie High was UIL Class 1A when Schraplau graduated in 1965 with 42 in her class.

“Only about 12 were girls,” she said.

What stands out to her the most about high school was the assassination of the 35th U.S.  president.

“When JFK was killed, I was in typing class,” Schraplau said. “Our typing teacher walked out, came back and told us. A bunch of kids skipped school that day to go watch the parade.”

There weren’t many elective courses to choose from when Schraplau attended Wylie High School in the 60s. She recalls a project in her Home Economics class.

“There were no CTE courses back then,” Schraplau said. “In home ec, sewing was not my thing. I had to make a suit. Mom ended up wearing it.”

Like her mom, Schraplau also played basketball and was selected as “Class Favorite” her freshman year. 


The fourth generation in this family to graduate from Wylie High School is Class of 1996 Kate (Schraplau) Hilgeman.

The fourth generation in this family to graduate from Wylie High School is Class of 1996 Kate (Schraplau) Hilgeman.

Kate (Schraplau) Hilgeman is the fourth generation of WHS graduates in this family.

What is now known as Burnett Junior High, the campus was once known as Wylie High School. Hilgeman’s Class of 1996 was the last to graduate from that school building before WHS relocated to where it is now on 544 and Woodbridge Parkway.

“Burnett doesn’t look anything like it did when I graduated,” Hilgeman said.

Her graduation ceremony was held outdoors -- on the football field at Jerry Shaffer Stadium.

Wylie was 4A and there were 137 students in Hilgeman’s graduating class. 

“Classes are so big now,” she said. “Kids don’t know all of their classmates anymore. Most I graduated with, I’ve known since kindergarten.”

When she attended high school in the 90s, Wylie was still a small town where everybody knew everybody. 

“All of my friends had parents involved in something -- assistant principals, the Lions Club, church,” Hilgeman said. 

She recalls when she and her friends were pulled over by police in the high school parking lot. The officer assumed they were up to no good. He wanted to know what they were doing in the parking lot after hours.

“When he looked in the car, he said, ‘you’re so and so’s kid and you’re so and so’s kid.’ We got out of trouble because he knew everyone,” Hilgeman said. “He thought we were up to a senior prank, but we were afraid to do anything because everybody knew who we were.”

Just like her mom and grandmother, Hilgeman also played basketball in high school, along with volleyball and tennis. She was in athletics and band her freshman year. 

“Sophomore year, we went to block scheduling, and I couldn’t do both band and athletics,” Hilgeman said. “So I chose athletics.”

She was a member of the National Honor Society and in the Top 10 percent of her class. Hilgeman was also a Birmingham scholar. Her daughter, Tanner, likes to turn that against her.

“Anytime I say something wrong or fumble my words, Tanner says ‘OK Birmingham scholar,’” Hilgeman said.

Hilgeman recalls a Birmingham scholarship question asking applicants -- Will you come back to Wylie and how will you make it better?

“I was a fourth-generation Wylie kid, so I felt an obligation to come back, but I wanted to because my family was here,” Hilgeman said.


WHS senior Tanner Harris is the fifth generation of her family to graduate from Wylie High School.

WHS senior Tanner Harris is the fifth generation of her family to graduate from Wylie High School.

In late May, Tanner Harris will proudly become the fifth generation of Pirate alumni. The timing, exactly 100 years after her great-great-grandfather received his diploma, is like a storyline straight out of the movies.

“It is really neat how I'll be the fifth generation to graduate from Wylie,” Harris said. “I'm also super privileged to experience this with three of the other generations.”

Tanner is a member of That Wylie Band where she plays the French horn and the mellophone. Like her mom, she is also a member of the National Honor Society. Tanner plans to pursue a nursing degree.

WHS senior Tanner Harris plays the French horn and mellophone in That Wylie Band.

WHS senior Tanner Harris plays the French horn and mellophone in That Wylie Band. 

In her fourth year at WHS, Harris is still meeting people in her graduating class and reconnecting with friends from her past.

“It is crazy how many people I still haven't met and might never meet,” Harris said. “I can remember one instance of when I had lost contact with a friend from elementary school, but we met each other again back in high school when we were put in class together. Many schools feed into Wylie High, making it possible to reunite with people I used to be close with.”

Now 6A, with 697 in the senior class, Wylie High School has grown significantly since Tanner’s great-great grandfather attended in the 1920s.

Wylie ISD has seen a lot of change over the last century, evolving from a single school building serving all grade levels to 20 different campuses today. However, amidst all this change, one constant remains: the enduring legacy of the Skinner Bozman family in Wylie ISD.