1982 Frenship graduate goes from bonfires to bank
Homecoming bonfires are Jon Drake’s favorite memory of his years in Frenship.
But an incident from the 1982 graduate’s junior year, he believes, probably put an end to that tradition at Frenship High School.
After heavy rains, someone put diesel on the wood collected for a bonfire held right off U.S. 62/82 near what was then Casey Elementary School.
He said it was lucky no one was hurt.
Drake, who was recently promoted to senior executive vice president at Peoples Bank, said when he was in school, he and his brother, Jim, were one of three sets of identical twins in the class of 1982.
Drake said Frenship had a rule when he was a young student that twins could not be in the same elementary school class.
So he and his brother grew up having different interests.
Jon gravitating toward sports while Jim pursued band.
Frenship has changed quite a bit over the years since he and his twin brother were in high school.
His class had 96 students in it — when his daughter, Abby, graduated as valedictorian last year, Frenship had more than 400 graduates.
“I just remember, the school was very close-knit. Still is,” Drake said. “It was a good, safe community.”
As a fifth-grader in Mary Lou Vardy’s class, the teacher told him and his mother with his aptitude for math, perhaps he could be a banker some day.
Years later, at West Texas State University, now West Texas A&M, he thought of the prediction when choosing to pursue a degree in finance.
He enjoys the analytical aspect of banking.
“I always give Mrs. Vardy credit for putting me on the banking path,” Drake said.
He enjoys being in the Frenship community, he said.
At Peoples Bank, he said, many of his co-workers are Frenship graduates.
“We just kind of keep that Frenship pipeline going,” he said.
In addition to his new title of senior executive vice president, Drake is the chief financial officer of Peoples Bank and is a member of the bank’s board of directors.
Drake is married to DeAnn Drake.
Their two children, Abby and Austin, are students at Texas A&M.
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