East alumni reflect on their time as students

Photo by East Archives
Joe Hovorka as a senior versus a teacher at East.

As you walk around Lincoln East High School, you might not realize that the teachers among us have returned to the halls, not as students but teachers. Cameron Meter, an algebra and calculus teacher at East attended our high school and graduated in 2009. A year before that Kelli Cederdahl, a drawing and photography teacher, graduated from East too. In 1983, East calculus teacher, Joe Hovorka, graduated from East. These teachers reflect on their time as students at East.
Was there a specific teacher that influenced you while you were a student at East?
While Meter attended high school his calculus teacher, Mary Butler, was his biggest influence. “She was really hard but she was a fantastic teacher,” Meter said.
Cederdahl reflected on her time on the yearbook staff and the influences Jane Holt, a retired yearbook teacher and media specialist, provided.
Hovorka was also a part of the newspaper staff and enjoyed being in Jim Schaffer’s class.
How has East changed since you were a student here?
“Culture has changed quite a bit,” Meter said, “Ethnicity wise but also the whole gamut of it.” Meter talked about how Lincoln has spread much greater since 2009.
Cederdahl briefly described how the East has changed since she was a student. “It’s grown and it has become more diverse.”
East has changed greatly since Hovorka was a student, “It’s quite a bit bigger. There’s no junior high anymore. The high school population is twice as big as it was when I was here.”
What was your favorite memory when you were a student at East?
Meter reminisced about their senior prank, where the seniors showed up at 4:30 in the morning and parked their cars in a big rectangle around the paved part of Seacrest parking lot. “The custodians were here and they called the cops out,” Meter said, “The cop said ‘well, nothing’s wrong as long as you guys are all parking in stalls’ so we parked in the stalls and made a big box around the paved lot.” As a result, the other students had to park in the unpaved part of the parking lot.
After a bit of hesitation, Cederdahl said “Probably singing with my sister at Snatraps.” While Cederdahl was at East, she was also a part of East’s varsity show choir, Express, which was one of her other favorite memories.
“Being on my athletic teams,” Hovorka said. “I still have friends now that I played with on those tennis teams.” He doesn’t play with them anymore but they’ve stayed in contact.
Why did you choose to come back as a teacher at East?
Meter taught at a middle school for two years before working in East and there happened to be an opening, but it was more than just a job. “The atmosphere, the amount that teachers care here, versus any other school, is above and beyond,” Meter said. He wanted to continue that tradition for his students.
Cederdahl’s reasoning for her return to East was the community it has built. “There were a lot of familiar faces,” Cederdahl said, “And it’s a really close-knit community.”
Hovorka returned to teach at East because he wanted to get back into Lincoln. He accepted the job offer, ended up liking it and he plans on not leaving.
While you were a student at East, what was your favorite lunch item?
“Every Monday, we had chicken poppers,” Meter said, “They were like chicken but bite-size. You could get them regular or spicy and they came in a cardboard box.”
When Cederdahl was a student she typically brought lunch from home. “I like the nachos, which is weird because I’m vegan now.”
Hovorka didn’t eat at East either while he was a student. “I either brought my lunch or I went to Taco Inn.”
As the years have gone by, East has changed. The teachers that they talk about have retired and they have changed the names of the foods we now eat. As the years continue, these teachers will continue to create an amazing community that they had years before.