COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH)— In the halls of Columbus North High School—just under the words “Alumni Hall of Fame”—you’ll find a picture of the vice president-elect.
Janie Gordon teaches music at the school.
She doesn’t know him as Vice President or even Governor Pence. She knows him as Mike, her high school classmate and old friend.
“I remember him just being a really good friend to so many kids that I was friends with,” Gordon said. “He was just a good guy.”
Gordon graduated from Columbus North in 1977, the same year Pence won a statewide debate contest. He placed third later that year in a national competition.
“Just as a speaker, he was always so well prepared,” she said.
Dave Peach is a general manager and on-air host at WCVL Radio in Crawfordsville. He competed side-by-side with Pence on the Columbus North Bulldogs’ debate team.
“We had probably the best debate team ever at Columbus North High School,” Peach said. “He brought everybody up. We all looked at him as our leader and we knew that he was going to do big things.”
Pence grew up with five siblings in a middle class Irish American family.
Gordon said she still remembers his dad calling for the Pence kids to come inside for dinner. She never thought, back then, that Pence would be vice president.
“Not vice president,” Gordon said. “I thought if anyone from our class was going to be president, it would be Mike Pence.”
Pence has attended five of six class reunions so far, according to Gordon. Another one is coming up in the summer.
If he’s there, Gordon said she’ll tell him she’s proud of him and she’ll ask him to listen to the American people.