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Tonya Flannery (Rhodes)


What did you do last night?

Dinner at Frugatti’s (graduation dinner for my daughter) and shopped.

What do you usually eat for breakfast?

Varies; whatever we have at home!

How many hours a night do you sleep?


What is your favorite hour of the day/night and why is it your favorite?

Early morning is my quite time.

Where do you live now?

Still in Bako

Do you like living there? Explain.

I do. I hated it when I was a kid (Boorrrrinnng!) and still could do without the miserable summers but I appreciate the conservative nature of Bakersfield.

What did you do in the years right after high school?

Hmm…boy, that was a long time ago. A little bit of college….Tried to survive, lived near my good friends but hardly saw them! Got married pretty young and started having kids right away. Did finally finish college but it took many years.

Tell us about your family?

Married for 16 years and four children.

Do you have a job outside of your home?

I teach middle school.

Do you like your job?

Most of the time.

Is it the job you thought you would have when you were back in High School and you contemplated the future?

No. I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I knew I DIDN’T want to teach. Funny how life works out.

If you could have any job in the world what would it be?

I don’t know. I think I would simply volunteer and spend all of my time with my kids and their schools.

What was your happiest day last year?

Most of my days are happy days.

What is your biggest regret from the last 20 years?

I don’t have many regrets. I have had plenty of ups and downs in my life but everything I have been through has molded me into who I am today.

Do you miss high school? What things do you miss about it?

I don’t miss high school at all.

What is one of your favorite memories from high school?

Hanging out with my friends, cruzing Chester, football games and dances – or, rather, telling our parents we were going to the football game and dance! :o

What is one of your worst memories from high school?

I don’t think I have any bad memories – other than feeling completely awkward most of the time.

Who were your best friends in high school?

Leah Toppin (Strickland) and Lori Johnson

Have you kept in touch with them?

For a number of years I did and then we grew apart. I recently started chatting with Leah again but I have not talked to Lori in probably 10 years.

How is your life different than the life you thought you would have after high school?

I didn’t think about my life after high school too much. I thought about moving out all of the time but I never thought about how I was going to survive!

Who was your favorite teacher?

I had lots of good teachers and a couple of bad ones. My favorite? Probably Slagle. He had courage where others were weak and I still remember trying to catch that stupid ball so I wouldn’t have to talk in class! (okay, truth be told, I have tried to incorporate that into my own classroom!)

What was the biggest life lesson you learned in high school?

I am still learning life lessons and certainly didn’t learn much in high school!

Who was your favorite pop music band in high school?

Pop? Bon Jovi was my favorite but I enjoyed most rock bands. My 16 year old son loves to tell his friends that his mother seen Twisted Sister in concert!

Why do you want to attend a high school reunion?

To see old friends.

Why do you NOT want to attend a high school reunion?

Hmmm…not sure…

Are you nervous about attending your high school reunion? Explain.

Not really. Sure, I have plenty of wrinkles and have gained weight but this is me…love me or not!

Do you like answering these questions?

Some of them are making me think waaayyyy more than I would like to at the beginning of my summer break!

Do you have any tattoos? What are they?


What is your favorite food?


Are your parents still alive? How are they doing?

Yes; My dad divorced and remarried (#3) and he and my mom ended up moving to Northern Cal when my sister got really sick. My sister died 10 years ago (cancer) and my mom stayed in the little town where my sister died. My dad lives in Oregon and is getting ready to retire. He wants to be a greeter at Walmart and if anyone remembers my dad, that is the perfect job for him!

If you won the lottery what would you do with the money?

Wow. I don’t know…I would enjoy giving much of it away, save for my kids and their kids, pay off bills….buy a beach house??? Maybe get a really cool car?

Are you religious?

I did not grow up knowing anything about God. I became a Christian about 12 years ago and I now have a close, personal relationship with Jesus.

What do you watch on TV?

The Amazing Race, American Idol, Survivor…noticing a pattern?...oh, and CSI – love it!

What are your all-time favorite movies?

It depends on my mood. It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, Grease…I still watch The Breakfast Club about once a year!

In what ways have you changed the most from high school?

Well, when I was in high school I knew just about everything…I am finding the older I get, the less I know!

In what ways are you the same from high school?

I am still quiet, shy – for the most part.

Tell us about your happiest experiences since leaving high school.

Allowing Jesus into my life and my husband and children. I never knew love like this!

Do you talk on your cellphone while driving?

Of course.

Tell us something that very few people know about you.

Nice try.

Did you enjoy answering these questions?

Sure. Although it took me about three days to finish!