Parents won a year's reprieve.
The next year, 1985, they lost.
"We don't understand why our school is the one chosen to be closed," Mary Ann Quintrell wrote to the Gazette in 1985.
"All other communities have a junior high or a senior high or both. Our high school was taken several years ago, and we have begun to cope with that, but moving our junior high seems to be more than we can accept."
Then-superintendent Ed Lakey countered that the county would save $364,000 that year by closing the school and splitting its 160 students between John Adams and Spring Hill junior highs.
He contended students would be better off at John Adams, too.
"Children would receive educational advantages if we close Washington Junior. There would be a wider course selection for students, and a possibility, that, say, an advanced course could be offered several times a day," Lakey said in a 1985 Gazette article.
By that October, Washington Junior High was declared surplus property. An appraiser determined it had no value.
Only a little more than a decade passed before a new version of the school board was considering blocking students from John Adams.
In 1997 - just 12 years after shutting down the community's junior high - the board temporarily decided to keep Alum Creek and Ruthlawn students from attending John Adams because of overcrowding concerns.
Eventually, the school board backed down, but with misgivings.
"I think that there has been a longtime problem with Ruthlawn and Alum Creek," then-board member Priscilla Haden said in 1997.
Now parents are again being told they're part of an overcrowding problem.
Parents are now making the same arguments the school system made in 1985 - that their children are better off with the educational advantages offered in the John Adams district.
Current board members have been telling parents to be patient, that nothing is settled yet.
As my neighbors learned long ago, being patient is the path to losing your school.
Do board members have long memories? Parents do.
Brad McElhinny is the Daily Mail's managing editor. Contact him at 304-348-1703, bra...@dailymail.com or @BradMcElhinny on Twitter.