Class of 1947 FHS Scholarship Announced

Freddie Bird on school

The FHS Alumni Association is pleased to announce that a fully endowed scholarship has been established by the Class of 1947; the scholarship will be awarded annually and forever with 2017 FHS graduate Baylee Hauger being the first recipient.

While times have changed since the Class of 1947 graduated 70 years ago, the class members say that the skills and values that were important then are still the keys to success in today’s world. Their consistent message was “It all starts with a good education, then hard work”.

Shirley Ackerman Burgett recalls that “we had good teachers at Fredericktown schools, we did not have all the fancy courses that the Columbus schools had, but you get out of it what you put into it”. After high school, Shirley helped her husband, Bill, start a business and together raised 5 children. In the early days, Shirley and Bill would celebrate their hard work with a butterscotch sundae at the local Corner Cupboard restaurant. Later at age 37, with 3 children still at home, Shirley went to the OSU Mansfield branch, graduating in 1972 with an Education degree; the same year her son, Brian, graduated from the main OSU campus. After graduation, Shirley served as a volunteer teacher at Johnsville Schools for 5 years before taking up her own career in farming, saying “I just enjoyed farming more than teaching”.

Joyce Shipley Pence remembers milking cows before and after school on the family farm; and enjoying the noon-time basketball tournaments with each school bus making up a team. Joyce was a good athlete and won a silver dollar in a fastest girl competition; long time Freddies know all about those Shipley athletic genes. After high school Joyce attended beauty school in Mansfield; and met her future husband, Calvin, while waitressing to help pay for her schooling. After working for others for a few years, Joyce opened her own beauty shop in 1955 and still serves customers two days a week; attributing a focus on customer satisfaction as the key to her success. Joyce’s advice to the youth of today is to “do your best in school and to have a plan for your future”.

Fred Turner says he learned the most in his two years at the Pinkley Road School where all 8 grades were taught in the same room. When he came to the “city school”, the country kids and city kids had to learn how to get along with each other. Fred recalls that after football practice the country kids had to walk home, then do their chores; no wonder they were in excellent condition! Fred’s favorite class was shop and advises the youth of today to “study hard, work together; work is the key to success”.

Harold Ebersole recalls having “small classes, good teachers and good classmates” as major positives of being a member of the Class of 1947. Harold also pointed out an interesting fact; his uncle, Fred Turner, was a classmate and good friend. Harold’s advice for today’s youth is to “always show up for work and be on time”.

Jean Braddock Carter also recalls one great year at the Brick School before 11 years at the Fredericktown School. She credits the teachers for her success; saying “they emphasized the basics and also taught us the social skills like politeness”. Home Economics was her favorite and most useful course. Jean’s advice to today’s students is “do your homework and persevere- keep hammering away at your goals”.

All said that they are proud that the Class of 1947 has stuck together all these years and is now able to endow a scholarship for the future generations of Freddies. They said “this Scholarship is in recognition of the great support and education we received from the community and the school system, especially the teachers. Fredericktown was a great place to grow up. We were instilled with the solid values and provided the opportunity to learn the skills we needed. With much appreciation, we are grateful to be able to pay it forward”.