By ZAK GRIMM
“This banquet is one of the many great traditions here in Fredericktown,” said Superintendent Matt Chrispin, during the 2017 Fredericktown High School Alumni Association Banquet, held on Saturday, June 24, 2017.
Chrispin also took a few minutes to highlight some of the changes that have taken place in the district in the past year, including the introduction of all-day Kindergarten, the re-emergence of in-town busing, added and updated signage in the High School lobby to celebrate the most current Valedictorians and Salutatorians as well as extending the list past its original 1966 history to include those leaders from the mid-1930s, celebrations of athletic and FFA champion students, announcements of the start of resurfacing the track and the Safe Routes to School project, and finally, the hiring of the district’s first high school female principal, Kim Radulovich.
“I’ve spent a lot of time looking through every yearbook from Fredericktown, and I noticed that, other than the Freddie Bird, we don’t have a consistent symbol for our school district,” said Chrispin. Over the last year, several alumni and students worked together to design a unique “coat of arms” styled symbol that captures the essence of both the school, as well as the community and what is most important to us.
Each of the four quadrants of the new symbol includes the quintessential “F” representing our community name, the Freddie Bird, an ear of corn and tools to represent our commitment to industry and agriculture, a diploma and cap representing scholarship, and the words “Truth” and “Loyalty,” straight from our school’s alma mater.
Chrispin added that he and the leadership talk to the graduates each year, and impress upon them the idea that with tradition comes responsibility, and that those gathered Saturday night left a great tradition for those most recently leaving the halls of FHS, and those moving up through the ranks.
FHS Alumni Association President David Dalrymple announced to the present classes that the Fundraising Committee had, for the past two or three years, been covering their own expenses related to growing the Association and its available scholarships. However, Ariel Corporation has recently stepped up to the plate to help, and will be putting together an Endowment Fund for the FHS Alumni Association’s fundraising purposes, through the Community Foundation of Mount Vernon and Knox County.
In order to accomplish this goal, the Fredericktown High School Alumni Association, having begun to create “articles of incorporation,” needs to become an official non-profit organization. Though the specific articles will be discussed later, a majority of those present agreed to move forward with the process of the FHS Alumni Association becoming its own non-profit organization.
“I love the new lobby entrance,” said Roger Davis, speaking on behalf of the FHS Alumni Association’s Fundraising Committee. “The signage inside really sets the tone for what this school is about.”
Davis spoke about the Wall of Honor in the lobby, which is dedicated to those alumni whom the community has lost in service of their country over many decades. He also called attention to the Valedictorian/Salutatorian displays, the FFA Jacket designed by Gus Lintner–now worn nationwide by students, championship trophies, and most recently, the new Alumni Association Scholarship plaque, listing the winners of the funds wholly created by community support and dedication to its students.
“There’s nothing more rewarding than helping kids reach their dreams,” Davis quoted. Indeed, with at least $140,000 raised in just two years, four new named scholarships, over $61,000 in new donations for 2016, over $11,000 in investment returns, and $4,300 awarded in scholarships in 2017 alone, the Fredericktown High School Alumni Association has certainly helped our students build their dreams for many years. Remarkably, $50,000 of the total $140,000 was raised in a single year!
From the beginning of the Scholarship Committee’s mission, the three goals have centered on guaranteeing scholarship money each year, growing those existing scholarship funds each year, and creating even more opportunities to help our students succeed. In 2017, the group has successfully created four new, named scholarships: The Richard K. Wilson ‘65 Scholarship, The Dr. William L. & Marietta B. Mahaffey Scholarship, the Class of 1961 Scholarship–to which an impressive 90% of the class donated, and whom got the ball rolling again in 2011 to revive the Scholarship program–and the Class of 1947 Scholarship.
For 2017, two ladies were each awarded a 4-year scholarship from the Fredericktown High School Alumni Association: Baylee Hauger and Sandra Spearman. Hauger’s scholarship was made possible by the Class of 1947, and will help her pursue a degree in Music Education at Ohio University in Fall 2017. Spearman was awarded the 4-year Class of 1961 Scholarship, which she will use to pursue a degree in either Early Childhood Education, or Nursing.
Re-elected to their current positions on the Fredericktown High School Alumni Association were President David Dalyrmple, Vice President Jill Spearman-Macklin, and Secretary/Treasurer, Nancy Hollifield, whom works incredibly hard to make sure that all available and interested alumni have the opportunity to revisit classmates and support future scholarship awardees.
The district is in the process of obtaining an Ohio Historical Marker to honor former Fredericktown graduate Gus Lintner, whom was responsible for creating and designing the Fredericktown FFA Jacket, the style of which is now work throughout the nation by Ag students. Additionally, the treasured “Gus the Moose” (named after Lintner and posing as a “friend” to many FHS students of years past), will soon have the opportunity to return home to the halls of FHS after decades of absence and being housed in the office of Judge Otho Eyster. According to Roger Davis, if the Alumni Association can raise at least $50,000 in the coming year, “Gus the Moose” will come back to Fredericktown.
As is tradition at the FHS Alumni Banquet each year, roses were given to certain alumni, for traveling the furthest, bringing the most family members and siblings, and for being the oldest alumni present. 1967 graduate and first-ever “Freddie Bird” Francine Lord traveled the furthest from Oregon, longtime attendees the Shipley and Coffing families brought the largest cadre of members, and the Braddock, Coffing and Spearman Families arrived with the widest range of generations in their families.
Among those receiving roses for having been graduates for over the celebrated 70 years in 2017 were Linden Scheff, Marty James, Betty Grant, Mary Braddock and Dean Streby. Scheff was also the oldest graduate in attendance, at 98 years old.
Thank you to the Fredericktown Alumni Association for the evening’s celebration, hard work year-round and dedication to current and future alumni to help them succeed along the paths they choose to take after graduation from our great school and life within our wonderful community!