The 94th Jefferson School Alumni and Friends meeting was held on June 10, 2017 at the Westboro United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall.
The program and pictures displayed on the table were done by Dorothea Kratzer and Frances Sharp.
This year the pictures included the 60-year class, 1957, the 1959 County Basketball Champions and the first graduating class from Jefferson High School in 1923 which consisted of six members.
Traditionally, a historical display of class and alumni pictures was displayed in an adjoining room. A delicious dinner was catered by McCoy’s.
The tradition of hearing the Jefferson School bell rung was observed. Memories of the days at Jefferson school are brought to mind during the playing of the bell ringing 12 times.
Incoming officers, Marvin Chamberlin, Dick Miller and Darlene Rogers Kassner, were introduced after being elected. Marvin thanked outgoing Treasurer Violet Osborn.
The Neurology Report was given by Frances Sharp. Those Jefferson Alumni and Friends passing since the 2016 meeting are as follows: Vernon Blankenship, Clayton Strider, Class of 1931; Rosemont Sewell Meerker, Class of 1946; Amos Eury, class of 1947; Geneva Winkle, Class of 1947; Kenneth Kratzer, Class of 1949; Frances Fugett Liming, Class of 1950, Thomas Day, Class of 1958; and Martha Hunt Mowery, Class of 1965.
Each person was remembered by the placing of a red or white rose in a vase. Frances read a lovely poem and President Chamberlin offered a prayer.
President Chamberlin introduced the Honor Classes for 2017 — those being the classes of 1937 (80 years); 1942 (75 years); 1947 (70 years); 1952 (65 years); and 1957 (60 years).
In the classes of 1937 and 1942, there were no members present. Class of 1947 — Joyce Conner Walker and David Ostermeier; Class of 1952 — Howard Osborn; and Class of 1957 — Marvin Chamberlin, Melvin Chamberlin, Terry Fugett, Marilyn Kuebler Powell and Lexine Strong Sams.
Stella Strider Boring was a member of the earliest class (1936) attending. Marilyn Kuebler Powell traveled from Michigan and was the person traveling the farthest to come to the Alumni.
President Marvin Chamberlin introduced Rod Lane as the guest speaker for the evening. Lane, a Jefferson Township student for 11 years, from 1948 through 1959, graduated in 1960 from Blanchester High School. Rod’s sisters, Betty and Donna, and his brother, Bill were graduates from Jefferson.
Rod received his bachelor’s degree from Cedarville College, master’s degree from Kent State University and did post-graduate studies at Xavier, UC, Miami and Wright State.
Rod has been a teacher, coach, guidance counselor, assistant high school principal, high school principal, local school superintendent, county school superintendent, educational service district superintendent and developmental disabilities superintendent.
He currently serves on the board of the Southern Ohio Educational Service Center District Board and the Great Oaks JVS governing board. Rod will mark 50 years in education in September.
Rod responded to the good-natured comments by President Chamberlin by commenting that the reason why his list of jobs for the past 50 years was so long was because in front of each building where he worked, it was painted on the cement, “FIRE LANE.”
One of the funniest stories Rod told was on himself. The “Hello” story was about what occurred when he was in Mrs. Whitaker’s first-grade class at Jefferson. There was a program and the first graders were to come out with signs with the letters “HELLO.” Well, Rod was the letter “O” and he ended up as the first letter, which made it spell “ O_ _ _ _.”
After much laughter, Rod continued his story and said when the kids came off the stage Mrs. Whitacre said to him through clenched teeth, “If there is any justice in this world, you will be a teacher someday!”
Rod spoke of some of the great basketball players and teams from Jefferson and mentioned several of the outstanding players. Rod commented that the 1930 basketball team was the only county school to go to the semi-finals for the state championship until Wilmington went in 2016.
Rod described the exciting 1959 championship game between Jefferson and Port William when Jefferson won the county tournament 53-52 on a long shot by “Butch” Garrison at the buzzer.
Speaking about Port William, Rod talked about Donnie Fields and Don Devoe being outstanding players for Port William. In Rod’s opinion, Donnie Fields was the most “pure shooter” in Clinton County history. Don Devoe went on to play basketball for Ohio State University and was head coach at the University of Tennessee.
Rod continued his remarks by relating his admiration for the late Rev. Mary Cochran of Jefferson Township. Rev. Cochran organized and taught the Vacation Bible School each summer at the Jefferson School. Rev. Cochran helped instill in Rod at an early age, his faith.
Ending his presentation, Rod recited the humorous poem, “My Get Up and Go Has Got up and Went.”
In thanking Rod, President Marvin mentioned that Rod had suffered a broken hip in May but kept his commitment to the Alumni Association.
In a brief announcement, Peggy Fugett Allen (class of 1959) spoke about her book that is to be released soon by Orange Frazer Press. The book is titled,“From Welfare to Warfare — What is wrong with America?”
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