The 96th Meeting of the Jefferson Township High School was held on Saturday, June 8, 2019 at the fellowship hall of the Westboro United Methodist Church.
Beginning with the evening’s social hour, the graduates and friends of the Alumni had the opportunity to view displays set up by the Alumni Committee of the school’s composite class pictures, sports team pictures, and the trophies won during the school’s participation in the Clinton County league and tournament competitions from 1922 to 1959 when Jefferson School was in existence.
The trophies had been in storage and were seen for the first time since the school was closed and demolished by the Blanchester School District in 2002. Throughout the evening donations were taken to purchase a trophy case in order to “house” the trophies at the new Jefferson Township Building (2019), built on the site of the former high school.
At the end of the social time, the meeting was called to order by Alumni President, Dick Miller, Class of ’65, who took over the president’s position from retiring Alumni President Marvin Chamberlin, Class of ’57.
Chamberlin returned to the podium to officially open the banquet by playing a recording taken of the Jefferson School bell tolling 12 times, to signify the return of the Jefferson “students to come to school.” This has been an alumni tradition for several years since the school was closed.
Chamberlin next led the attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States. Rod Lane, former Clinton County School Superintendent gave the Invocation in “Celebration of the history of the Jefferson School Community.” The election of officers and committee members for next year, resulted in: President, Ed Pagett, Class of ’65; Vice-President, Chuck Culberson, Class of ’61; Treasurer, Darlene Kassner, Class of ’81, and Barbara Harding Daulton, Class of ’64, Recording Secretary. Others on the Committee are: Francis Sharp, Necrology, and Melinda Danenbergs, background duties.
This year’s Banquet Tables were decorated in traditional Jefferson School colors of red and white, along with speaker’s “Tent-Picture” cards (started by Dorothea Kratzer), and “Tent Sports History” cards to go along with the trophies. Also out on the tables were the meeting minutes from last year, and the “Banquet Agenda & Honor Class Directory” as designed by Francis Sharp. Violet Osborn and Beverly Maddox decorated the tables. An excellent meal was provided by McCoy’s Catering of Wilmington for the 75 Alumni and friends of Jefferson School present.
The Necrology Ceremony was presented by Francis Sharp (in memory of Howard’45) with assistance from Joyce Connor Walker. Those students who passed away over the year, since last year’s Alumni were: Doris Nicely Snider, ’38; William Ostermeier,’43, Mary Ray Curtis, ’45; David Ostermeier, ’47; Julia “Betty” Lansing Gray, ’49; Thomas Stevens, ’51; Oscar Garrison, ’51; Charles Stevens, ’52; Wanda Ruth Lansing Hatten Hambel, ’54; Bobby Lewis, ’56; and Jess Combs, ’58. As each person’s name was called, a red or white rose was placed in a vase of flowers, in memory of that Jefferson student.
This year’s Jefferson High School graduates who attended were Howard Osborn, Robert W. Walker, Charles Ostermeier, William Trivett, Marvin Chamberlin, Melvin Chamberlin, Richard Culberson, Robert Osborn, Peggy Fugett Allen, Joyce Crosley Barker, Lexine Strong Sams, Violet M. Osborn, Joyce Connor Walker, and Dorothea Hibbs Kratzer.
This year’s Jefferson High School Honor Class graduates were the Classes of 1939, 1944, 1949, 1954 and 1959. Joyce Crosley Barker, Class of ’54; Richard Culberson, Class of ‘59; and Peggy Fugett Allen, Class of ‘59 were honored by being present and being 65 and 60 years out of school.
Students present were Bill Kuhnell, Carren Chaney Yuppa, Laura LeMaster Summers, and Barbara Harding Daulton. The after-dinner program speakers for the evening were Laura LeMaster Summers and Charles “Chuck” Culberson who led the reminiscing. Door prizes were won by: “Traveling the furthest”, Gene Gilbert, and the “oldest graduate present”, Dorothea Hibbs Kratzer,” Class of 1943. An appreciation award was presented to Dorothea by Darlene Kassner, for sharing stories as banquet speaker about the history of the area, her involvement in authoring the “Jefferson Memories Book,” and telling stories about Jefferson School at several past alumni banquets. Darlene Kassner had prepared red and white copies of the Jefferson School Fight Song which everyone sang at the end of the evening.