The 97th & 98th Combined Jefferson School Alumni met Saturday evening, June 12 at the Westboro UMC Fellowship Hall.
The Alumni Committee from the Classes of ‘64, ‘61, ‘81 and ‘65 — who were consolidated into Blanchester Schools — sponsored and organized the evening for those who graduated from Jefferson Township High School as late as 1959.
All attending graduates were honored, along with “friends” of the alumni of classes of ‘60 and ’61 who attended the event.
The Jefferson Class of ‘57 had the largest number of attendees present.
The composite pictures were showcased in a special room of the church along with a display of memorabilia provided by Todd Wilson from the estate of the late Chester Wilson, Class of 1940, who sadly passed away just a few days shy of his 98th birthday in March 2020. Todd spoke a few minutes highlighting his grandfather’s life in a special tribute.
Alumni President Ed Pagett was the master of ceremonies, opening the evening by playing a recording of the “ringing of the Jefferson School bell” 12 times to signify the calling of Jefferson students to attend the grade-level classes for the day.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by the present Blanchester Legion Post #179 Commander Chuck Culberson, who is also the vice president of the Alumni Committee. The invocation was offered by past Alumni President Dick Miller of Lebanon, who mentioned how fortunate we students were to have attended Jefferson School — a place, special like family, that was instrumental in forming our adult lives.
The Alumni were then invited to partake of the Alumni Banquet, prepared by McCoy’s Catering of Wilmington, who always provide an excellent meal.
The business meeting convened next, with the members present approving the Secretary’s Minutes by Melinda Danenbergs and Barbara Daulton, recording and corresponding secretaries, serving on the Alumni Committee; the Treasurer’s report as prepared by Darlene Kassner was also approve. The president read a list of donors as listed by Darlene Kassner.
The school song recorded by Jefferson music teacherMary Baumann — who had her own equipment and who had made a recording of the orchestra and high school band playing the song in 1942 — was played. This was supplied by former Clinton County Schools AV Coordinator Pat Fenner.
Darlene led a time of reminiscing. Mention was made of how the cafeteria ladies made homemade food onsite; how Blanche Frazier rode the school bus to work in the cafeteria; how the bus drivers owned their buses, and how the basketball team members were fed after school on practice days by the ladies of the lunchroom staff.
Chuck Culberson, Class of ‘61, described his first day at Blanchester Schools after having attended Jefferson for 10 grades.
Door prizes were given to Charles Ostermeier, Class of ‘51, for being the oldest alumnus in attendance, along with Rosie Pagett, friend of Jefferson Alumni, for driving the furthest to attend.
Members of the Consolidation Classes of ‘60 and ‘61 present were recognized — Rod Lane and Chuck Culberson.
The tables were decorated in red and white with picture “tent” cards (the tent cards were made in the tradition started by Dorothea Hibbs Kratzer, Class of ’43) with pictures of Old Westboro and Midland City furnished by Melinda Danenbergs. A table packet with reports, lists and necrologies was given out by Barbara Harding Daulton when the guests signed in at the hospitality table.
There were 37 in attendance with seven Jefferson High School graduates.
We hope to be in existence for another few years, with the 100th anniversary being celebrated at the site of the Jefferson Township School where the school trophies now reside after being in storage since the demolition of the school building in 2002.
The return of the trophies to the school site was a project of this year’s Alumni Committee and accomplished with the assistance of the Jefferson Township Trustees.