Plans to celebrate 150 years of schooling in South Charleston

(Posted July 29, 2020)

Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Next year marks 150 years since public schooling was established in South Charleston, and plans are in the works to celebrate the milestone.

The festivities will take place on June 19, 2021, prior to that evening’s alumni banquet at Southeastern High School. Exactly what the celebration will entail is yet to be determined.

Members of the Class of 1971, as well as other graduates and volunteers, have been bouncing around ideas for the last few years and continue to look for input and participation from the public. The group has attained non-profit status as South Charleston Education 150 (SCE 150 Inc.) and meets regularly.

Ideas range from a parade, raffles, food trucks, a farmers market, and an ice cream social to town tours, historical reenactors, historical displays, outdoor musical entertainment, and a silent auction. The Class of 1971 will open a 50-year-old time capsule.

“The idea is to start the day at 10 a.m. with the parade and go until the school tour that’s held prior to the alumni banquet at 5:30 p.m.,” said Jennifer McKee, a member of the SCE 150 board of directors and a 1970 graduate.

Local resident Leslie Arendt created a logo to commemorate the anniversary. Prints of the logo will be available for purchase at the Village Cup, 17 S. Chillicothe St., South Charleston, starting in early August. Arendt also is researching the school district’s history for a proclamation to be presented during the celebration.

“There are not a lot of districts in the state of Ohio that have graduated 150 consecutive classes and remain relatively in the same area,” McKee said. “We have a tight community that is nurturing to children. So, it’s definitely worth celebrating.”

McKee said the group is hoping for a large turnout for the sesquicentennial event. They are working with the alumni association to spread the word.

“We want to see if we can make this a great celebration,” she said.

Anyone who would like to help with planning and fundraising is welcome to attend the group’s next planning meeting, set for 1:30 p.m. Aug. 23 in the event space at the Village Cup.

For more information or to share ideas, contact one of the following:

  • Donna Myers Bonsell, secretary–;
  • Barbara Florence, executive treasurer–;
  • Gayle Kinnard Johnson, vice president–;
  • Jennifer McKee, vice president–; or
  • Dwain D. Robbins, executive director–(740) 775-7995.

Other members of the SCE150 board of directors are: Pete Conley, president; Gregory Flax, esquire; and Robert Entler, member.

Tax-deductible donations may be made to the SCE 150 Inc. Fund at any Park National Bank location. Or they can be mailed to: SCE 150 Inc., c/o Barbara Florence, 10735 Columbus-Cincinnati Rd., South Charleston, OH 45368.

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