The Monument, Brick and Scholarship Committee members led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by prayer and a moment of silence from Rex Hunn '61.
Pat Jonas, MD '64 was master of ceremonies, introducing each of the speakers and songs. He also is "The Brick Man", in charge of the brick and paver program that will surround the monument. He introduced several of the bricks and the person that is being honored with each brick, such at Mildred Baker Kilheffer- class of 1932- our oldest living graduate.
The Alumni Association President, Joy Weaver, from the Jefferson Township High School Class of 1948 spoke of her father, Russell Wolf- Class of 1925 and his baseball prowess, including pitching a double header to win a national championship for a local team. She also reflected on Superintendent Adam Becker and "the good old days".
Superintendent Dr Richard Gates enthusiastically endorsed the purpose of the monument, brick and scholarship projects, reflecting on the strong Board of Education suport he received for the projects. He had been surprised by all the alumni concerns about what would happen to the "old building" before it was finally torn down, and pleased to have the Alumni Association connect up with the "new school " and solidify the history of the lineage of Jefferson Township Schools. Mr. Orr, from the Board, added his thanks to the alumni for the message this project gives to the "Jefferson Story".
Mike Jonas '62 the contractor for the Monument and Brick Project gave an overview of the 8 x 5 x 12 foot structure that will have some of the bricks from the "Old School" in it and be surrounded by a concrete slab with Bronco Bricks on the slab. Preliminary drawings were reviewed with those present and on the Facebook announcement for the groundbreaking ceremony. "Where's the Bronco?", came the question from the a class member of 1984. We have thought about it and discussed the possibility of a bronco on the monument, but didn't add it- yet.
We should be working on the final design of the monument in January and February 2016. The Bronco should make it into the design. It just seems like the Bronco thing to do. And it's an important symbol of what it means to be from Jefferson.
Gary Bailey '64 spoke about the meaning of the monument. "Why have a monument?" He asked and answered. It will hold the memories and remind us forever of what we stand for and where we came from. The friends, the teachers, the lessons, the staff, the cafeteria workers, the bus drivers and even the swings on the playground have left lasting memories. Gary pointed to a tree that he felt challenged to touch with his feet when he was swinging as high as he could. Another Jefferson search for excellence in a long line of searches.
Love had a lot to do with Gary's message. Gary noted that, "The love we felt for Jefferson continues beyond buildings." The monument and brick program will assure us of another way to tell the stories and connect to the Jefferson Legacy. We haven't lost the dream or the meaning of our Jefferson experiences.
The Board of Education members joined Dr. Gates and Alumni President Joy Weaver in applying blue and gold shovels to the earth where the monument will be constructed. It looked like fun.
Tracey Tripp Edwards '76 then presented ideas about "Why have a Brick Garden?" She had a large list of possibilities, many of which were represented in the Bronco Brick display at the ceremony. "Tracey Tripp Edwards, 1976 Class President, JT Fiscal Officer" constitute the three lines on her Bronco Brick. Other Bronco Bricks honor relatives, teachers, leaders, veterans, and the list goes on.
Sam Dodson '64 and Rickey Poole '64 next described the Jefferson Township Alumni Scholarship Program which Sam set up with the Dayton Foundation. We can get matching funds of $9000 if we have $16,000 by December first. Rickey stated that he'd like to see the fund get to $100,000. Alumni and other members and fans of the Bronco Nation can donate online at the Dayton Foundation site is they wish.
Rickey provided a special "Jefferson Reflection" about his life in Carver Village, his mother and the meaning of his Jefferson experience. He got a full scholarship to the University of Wisconsin for track and came back to teach at Jefferson. His story is inspiring as is his commitment to the scholarship program for Jefferson students.
What better way to round out a Bronco Day than to sing the Fight Song and the Alma Mater led by Joy Weaver and pep members Tracey Edwards and one youngster from the class of 1984.
School Board Member Rev. Cuttino Dargan offered the closing prayer and we mingled to round out a Great Bronco Day.
See more and order your Bronco Brinks at www.polarengraving.com/JeffersonTownshipAlumniAssociation
Board Members Present at the Groundbreaking November 14