Archived Story

John Jarpe: Memories, traditions and reconnecting

Published 8:22pm Wednesday, August 7, 2013

By John Jarpe, Supt. Brandywine Community Schools

Last weekend was the celebration of 50 years of Brandywine High School.  The first graduates of 1963 got together with their classmates and all the other classes who were in the building with them when they were seniors.  People came from Florida, California, New England, and Texas.  Many others only had to travel a few miles.  One gentleman, Brett Sutton, Brandywine, 1964, rode his bicycle from Seattle!  Most of these alumni were retired, but many are still working.  They are all using the same skills they learned at Brandywine all those years ago, and the most important of those skills, they all would agree, is how to get along with other people.

On Saturday afternoon, we opened the school for all alumni, faculty, and friends to come and see the school.  They looked at scrapbooks, walked the halls, and enjoyed seeing people they had missed for years.  I heard over and over how much people appreciated how well the building had been maintained and even improved upon since they were teenagers.  One great moment was when retired Coach Chuck Knox surprised several of his former players by walking into the locker room while they toured there.

On Sunday, a most remarkable event occurred.  Largely through using the social media, C. J. Foray, ’70, and Jim Albin, ’68, organized an all-Brandywine alumni picnic at Madeline Bertrand Park.  More than 75 people from the original classes on up to the present came and enjoyed a big potluck picnic.  People had such a good time; they are already planning on making this an annual event the first Saturday every August.

“There will always be a Brandywine.”

That’s from our current statement of beliefs in our Strategic Plan, and these terrific alumni I saw this past weekend prove how much they believe in that statement, too.  Go ‘Cats!


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