In the January 25, 1968 edition The Citizen reported that $2,100,000.00 in construction bonds for building a community school had been sold with an interest rate of 5.97 percent. Within 20 months, the doors to that new school had opened.
Now, 50 years later, generations of Bereans have attended Berea Community Schools. It is a milestone that calls for celebration.
That celebration is just what Superintendent Diane Hatchett, along with several former and
current students and staff, has been planning for months. The three-day event has been dubbed the “50th Anniversary on Pirate Parkway Homecoming.”
“I remember the excitement of opening the new school fifty years ago. I was entering the second grade that year and recall how everyone thought the building looked like a space ship.” Berea Mayor Bruce Fraley shared memories and his thoughts on the upcoming fiftieth anniversary celebration. “I have always had a close connection with Berea Community since my children are also alumni of the school. It is incredible that five decades have passed so quickly. The “50 Years on Pirate Parkway” celebration will be fun and a great opportunity to reminisce and remember how much the school has meant to all of us and to the community.”
Dr. Hatchett says, “We are celebrating fifty years on Pirate Parkway throughout the year.” She goes on to talk about the special events being planned for September 26, 27, and 28. “Beginning with the homecoming parade on September 26th, the actual ballgame on September 27th, and with golf, and dinner and dancing on the 28th the Board recognizes the importance and significance of taking time to reflect and celebrate this auspicious occasion. There is no question that fifty years is a significant milestone, to say the least.”
The festivities will start with the traditional Homecoming Parade to be held after classes have dismissed on Thursday afternoon. Friday night will bring the opportunity to celebrate under the lights at Duerson Stadium. For alumni and those who want to tailgate a separate entrance will be provided. The highlight of homecoming will be attending the football game. This year’s matchup is between Berea’s Pirates and Lexington Sayre, kickoff is at 7:30. The game will be followed by a dance for students.
On Saturday at 9 am golfers will tee off at the Berea Country Club. The Superintendent Advisory Council will give tours from 4:30 to 5:45 pm Saturday afternoon. Then on Saturday evening, the celebration will culminate with dinner and dancing in the Conkin Gym. Cost of tickets is $15.00 and space must be reserved by September 20. Checks should be written to the Berea Board of Education with 50th Anniversary placed on the memo line.
Hatchett says, “The Berea Board of Education is proud to commemorate our 50th Homecoming Anniversary by sponsoring a dinner and dance and taking time to honor the first class of inductees to the Berea Community Schools Hall of Fame.”
Coach Jerry Bingham and committee will induct the first class into the Berea Athletic Hall of Fame during the evening. There will be thirteen individuals and two teams inducted.
Hatchett summed up her excitement, “As we celebrate, we are careful to be mindful of the past while looking boldly into the future with great anticipation of the opportunities that lie ahead for students, faculty, administrators, staff and the community at large. I am proud to be a Pirate!”
• For information or to purchase tickets for the any of the events contact The Berea Board of Education at (859) 986-8446.