MONTEVIDEO — Some say your high school spirit never dies, and a testament to that claim can be found with each 1969 graduate of Montevideo High School.
Every five years, the Class of 1969 holds a reunion to reconnect with peers. On Saturday, a portion of the 106 individuals who graduated in 1969 came together to celebrate 50 years out of high school.
In 1980, their high school changed to Montevideo Middle School due to the creation of Spotswood High School. Drew Miller, the current principal of Montevideo Middle School and proud alumni of Montevideo High School, drove the Class of ‘69 in a bus back to their alma mater to take a tour of the school and a group picture.
To commemorate this benchmark in their lives and time out of Montevideo, they decided to award an endowment fund of more than $50,000 to the Montevideo Middle School.
“We initially had the goal to raise $25,000, and we were like, ‘Oh, we got that,’ so we raised it to $50,000,” said Dave Wilberger, 1969 class president and event organizer.
This fund will collect interest each year, and that interest will be awarded to one teacher to support a project throughout the year.
Anything that would be funded by this program would be dedicated to enhancing the experience of students that otherwise would not be possible with the typical funding amount.
Susie Shomo is the president of the board of directors of the Rockingham Educational Foundation Inc. and professor at Blue Ridge Community College and James Madison University.
“The class contacted REFI five years ago so that they could give back,” she said. “They have set up this endowment and raised a ton of money to have teacher grants available for teachers at Montevideo.”
REFI is an organization that secures and distributes funds to support public schools within Rockingham County Public Schools to help provide out-of-the-box learning experiences for students.
“Opportunities [include] for students to go to a book fair or field trips, lots of extra learning opportunities,” Shomo said.